Want To Help the Helpers? Here’s How

Friday, April 10th 2020

Through our reporting, we know the crucial role thousands of non-profit organizations play in the daily lives of Central Texans and the uncertainty they may be feeling right now. That’s why we are dedicated to Help the Helpers during Covid-19 and pledge to act as a communication hub for these groups. Here’s how you can help and some of the services that are being offered by Central Texas non-profits.

How to Help

The Central Texas Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief charity in Central Texas. They are looking for volunteers to staff the food bank site, and for individuals or groups who want to host a virtual food drive. Watch Decibel's interview with food bank CEO Derek Chubbs here.

Drive A Senior-West Austin has launched an emergency food bank for highly vulnerable seniors that are 60 and older. You can help by donating food and other items from the supplied list on their website, or by volunteering as a delivery driver.

Family Eldercare provides programs for seniors and adults with disabilities. They are asking for donations of hand sanitizer, paper towels and toilet paper, incontinence supplies, gift cards to Walmart, HEB and Amazon. They are also seeking volunteers to connect with seniors by phone in the Lifetime Connections Without Walls program.

Foundation Communities provides affordable homes for thousands of families, veterans, seniors, and individuals with disabilities. They are in need of thermometers, gloves, wipes, hand sanitizer, fingertip pulse Oximeters and handmade masks.

Hope House of Austin provides permanent housing for severely disabled Texans. The residents require 24/7 care so they are in need of activities designed for very young children to entertain themselves - coloring books, simple puzzles, bubble refills, yoga balls, sidewalk chalk, drawing paper, sketch books, etc. In addition, they need personal items such as bath soap, toothpaste, brushes, wash cloths, deodorant and shampoo. To donate contact eschulze@hopehouseaustin.org or call 512-525-7504.

Mobile Loaves & Fishes and Community First! Village provides food, support services and housing for the homeless. They are in need of microwaveable meals, non-perishable food, canned soup, canned tuna, canned chicken and bottled water. Additionally, they need toilet paper, single-use thermometers, masks, gloves, hand soap, paper towels, Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, disinfectant spray, tissues, trash bags, disposable plates, bowls and flatware. Contact Carlos Guerra at carlos.guerra@mlf.org orcall 512-551-5447 to arrange a drop-off.

We Are Blood, Austin’s blood bank, is seeking blood and platelet donors to ensure a ready reserve as the community takes coronavirus precautions. Decibel spoke with VP of Community Engagement Nick Canedo about how they're managing their blood supply.

These organizations are providing services to help through the health crisis

Integral Care has started a 24/7 Helpline to give people mental help support during the pandemic. The free service also connects people with interpreters should they need one to use the service. People can call 512-472-HELP (4357) to reach a mental health professional.

Aging is Cool & Aging Services Council is providing phone or online classes to combat loneliness and isolation of older adults.

The Arc of the Capital Area is offering online classes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Virtual Day Education Program is available Monday through Friday with classes in arts education, expressive arts education and active recreation.

BookSpring focuses on building literacy skills for children and the motivation to read. Their website offers free, diverse books for reading aloud activities for children.

National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) is offering online mental health classes, support groups and education.

Partners in Parenting is supporting Austin's new parents by offering online groups to connect parents of newborns and babies.

Sustainable Food Center has a listing of food access resources from farmers’ markets, CSA’s, and delivery options.

Texas Suicide Prevention Collaborative is a suicide prevention partnership with links to resources for those in the mental health community to understand what they can do to help prevent suicide during the Covid-19 crisis.

Workforce Solutions Capital Area has information for employers facing layoffs or closure, and for workers whose employment has been disrupted.

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