The holiday season is a time for spreading joy, love, and kindness to the people around us and the communities that serve us. In Austin, there’s no shortage of opportunities to give back – that’s why they call it the heart of Texas. Be a part of something truly special this season through the local volunteering, donations, or sponsorship opportunities below.
Shop for the SAFE Shelves
SAFE – Stop Abuse For Everyone
Throughout the first half of December: Official Volunteer Schedule Coming Soon
SAFE works year-round to protect a just and safe community around us. This giving season, they’re looking to stock their shelves with gifts and everyday items for those moving into the shelter at the start of the new year. Donate your time through volunteering or give back in a tangible way through monetary donations or shopping for the shelves.
As a volunteer, you’ll help in donor drop-offs, gift organizing and staff pick-up. Stay tuned for opportunities coming soon.
Coats for Kids
The Junior League of Austin
Volunteer Registration: Oct. 10 – Dec. 7
Distribution Week: Nov. 30 – Dec. 8
Each year, the Junior League of Austin (JLA) works to provide over 30,000 winter coats to keep children in need warm across Central Texas. The JLA relies greatly on volunteers and donations – both monetary and physical to provide coats across the state. If you’re unable to volunteer, but want to donate – you can drop off new or gently used coats at any Jack Brown Cleaners location beginning Nov. 13, 2023. If you don’t have any spare coats lying around, remember, every $20 buys a new coat for a child who wouldn’t have one otherwise.
Join nearly 2,500 JLA and community volunteers this holiday season in acquisition, sorting and distribution of coats starting Nov. 13 and running through Dec. 6, 2023.
Hope for the Holidays
Texas Advocacy Project
Now through Early December
The Texas Advocacy Project is committed to empowering abuse survivors across Texas. Families transitioning homes with the support of the Texas Advocacy Project this holiday season are nominated by attorneys for ‘adoption’ to ensure every child has hope and happiness this holiday.
Volunteers will assist in gift wrapping and packaging of gifts for delivery at the Texas Advocacy Project office in Austin, TX.
Helping Hand Home
Offering year-round volunteer opportunities
Helping Hand Home is the oldest residential childcare agency in Travis County and has acted as a safe haven for healing children since 2001. Today, they offer various programs such as treatment and adoption initiatives to offer a helping hand to those in need. In addition to accepting donations, Helping Hand Home has individual and group volunteer opportunities Monday – Sunday.
To learn more about the volunteer opportunities or to apply to become a volunteer today, visit here.
12th Annual Key to the Cure
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Central Texas
Now accepting donations
Event: Friday, November 17, 2023 @ 7:30 PM
Looking to donate, but want to be a part of the action? The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Central Texas is hosting their 12th Annual Key to the Cure event at Fair Market this November. Enjoy food from celebrity chef Tim Love and join your local Austin community in the fight for a cure for cystic fibrosis.
Lakeway Police Department
Accepting donations: November 28th, 2023 @ Lakeway Police Station from 10 AM – 2 PM
Since 1992, Green Santa has been delivering toys to children across Lake Travis has grown to serving over 230 families and close to 700 children yearly. This Drive-thru toy donation event is sponsored by the Lakeway Police Department in benefit of families in your neighborhood. Requested gifts include sports equipment, dolls, blocks/ Legos, balls, puzzles, board games, cars/ trucks, gift cards, toddler toys and arts/ craft supplies.
Kelly Kline’s 19th Annual Pink Santa Toy Drive
November 1 – December 28th, 2023
Austin Pride is teaming up with Kelly Kline for the 19th annual Pink Santa Toy Drive with a mission to fill wish lists and spread joy across Austin this holiday season. The 2023 Donation Wishlist includes the Posada Esperenza House, The Settlement Home for Children and Travis County Sheriff’s Brown Santa.
For drop-off locations, donation suggestions and more information, visit their website here.
Toys for Tots
Marine Corps Reserve
Serving the 8 counties of Austin, Texas, each year Toys for Tots to help those that are less fortunate experience the joys of Christmas and the holiday season. Toys for Tots is proud to organize, coordinate and distribute Christmas cheer each year, but needs the help and generosity of the local communities who donate time and toys to the cause.
CASA of Travis County
Ongoing now - December
Want to donate, but don’t know what? CASA volunteers do that work for you. By taking monetary donations, CASA volunteers are able to work closely with the children they serve to determine the perfect gift each year for Christmas. By providing a one-time or recurring payment, you’re joining the holiday magic and giving a child the gift of joy this holiday season.
Wonders & Worries
Accepting donations year-round
Wonders & Worries provides support for children whose parents are diagnosed with an illness. They’re continually able to provide this care at no cost for families around Austin directly attributed to donations and contributes from individuals and corporations across the city. When donating, you’re given the option to stay informed on the work your supporting.
Donation amounts are attributed to various services provided by Wonders & Worries to participating families and are offered in one time only and recurring monthly contributions.
To donate or learn more information on how you can support Wonders & Worries efforts in the Austin area, visit here.
Abigail E. Keller Foundation
Accepting donations year-round
The Abigail E. Keller Foundation was founded in memory of Abbey and the gift she was throughout her journey of life. The foundations works to help the lives and families of medically fragile children. Working alongside clinics and local partners, the Abigail E. Keller foundation provides financial support for resources, programs, guidance and more.
Click here to donate today, or learn more about Abigail E. Keller and the foundation created in her honor.
Guardian Angel Society
Center for Child Protection
Accepting pledges year-round
The Guardian Angel Society is a group supporting The Center for Child Protection through philanthropic efforts that provide child victims an opportunity to receive the services needed to heal.
By making a pledge, you are making a commitment to donate at least $1,000 per year for a three-year membership. Over 1,000+ children and community members are impacted by just one year of Guardian Angel pledges.
Pledge your donation, make a contribution or learn more here.
Holiday Wishes - Turning Wishes into Smiles
Partnerships for Children
Ongoing now - December
Serving the entire Central Texas Community, Holiday Wishes works to help children connected to Child Protective Services create happy memories through donations, gifts, and sponsorships. Gifts will be sent to children and teens of all ages throughout the month of December to comfort a child in CPS. As a sponsor, Holiday Wishes is asking each child receives (3) gifts totaling $75 - $100.
To apply for sponsorship or learn more, visit here.
Holiday Giving – Adopt a Family
Austin Child Guidance Center
Donation Deadline: December 8, 2023
This holiday season, Austin Child Guidance Center is giving you the chance to make the holidays brighter for a family in your community. The Adopt a Family program was designed for individuals, families, and businesses to give back to their community through sponsorship during the most wonderful time of the year.
Using a matching system, ACGC allows you to choose the number of family member’s you’d like to sponsor to match you with a family in need. The donation you provide will go towards gift cards purchased and delivered by the ACGC team to empower families across Austin this December.
To learn more and complete a sponsorship form, visit here.
The Salvation Army
Registration: Open now
Gift purchasing: Starting early November 2023
Selected through an application process, each year families around Austin submit loved ones’ Christmas wish lists to The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree Adoption program. In addition to donation and volunteer opportunities, donors have the chance to adopt Angels submitted to fill an Angel Tree bag with gifts chosen for each child.
With the option to choose adopting more or less than ten Angels this Christmas, you’ll be given a child’s first name, interest and clothing sizes to purchase new toys and gifts. Gift drop offs will begin early December – to find drop off locations visit here.
To learn more about the adoption process, apply or donate, visit here.
Sponsor a Child – A Hope Pack
Accepting sponsorships year-round.
Give a Texas child entering the foster care system a fresh start by sponsoring Hope Packs – a backpack full of goodies sent with children on their first day in foster care. Partnering with toy sponsors, diaper banks, pajama programs and sponsors across the city, Carrying Hope can continue their mission to provide comfort to Central Texas children entering the foster care system.
While you’re able to specify a donation amount and can choose to make a one-time donation or recurring monthly donation to contribute to Hope Pack support, the most popular ways to donate are:
- The ‘Hope All Year’ Gift: $600.00
- The ‘Sibling of Hope’ Gift: $200.00
- The ‘Classic Hope’ Gift: $85.00
Whether you choose to sponsor a child or family, donate your time or money this holiday season, we hope it is surrounded by love and aglow with the warmth of cherished memories.