There is just so much to cover. Despite our efforts to increase our bag count to 275, we were *just* able to cover everyone in our service areas. If you are able, please visit AustinAHH.org/donate to help us get more supplies to pack more bags for this vulnerable community.
Much love to our lovely volunteers for both the pre-packing and the hybrid giveaway. Thanks to so many amazing donors out there, we were able to hand out our thermal underwear to 252 people (it was a huge hit!!!). Since we had to use tables for their distribution, we decided to also bring back coffee for this giveaway. By the time we had made it through the line, we were cleaned out of 9 gallons of it.
Where do you begin, really? The overwhelming support from so many individuals and organizations is truly humbling. Thanks to all of you, Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless has given out about 2,490 bags of aid in Austin and distributed 600 month-long bus passes to our friends and neighbors in 2020!!
First, we want to shout out our volunteers who came out to sort items this month, to tear open a 100+ packages of supplies, to bear the rain that began just as soon as we were ready to begin packing, and to push on through that event to the distribution the next day.
To all the folks who contributed through GoFundMe, our PayPal, Aron and Lilandra's Secular Election Watch Party, in-person, and through the Amazon wishlist, we give the strongest of salutes. Through your efforts, we are able to provide so much to our community where the need is growing all the time. The winter hats, gloves, and socks were a hit (ESPECIALLY the socks) with our recipients, and January's giveaway looks to be even larger (stay tuned).
For not only providing volunteers but also being a constant help with hygiene supplies, there to talk about the best way forward amidst the struggles, and genuinely being dedicated to making an impact in Austin, thank you I Support the Girls - Austin, of the national group I Support the Girls. Y'all are tireless in your dedication on so many fronts, so here's to y'all!!
For aiding with supplies of all kinds, as well as sponsoring the distribution of 200, 31-day bus passes every 3 months, we shout-out the Atheist Community Of Austin for making it happen. That transportation program has an impact that is difficult to imagine until you see it in the faces of those who need it most.
To the Freethinkers Association of Central Texas we say thank you for the sets of supplies, ranging from water and razors to applesauce and jello, that you contribute month after month, and we're excited for some plans that you, yourselves, may have in the works. Additional shout-outs include the Austin Humanists at Work for aiding us when the pandemic was just ramping up and many providers temporarily closed their doors, to Foundation Beyond Belief for providing support and our shirts that we walk proudly in, and to the Ending Community Homelessness Coalition (ECHO) for working tirelessly alongside providers like Caritas of Austin, LifeWorks Austin, and Foundation Communities
to change the circumstances of those whom we serve and keeping the community informed with data and care.
Though our Winter Drive is coming to a close, if you are able, please consider contributing to our ongoing efforts to directly impact our community by our PayPal (AustinAHH.org/donate) or by perusing our wishlist (AustinAHH.org/Amazon). Y'all are what make this group possible, month after month, we keep coming back with your help.
The next giveaway will be a hybrid affair: we will maintain the pre-packing on Saturday, January 2nd, but for the distribution on the 3rd, a few of our tables will return in order to effectively distribute a special item. More information about this procedure, as well as a call for higher than the COVID-normal amount of volunteers, will be coming soon.
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay amazing,
Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless
AustinAHH.org / Atheists.Help
*Thanks to Dixie for some of the pics added here