This year's Secular Week of Action events started off with a huge downpour , but a handful of volunteers were able to make it work . All together, we packed up 257 plastic bags to add to our other 35 backpacks of items to make a total of roughly 1,168 meals for our community.
Thanks to the contribution of the Atheist Community Of Austin and a small assist from Foundation Beyond Belief and individual donors, we also distributed 215, 31-day bus passes throughout 3 of our locales. Through all the appreciation we received from our recipients (and sometimes a pleasant shock once they realize what they now have in their hands), we received comments such as "Nobody does stuff like this" and similar-toned responses; it lets us know of the immense value of this program, and we'd love to expand it further as we move forward.
No post would be complete without a good word to our friends at I Support the Girls - Austin for providing hygiene supplies for our giveaway and helping in the distribution. Also, a shout-out to Freethinkers Association of Central Texas for aiding with toiletry items this time around.
We also took care of special requests: at our 3rd locale (Riverside), a young lady needed large amounts of dog food and drinking water, so a volunteer very kindly went to grab that for her. Similarly, at the 4th locale (290), we went to grab several gallons of drinking water, dog food, and firewood & charcoal for their self-made fire pit. They said they had to continuously scrounge for twigs and sticks to burn, so we hope over 40 pounds of supplies can help in that effort.
In the shadow of Prop B passing, we frequently received some heartbreaking questions like "Where will I go?" and "How long until they come take my stuff?" We will be communicating with our contacts at the city and ECHO to pull together more information surrounding the change so we can relay it to our community.
We will remain committed to serving regardless of what happens!