On Sunday, we launch the 18th Season for Caring program, which highlights the needs of families in our community and then helps hundreds of others through donations to local nonprofit agencies.
There are so many ways for you to get involved. Here’s our list of 10.
- Make a monetary donation. Go to http://community.statesman.com/donate.php or find the coupon in the paper each day. You can also just mail a check: Attention: Season for Caring, P.O. Box 50066, Austin, TX 78763-0066. The money you give will be used all year for families served by our 12 nonprofit agencies for things like rent, utilities, medications, bus passe and groceries. You can designate which family/agency you want your funds to go to or leave it undesignated and it will be divided up evenly to all 12 agencies. Don’t forget, if you have a workplace that matches, to have them match your Season for Caring donation.
Read the featured family’s wish lists and give an item on the wish lists. All of the featured families’ lists are on statesman.com/seasonforcaring on the left side. Each family’s original story has the list at the bottom. Once you find the family and the item you want to give, contact that family’s agency. The number is at the bottom of the wish list. The agency will make arrangements with you to receive that item.
- Clean out your closets and give a gently used item to a family. We almost hesitate to put this one in there because sometimes readers don’t understand what “gently used” means. It means the couch that has been in your living room that you hardly ever sit on and neither does the dog. It means the set of pots and pans you got for Christmas two years ago that you’ve only used once and realized you already had a great set of pots and pans. It means the computer that still works well but you’ve upgraded to a new one. It does not mean the stained couch with the rips in it or the crusty pots or the broken computer. If you have a gently used item that fits a family’s wish list, call the agency to donate it.
- Have your community group adopt a family. Are you a scout leader? A Sunday school or regular school teacher? Do you have a bunco group? Or a workout group? Ask whomever you are hanging with to give gifts to a featured family instead or in addition to gifts to each other.
- Host an event to give to Season for Caring. Ask your friends and family to give a gift to a Season for Caring family or make a donation instead of giving a hostess gift. We’ve also had kids hold bake sales to give to families.
- Have your family adopt a family. Kids get so wrapped up in what they are getting. Let’s get them wrapped up in what they are giving.
- Ask your workplace to give an item on a wish list or adopt a family. We have a lot of needs for services such as home repairs, medical and psychological treatments, children and adult tutoring, legal expertise especially in immigration, and more. We also need things like furniture, clothing, vehicles, housing that businesses can donate. Your workplace also can make Season for Caring part of the holidays by adopting a family, collecting gifts on the wish list and distributing them to the family through the agency.
- Give of your time. Many of our families need assistance with things like English tutoring that take a more one-on-one commitment. Agencies also need volunteers to help with picking up and delivering donations. Find your favorite agency from our 12 and ask them how you can help: Any Baby Can, Breast Cancer Resource Center, CareBox Program, Care Communities, Caritas, Family Eldercare, Foundation Communities, Hospice Austin, IACT, LifeWorks, SAFE Austin and Wonders & Worries.
- Attend a Season for Caring event. P. Terry’s is once again donating all of its profits from Dec. 10 to Season for Caring. You now have 14 Austin-area locations to dine, morning, noon and night. Last year, P. Terry’s raised more than $30,000 from this one day. They can’t do it without you.
For the Second year, the Driskill Hotel is offering an old-fashioned cookie swap on 1-3 p.m. Dec. 11 called Cookies for Caring. Attend the event and get cookies from Austin’s pastry chefs to put in your tin. All of the profits from the $35 tin will go to Season for Caring. Register here.
- Share Season for Caring on social media. Let your friends and followers know how you are participating in Season for Caring by posting it. Share you posts #seasonforcaring on Instagram and Twitter and on Facebook. You can also find Season for Caring on Facebook and Twitter and under the main Statesman Instagram account. Share our posts with your friends and follower to encourage others to give.
Make this a Season for Caring.