10 Ways to Give Back This Thanksgiving in Austin

The holidays are a special time. But unfortunately, they can also be a rough time for a lot of people in your community. Many families can’t spend the holidays together, some have to work, and other times people fall into ruts and celebrating the holidays is the last thing on their agenda. If you find yourself in a giving mood and you want to give back this holiday season, then you’ve come to the right article. Here are ten wonderful ways to give back this Thanksgiving, if you live in Austin!

Coats for Kids

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Coats for kids has been collecting and distributing coats to kids in need for over 30 years. With the help of donations and volunteers, they have handed out over 30,000 coats to help keep kids warm during the cold winter months. There are a few ways you can give back to this great organization, by donating gently used coats, giving a cash donation, or by volunteering at sorting and distribution day.

Get more information: www.jlaustin.org/coats

Central Texas Food Bank

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The Central Texas Food Bank will hold it’s 23rd annual Empty Bowl Project to help raise money for Meals on Wheels Central Texas’ Meals for Kids, and the Central Texas Food Bank to help sponsor the Kids Cafe Program. You and your family can come out and each purchase a bowl that has been made and donated by local artists. You not only get to add a new very unique bowl to your collection but you also get to try our some delicious soups that have been donated by local Austin restaurants and chefs. There are a few volunteer opportunities for this event if purchasing a ceramic bowl isn’t something you are into.

November 23th
Get more information: www.austinemptybowl.org

Animal Shelters

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It doesn’t have to be people that you help out either. You can also give a helping hand to the local pet shelters. You can donate pet food and even stop by to brighten up a puppy’s day. Contact your local animal shelters and ask what kind of volunteer opportunities they have or if there is anything you can donate, like new or gently used blankets, to help the animals make it through the cold winter months.

Get more information: www.austintexas.gov/department/aac

Operation Turkey

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Volunteering with Operation Turkey is another wonderful way to give back and spread a little love. You and your family can help hand deliver a nice warm Thanksgiving meal to the homeless and the less fortunate. There are a few ways for you to give back, you can assist in preparation, packaging, or handing out these meals.

November 28th, 8 – 12 p.m.
Get more information: www.operationturkey.com/volunteer/

Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade

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On November 30th you are invited to line Congress Ave. with your family to enjoy the Chuy’s Parade, this event also gives you an opportunity to give back by bringing an unopened, unwrapped toy. This great event has been taking place for over 30 years benefitting Operation Blue Santa, which helps less fortunate kids have gifts for Christmas.

November 30th, 11 a.m.
Get more information: www.chuysparade.com

Nursing Homes

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Visiting the elderly can be another great way to give back this Thanksgiving. Many people in nursing homes are alone for the holidays. You can spend some of your time talking with the residents or even making some gift baskets for them. There is no better way to spread love and give back than to lighten up a person’s day than to show that you care and that they are not alone.


Donating blood is a simple thing to do, but it can make a big difference in the lives of others. Some might find this unpleasant but this is a lifesaving gift and very beneficial to both donor and recipient. If you have ever thought about donating blood, contact the local blood bank to schedule an appointment, there’s no end to the benefits of donating blood for those who need it.

Get more information: weareblood.org

HEB Feast of Sharing

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Join HEB for its 30th Feast of Sharing event, this event provides the city of Austin with a nice Thanksgiving me, craft activities, music, and more. There are many volunteer opportunities for you to help make this event run smoothly and giving back to the community by providing your time.

November 26th, 4 – 8 p.m.
Get more information: volunteer.uwatx.org/special-event/a0M1H00000VuKHgUAN?

Thundercloud Subs Turkey Trot

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For 29 years the city of Austin partnered with THunderclouds Subs has but on this famous race, all proceeds go to Caritas of Austin, which helps the homeless. If you are a runner you can give back by signing up to run and your race fee will be your donation, if that’s not your thing there are many opportunities to help make the race run smoothly, prior and the day of the race.

November 30th
Get more information: runsignup.com/Race/Volunteer/TX/Austin/ThunderCloudSubsTurkeyTrot

Saint Louise House

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Partner up with this great organization that helps homeless women and their children get off the streets and into a stable home. During the holidays you and your family can sponsor a family to make their holidays a little brighter by participating in Home for the Holidays. Talk with your family and see how you would like to give back, like donating an artificial tree, collecting stocking stuffers, donating warm pajamas, and much more.

Get more information: saintlouisehouse.org/home-for-the-holidays/#1570735261231-222e0b9c-7cbc

There are a lot of ways that you can give back this holiday season, a lot of ways to show love and companionship throughout your community and even the world. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.


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