Special Olympics Texas
To kick off volunteer week, a small team of us helped organize t-shirts and supplies for the Special Olympics Texas (SOTX) at their new facility here in Austin. We spent most of our time in the warehouse (it has A/C, thankfully). There were lots of t-shirts from the Law Enforcement Torch Run from a few of the past years that needed to be sorted by size and then inventoried. Then we helped prep a shipment for one of the Texas area offices. It was amazing to see how much equipment that the Special Olympics Texas keeps for its events. Our contact there, Administrative Assistant – Development of SOTX, Abby, was incredibly appreciative for the help since they always have so much going on, she also provided a lot of great information about the organization and all that they do.
I found volunteering with the Special Olympics Texas to be rewarding because they do so much to bring joy to the lives of individuals with a wide range of disabilities. This volunteer opportunity was also well timed as I had just been following the 2015 International Special Olympics Games in LA.
Click to learn more about volunteering with Special Olympics Texas.
Wednesday, our team served in the Caritas Austin kitchen. Our team prepped and served food to over 250 homeless residents of Austin and washed a ton of dishes. Everyone at Caritas was so grateful and you could really see how the amazing kitchen staff members are so passionate about their work. There were about 8 volunteers plus 3 staff members and every single one was busy for the entire 4 hours that our team was there.
When Meghan, one of our Project Coordinators, asked the head chef what happens if they don’t have volunteers, she responded by saying that the people will still get food that day, even if it’s just her in the kitchen with no assistance. Hearing that and knowing how much she and their other staff members care about making sure their clients are fed no matter what was very touching! VP of Sales & Marketing, Mike, said the experience served as a reminder of the need for him and his whole family to continue supporting and volunteering with local organizations like this.
Homelessness isn’t restricted to just certain segments of our society, anyone can be affected and that point really struck home with our volunteer team, seeing such a cross section of people in need of a warm and healthy meal.
Click to learn more about volunteering at Caritas Austin.
On Thursday, our team walked dogs, fed cats/kittens and cuddled all animals to show them some love. The Animal Center has a serious need for volunteers – specifically to walk the larger dogs, so it was truly humbling to be told how great it was for us to be there to want to help! Austin Animal Center volunteers, Amanda and Mary Lou, were so appreciative to have help on a weekday.
This volunteer experience was rewarding for the team because the animals are so excited to receive the attention and they are all so sweet. Life at a shelter is stressful for these animals, even at a great facility like Austin Animal Center. Providing these dogs and cats with affection and physical exercise helps alleviate some of that. The joy and freedom they feel on these walks—whether they’re chasing lizards, jumping in pools or marking as many spots as possible—it’s clear that they really enjoy this time. A little bit of time makes a huge difference for them and really makes their day.
Our UX & Creative Director, Brenda, even signed up to be a volunteer monthly with them! She urges our office and all Austinites to, “JOIN ME! YAH!”
Click to learn more about volunteering at Austin Animal Center.
Johnson’s Backyard Garden
Our Friday team organized and packaged a wide variety of greens and peppers grown at this local organic garden. There are a surprising amount of different types of peppers grown locally (see our picture below) and many that chose this as their volunteer day location love that places like JBG provide Austin area residence access to fresh, organic produce.
The opportunity to see and learn about organic farming and to help out for a day was fun and rewarding for the team, plus being able to enjoy the outdoors on a workday was a bonus.
Click to learn more about volunteering at JBG.
All Charity Dynamics volunteers from throughout the week were touched to see how dedicated each nonprofit’s staff members are to their cause. We each loved being able to make a difference in our community and hope to add more volunteer time to each of our personal lives.