Capital Area Food Bank!

H2O volunteers went out to one of Austin’s local food banks, Capital Area Food Bank (or CAFB for short), and sorted through over 5000 pounds of food to be distributed to the community. This food gets dispersed to various charitable organizations, including food pantries that we frequent such as Micah 6. H2O gets involved in every step of relieving hunger in Austin.

09_13_14 CAFB (2)

UUMC on 09/06/14

H2O had a great time at University United Methodist Church feeding and clothing the local homeless population. We made brown bag lunches (their kitchen will be ready for hot meals soon!) and distributed clothing from their clothing pantry, Fig Leaf. Everyone was very appreciative of our contributions. It’s so rewarding to directly help those who need it the most.

09_06_14 UUMC

2W Recap: CAFB and UUMC

Welcome back to a new semester! A new semester, a new year, new chances and new changes. We’re excited to be back and to have all of you back safe from the holidays (and those terrible road conditions those two days).

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We started the semester off on 1/25 at Capital Area Food Bank on S Congress. First, we’d like to thank our drivers–Meredith, Lauren, and Jason–for providing our volunteers a ride to the location on time. Second, we’d like to thank all of our new volunteers and first-time CAFB-goers for volunteering with us. We wouldn’t have been able to sort enough food and drinks for over 5000 meals if it wasn’t for all of you! 

On 2/01, we had our second event of the semester near-campus at the University United Methodist Church. Our volunteers did a variety of jobs ranging from making three sorts of sandwiches to stuffing brown bags to passing out drinks to being hospitable and sociable among the crowd we served. We were able to make over 200 bags, and even more sandwiches.

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Last General Meeting of 2013

Good day, H2O-ers! It’s been a busy, fun-filled, volunteering semester. With our last event of 2013 means our last general meeting of 2013 as well. On 12/15, Service Coordinator Katie Ray led the meeting, recapping the past two weeks, briefing us on local news, and opening the floor to members for suggestions and critiques.

Those of us who have volunteered with Genesis Gardens (twice this semester) will find the topic of this video very familiar. The Community First village planned by Mobile Loaves & Fishes hopes to cultivate a community-centric area of affordable housing for the homeless in Austin by providing different means of paying for lodging and food. As the newscaster says, this has been a controversial idea, and during the meeting Katie led us through poignant topics of discussion.

Just the video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyVaPKzHITI

KVUE news article and video:  http://www.kvue.com/news/local/First-look-at-new-community-for-Austins–231502631.html

Based on your feedback, we hope to volunteer at Genesis Gardens this coming semester. We are now setting up event days with several of the regular non-profits as well as branching out as we have done with GG this semester. We are working on changing a few things with our organization as well to make volunteering with us more available and possible.

We thank all of those who were able to attend and help us make our organization better! Look out for our e-mail next semester about our first meeting and event!

Have a safe and cheerful holiday season.

2W Recap: Genesis Gardens and Brown Santa Volunteering

A few things before we begin:

  • Our last volunteering event of the semester (and 2013) was Saturday (11/23)
  • Our last meeting was Monday (11/25)
  • Join our mailing list to be notified of our events next semester!

On 11/16, several students visited Genesis Gardens, a subset of Mobile Loaves & Fishes that hopes to cultivate an empowered community of the neighborly and the homeless. As an organization, we volunteer to come and help them develop their envisioned community, which has recently been featured in local news (discussed in a future post). Unfortunately,  no photos of this event are available. Please look at older events to see some earlier-in-the-semester pictures of our volunteers working hard!

On 11/23, a handful of us helped out the Travis County Sheriff’s Office with their Brown Santa program.

This event was hosted in a warehouse, and the many toys and books and stuffed animals and wrapping paper made it seem like Santa’s Workshop.  Groups of 2-3 were given a family who applied for the program and who listed children under 14 in the household. We went through each name and chose and wrapped for each child at least four gifts! Some family boxes were filled to the brim with gifts! Best of all, each box included a gift that the whole family could enjoy together.

Every year, the Sheriff’s Office hosts this project starting in November, and though they have closed wrapping volunteering sign-ups, they are now loading delivery trucks and sending out the gifts.

Visit their site here to find out more and put it on your calendar for next year!

Unfortunately, this was our last event of the semester (and the 2013 year). To those of us graduating, congratulations. To those of us who are taking finals, good luck! To those of us who want to volunteer some more, join our mailing list! Visit our facebook page! Join our facebook group! We’ll start right back up next semester!

3W Recap: Hope Fest, UUMC, Micah 6 Volunteering

(Oof. A general warning to procrastinators:  it’s a slippery slope.)

Greetings, readers! The following is a long post filled with a plethora of photos from the past few weeks. Specifically, we’ll be talking about HopeFest (10/26), UUMC (11/02), and Micah 6 (11/09). The details may not be all there, but hopefully a picture really is worth a thousand words. Thanks to all of those who contributed to this post and helped make this happen. And thanks to all the volunteers who have been to these events and the past two General Meetings (which will not be recapped).

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First off, HopeFest. H2O volunteered at HopeFest’s Day of Celebration, hosted locally by Reagan High School. This day of celebration comes during their

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Affordable Housing Bonds Vote Passed

During our third and fourth General Meetings, one of the topics we discussed was the November 2013 elections and the Keep Austin Affordable campaign we mentioned at the beginning of the semester. Since these meetings fell right before and after the elections, we pushed this topic again, and now that the results are in, we’d like to share them with you.

With a vote of about 61% to 39%, about 14,000 marginal difference, the $65 million affordable housing bond measure was passed by voters. This measure will help build, renovate, and repair housing in the Austin area for renting or sale at lower rates to accommodate Austin’s large low-income population.

This comes a year after a similar measure was rejected by the Austin population, which many sources attribute to a lack of a serious campaign. Well, this year proved otherwise.

To read more about this issue, visit these links:

There’s still a little bit more left to do, but we’ll keep you posted. The city will ratify the results on Nov. 18.