You Make it Happen

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Stay hungry

Feel the fire

Stay hungry

Don’t explode

Stay hungry

With desire

Stay hungry you’re alone

Twisted SIsterThis is the chorus to the epically cheesy 1984 hit by Twisted Sister, Stay Hungry . I have to confess that I have no idea what singer Dee Snider thought he was talking about, but I do know that for a large percentage of American families, his advice is shockingly redundant. According to one USDA study, as many as 1 out of every 7 American families faces food insecurity.

This means: you’re riding the bus, and the chorus of seven screaming kids behind you is driving you crazy as you attempt to concentrate on the important work you’re doing on your phone (updating facebook), and one of those kids may be getting off at the next stop to head home and find nothing in the fridge; just a freaked out mom, who doesn’t even have a couple of dollars for terrible, diabetes-inducing fast food. Actual HUNGER. Here in Austin.

So who’s going to fix this problem? Lawmakers continue to cut food assistance programs, sustainable incomes seem to be steadily receding, so that leaves… pretty much just you. Luckily for the rest of us, you are actually doing something about it.

So, I can imagine life getting pretty boring for superman. He wakes up in the fortress of solitude — yawn — goes downstairs, makes some coffee, realizes there’s no milk, flies thousands of miles to Randall’s, notices a robbery in progress, bends a bar of iron around the perpetrators so that that the little old lady can safely recover her purse, blows out the flames of a burning building, rescues a kitten from a tree, gets a 12 ounce carton of milk, flies home, and checks his email. Just another morning… for him.

In the same way, life at a non-profit can be a bit of a bore. Hunt for parking, walk past a bunch of folks in the lobby waiting for their number to be called, peek into a classroom of terrified looking students on their first day of English class, head for the food pantry to lift some boxes. Yeah, it feels nice to spend a day off volunteering, rather than just laying on the couch, but it’s nothing special.

Except that each of the students in the classroom you just passed is about to begin a journey which will end in the ability to feed his or her kids; to get a job doing something other than backbreaking labour for a fraction of the minimum wage. Except that over in the clinic an early case of pneumonia is about to get caught, a man is bursting into tears because the test results came back negative, and all those bored looking people staring up at the number sign in the lobby are waiting to get something HUGE: food. That means that when little junior comes home tonight, he won’t be that one in 7 who goes to bed hungry.

And who’s responsible? You. Actually YOU reading this, every single El Buen donor, volunteer and employee: you personally were part of feeding that kid; you literally had a hand in saving that life. If you are one of the many who keep these doors open, these shelves stocked, these students on their toes — than thank you. Good work y’all.

Help us dress the turkey & make hunger take a holiday!

Do you recognize hunger when you see it? For most of us, the answer is no. Yet, in Austin, one in five residents struggle to afford food. At El Buen Samaritano, we know how poverty and hunger can get in the way of learning and healthy living—and we don’t want that for any Austin family.

Join us in making hunger take a holiday this Thanksgiving. At El Buen Samaritano’s 24th Annual Hands for Hope Thanksgiving Event, more than 1,000 families will receive a Thanksgiving care package, which will include a frozen turkey, a pie and all the trimmings to prepare a Thanksgiving meal. They will also be directed to the appropriate community resources to receive the help they need beyond the holidays.

HERE’S WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP:

Request a Turkey Feather Poster

Raise awareness of hunger through the Turkey Feather Drive; encourage your friends and family to purchase a feather for $10, pin it to the turkey poster and help put food on the tables of underserved families in Austin. Request a turkey poster via communications@elbuen.org.

Spread the Word About the Turkey Feather Drive

Ask your friends and family at church and the work place to get involved and request more turkey posters via communications@elbuen.org. Last year, a countless amount of announcements were made in churches, schools and at work, making word of mouth one of the primary media people learned how they could help.

We’ve put together helpful announcement samples for your church, school or the work place. We encourage you to engage in conversation about Hands for Hope and hunger in Central Texas in the months leading up to and after the big day: November 22, 2014. Click here for samples in our toolkit!

Increase awareness of hunger online

Hunger is a real issue in Austin and it’s often misunderstood. Through Hands for Hope, a community of staff and volunteers increases awareness of hunger, gathers donations of the traditional foods served at Thanksgiving, and distributes them to underserved families in Austin for celebrations in their own homes.

Last year, social networks were one of the primary mediums people used to share information about Hands for Hope and were then directed to help. Below are helpful messages and tips to use on social networks for Hands for Hope. We encourage you to engage in conversation about Hands for Hope and hunger in Central Texas in the months leading up to and after the big day: November 22, 2014. Click here to find key messages and sample posts in our toolkit!

Ask your friends for help

Using traditional methods of communications such as email is a great way to supplement your social media efforts. Click here to find a template to email people in your networks and inspire them to become part of the effort.

Fall for El Buen this season!

Now that summer is over at El Buen, we’re excited to begin a new fall semester full of opportunities for the community to get involved in! We’re looking for compassionate volunteers to assist in our food pantry and lend a helping hand at this year’s Hands for Hope.

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FOOD PANTRY ASSISTANCE 

El Buen Samaritano’s Food Pantry is the key component to our basic needs program. Food Pantry volunteers help to sort food, stock pantry shelves and work directly with clients, helping them to assemble bags of healthy food and recipes for them to take home to their families. Volunteers are a friendly face to our clients as they are experiencing difficult times.

Schedule: Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday 9am – 12pm

HANDS FOR HOPE 2014 
El Buen Samaritano’s Hands for Hope is an annual community-wide event raising awareness of a serious issue happening in our own city: hunger. The event gathers donations of the traditional foods served during Thanksgiving and distributes them to Austin families in need for Thanksgiving celebrations in their own homes.
We’re looking for volunteers to help us register eligible families who will receive Thanksgiving baskets the Saturday before Thanksgiving. There are multiple registration dates, so we have plenty of opportunities for you to choose from!
Schedule:
  • Oct. 1-Nov. 13, Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays 9am – 12pm
  • Saturday, Nov. 8 SHIFT 1 from 8 am – 10:30am, SHIFT 2 from 10am – 12:30pm
  • Saturday, Nov. 15 SHIFT 1 from 8 am – 10:30am, SHIFT 2 from 10am – 12:30pm
Apply online today to join our amazing group of volunteers who make an impact on our community!