Community Helping Hands Supports Shelter Birthdays
Community Helping Hands is a 3,000-strong member group of people who want to help the surrounding community by aiding local Austin non-profit organizations. Each month, this group helps provide birthday gifts for the children living in our two family shelters, The Austin Center for Women and Children and The Rathgeber Center for Families. At the end of each month, we work with case managers to get a list of all the children whose birthdays fall within the next month. They also provide an idea of what interests each child has. Then, an Amazon wish list is created with all the gifts needed for the next month's birthday children.
These Amazon lists are then posted in the Community Helping Hands Facebook group, requesting their support in purchasing the items. We are amazed with this group and how quickly after posting all the items are already shown as purchased. We met with a few members of the group to thank them for their generosity, discuss how they got involved, and learn why they continue to choose to support The Salvation Army.
When we met with Debra and Jana from Community Helping Hands, they shared they got involved with Community Helping Hands at the beginning of the pandemic, because they saw a lot of need in the community and wanted to find a way to give back. Both members are very motivated to help others, especially children, because they are grateful for all the blessings they have received. When they first saw The Salvation Army birthday wish list, it caught their attention because it was such an easy way to give to others and bring joy to children in a hard situation. With a few clicks of a button on Amazon, they had provided birthday presents to children who otherwise would likely not receive any. They are always humbled by how little the children wish for.
They continue to seek out the birthday list opportunity each month, because they see the way their impact directly supports a child in need. They appreciate how The Salvation Army makes it easy to give and shares the impact of their efforts with the group by occasionally sending photos from our shelter birthday parties. We are grateful for the support we receive from Community Helping Hands that helps provide a sense of birthday normalcy for children living in shelter.
If you are interested in donating items to support families living in our shelters, check out our shelter wishlists.