Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season

By Katerina Cotroneo – December 21, 2022

Giving is the reason for the season, right? Most of us know why we celebrate this jolly holiday — it’s not necessarily to spoil one another with materialistic means but rather to spread kindness and love to ensure that as many Austinites as possible can have a great holiday season, too. There’s no gift that fills you up as much as helping one another, so here are all the ways you can do just that this year!

Keep Austin Beautiful

Guy with trash.

Photo courtesy of Keep Austin Beautiful

Keep Austin Beautiful is a humbling and necessary experience. It makes you cherish our lovely city, and you go to bed at night knowing you helped keep our 512 a little less polluted. If everyone partook in a trash pickup day, perhaps we needn’t do it again! If you have little kiddos and want to teach them how to give back, this may be a good introduction to giving (obviously still keeping a watchful eye on them and making sure they’re gloved up). You can check out their website for dates and information! 

Operation Blue Santa

Operation Blue Santa

Photo courtesy of Operation Blue Santa

Fitting the season’s theme well, the Austin Police Department is celebrating its 50th year of putting smiles on children’s faces by feeding them and providing them with toys to join in on the holiday fun! In 2021, they served 4,833 families and 12,731 kids. There are plenty of ways to get involved — you can adopt a family, donate toys or physically volunteer! Spread the joy this season by lending a hand to Austin’s children and families.

Texas Advocacy Project

Texas Advocacy Project (TAP) provides free legal and social services to survivors of domestic and dating abuse, sexual assault, stalking, child abuse and human trafficking across Texas. In 2021 alone, TAP served 5,042 clients, impacting the lives of 10,891 survivors and their children. In addition to free legal services, TAP also provides free training and education to thousands of individuals across Texas. Check out their website to donate or learn more about their mission.


Save Muny

History is integral to who we are, as a city and as people. If you know anything about the Lions Municipal Golf Course, you know that it was one of the first ones in the South to desegregate! The Muny Conservancy is trying to save this gorgeous historical greenery from being built on and destroyed forever. Take some time to read about it, and give monetarily if you’re feeling charitable. 

Cheyanna’s Champions 4 Children

Cheyanna’s Champions 4 Children (CC4C) is for children with rare and undiagnosed diseases. CC4C helps them financially and gives them a support system as well as a fighting chance to survive. With over 100 children served already, they are consistently uniting the community and doing fundraisers to help make sure these kids and families aren’t overwhelmed with the medical costs as well as ensure that the volunteers can put the kids and their families as their top priority. 

No matter how, if or when you celebrate this holiday season, most of us can all agree that giving back to our community is something worth doing year-round, not just around the holidays. Either way, spread joy and cheer this season! Of course, money moves mountains for a majority of these charities, and even a dollar a person will go a long way, but whether you give financially or through physical labor, know that it will surely make somebody’s holiday season a joyous one.

About the Author

Katerina smiling.

Katerina Cotroneo is an author and professional photographer who uses her marketing background and talent behind the camera and has been published in AFM, Authentic Texas, Waterways Magazine, Tribeza and more. Cotroneo captures idiosyncratic stories through her lens and portrays diverse perspectives in her writing.


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