Thankful is the word, this season. It goes hand in hand with giving, blessing, and gratitude. Being days away from Thanksgiving always brings these words to heart. It is the time of year when the harvest has been brought in and all the hours of hard work have come to fruition. As we sit before the table we give thanks for things like our health, and a full fridge. We hold hands around the table with friends and family. We reminisce of the year’s adventures and losses. As we think of our fortunes we often think of those whose year didn’t bring them great bounty. Sometimes, it is even us whom are lacking the multitude.
In our busy lives, it can be easy to forget to take an hour or two and lend that helping hand. In honor of the season, and setting a better example for ourselves and those young eyes that watch us I have researched a few ways to contribute. These also work as great resources for those who need that help.
To start, let’s list Round Rock and work our way North through Belton, Temple, Killeen, and Waco. Though I have found a food pantry in several of the larger cities in our area, there are so many more! The blessing of Southern hospitality and giving runs deep here.
Round Rock Area Serving Center
Phone number: (512)244-2431 rrasc.org
Helping Hands Ministry-Belton
Phone number: (254)939-7355 helpinghandsbelton.org
Love of Christ Pantry-Temple
Phone number: (254)774-8411
Harker Heights Food Center
Phone number: (254)220-3602 Hhfoodcenter.net
Food Care Center- Killeen
Phone Number: (254)554-3400
Phone Number: (254)722-9517 Shepherdsheartpantry.org
Almost all of these places appreciate donations of food, toiletries, baby diapers and wipes, and other household and personal items. Obviously many of us are pressed for time and any monetary donation can be put to great use. Many of them have access to better purchase deals than we can access for food. If you have the time to spend, volunteering can be the greatest contribution you can offer. As the saying goes, many hands make light work.
If you find yourself not being drawn to the food banks, there are many other options for you to contribute. Many schools appreciate donations for their classrooms from hand soap to paying for some of the students meal accounts which are past due. Our local shelters and rescues can always use help from volunteers to pet food. Even strolling your local park with a trash bag to clean up litter that has been blown around by the wind. Some of the assisted living homes accept volunteers for anything from a helping hand, to someone to sit and chat with someone feeling lonely. There are also opportunities to volunteer or donate with the local VA. Though The Salvation Army is better known for ringing bells later in the holiday season, they do accept donations all year. This holds true for a personal favorite of mine, Toys for Tots, as well.
If you are thinking to yourself that you couldn’t possibly contribute enough to justify the effort, I promise you can make a huge difference. Even just donating $5 of food when you check out at the grocery store can make a big impact.
While you are going about your good deeds remember to share with the kids. Little kids can help bag cans of food, and older kids can volunteer alongside you. Teaching from an early age how to share and take care of others is a lifelong lesson. As a kid I recall shopping with my 4H group to make the holidays special for a family including special gifts for the kids and things to make a yummy dinner.