By Ally Bolender
Web Content Contributor
Nearly 35% of San Marcos residents are living in poverty. In Hays County, 8,520 children are food insecure. This giving season, help the San Marcos community by providing a sense of security for those who need it most.
You don’t need a lot of money, you don’t need to devote too much time – you just need to open your heart.
Here are some opportunities to give back and benefit your community this giving season.
1. Don’t know where to start? Try Bobcat Build.
Bobcat Build at Texas State is an annual community service day where students can volunteer to give back to their community. Student volunteers help the San Marcos community and low income neighborhoods with outdoor projects such as landscaping, painting houses, playground cleanups, green space trash pickups and washing windows.
There is something for everyone at Bobcat Build. For more information on other ways you can help email the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org or call their office at (512)-245-4245. Bobcat Build has weekly meetings on Wednesday at 5 p.m. in LBJSC 3-10.1.
2. Donate food and hand-me-downs.
There are plenty of places where you can donate clothes, shoes, furniture and non perishable items you don’t need anymore. Clean out your closet and find some items that can bring other people joy! Here are some local places where you can drop off items:
- Hays County Food Bank: Donate food products conveniently at the H-E-B #1 (641 E. Hopkins). There is a barrel at the front of the store you can drop your donations off in.
- Hays-Caldwell Women’s Shelter: The Hays-Caldwell Women’s Center (HCWC) is a local non-profit who offers free and confidential services to women, men and children who are victims of family violence, dating violence, sexual assault and child abuse who live, work, or attend school in Hays and Caldwell Counties. Here is a list of the current items the shelter is in need of – from clothing to toiletries.
3. Make a difference in a child’s life.
The children that come from poverty start life at a disadvantage. You can volunteer to mentor these kids and give them a positive role model to look up to. At the Boys & Girls Club, you can provide a stable relationship and hopeful environment to a kiddo in need. Make a difference in the lives of youth and give back to your community!
4. Don’t eat dinner alone!
You can volunteer to help prepare and serve dinner at the Southside Community Center. This center provides housing, meals and medical assistance for San Marcos residents who need it. For more information on how to get involved, check out their website here.
In addition, there are many senior and nursing homes that are in need of extra hands in the kitchen. If you’re in San Marcos for Thanksgiving, helping prepare and serve dinner to the community will make a lot of people thankful!
5. Finally, do something you think will help.
I lived in Houston before coming to San Marcos. There were homeless people on the way to school, soccer practice and even the grocery store. When I was a kid, my dad and I would pick up a bunch of McDonald’s meals and drive around giving them to the homeless. It felt good to do something little that would put such a big smile on someone’s face.
If you don’t have the time to drive around San Marcos, try keeping spare water bottles, snacks, toiletries and gift cards in your car. It will come in handy when you pass someone who looks like they may need it.
As college students, we may be just scraping by. But we have the support system and access to achieve a higher education. Stay humble, Bobcats, and help someone who needs it the most this fall.
Featured image by Chandler Prude.