Recent news that the Trump administration has proposed cutting funding to programs that serve the nation’s elderly like Meals on Wheels has left communities wondering what they can do to show support for service organizations.
As Travis County’s senior population continues to grow, nonprofits who serve them will face a double-edged challenge if federal funds are cut. These organizations will need more volunteers and donors than ever.
While Meals on Wheels Central Texas remains a popular favorite volunteer opportunity (even Austin’s resident Hollywood star Matthew McConaughey volunteers for meal delivery), there are many other ways to help our local senior, disabled and home-bound neighbors. Here’s a list of current and ongoing opportunities:
AGE of Central Texas – AGE serves older adults and the people who care for them. There are a vast array of opportunities here, from volunteering in adult day health centers, supporting caregiver classes, help set-up and administer brain fitness classes and sort and repair donated health and medical equipment. You can also help seniors discover and explore the Internet! Learn more here.
Family Eldercare – Family Eldercare supports the elderly and their caregivers in their homes, assisted living communities and nursing homes. They’re always looking for volunteers to be a guardianship advocate who checks in on a senior and makes sure they’re receiving the attention and services they need. They also need volunteers to help seniors manage their finances. And Family Eldercare offers a unique volunteer service that allows you to volunteer by phone: You can spend as little as an hour or two per month sharing stories and talking to a senior. Learn more here.
Texas Ramp Project – Simply put, the Texas Ramp Project enlists volunteers to build ramps for disabled and elderly people who can’t afford to buy one. Almost all ramps built across the state are the work of volunteers. This is a great group project that can take a few hours in the morning. Volunteers bring their own tools but all supplies for the ramp are provided. Learn more here.
Drive-a-Senior – Connects volunteer drivers with seniors in their neighborhood to provide transportation to places like grocery stores and doctors appointments. There’s no minimum time commitment, you volunteer to drive according to your schedule and you can set up rides over the phone. You can also sign up to help with minor home repairs like changing light bulbs and minor yard work like raking leaves. Learn more here.
Meals on Wheels Central Texas – Just about every volunteer opportunity to serve seniors and home-bound and disabled people is offered at MOWAM. It’s always a good place to start when you’re looking to help this community. Remember that MOWAM serves Austin and the surrounding areas as well. Learn more here.