Statement by Mayor Adler on Veterans Day Parade

I am looking forward to honoring veterans this Veterans Day weekend by helping out however I can be helpful at the Central Texas Food Bank, which serves a large number of our local veteran community.

I will not be marching in the Congress Avenue parade because that parade will include groups carrying the Confederate flag. Veterans Day should only be about honoring United States Military Veterans. Symbols of racism, Civil War secession, and white supremacy should not be forgotten or erased, but they need to be remembered and studied in museums and classrooms not cheered and applauded in parades. Continue reading

On Veterans Day, Let’s Serve Those Who’ve Served Us

This Veterans Day, let’s serve those who have served us by contributing to the Central Texas Food Bank, writing thank you notes, and backing a blues concert.

How you can help our veterans:

To thank a veteran: Remember that you are thanking a veteran, not active-duty troops.

  1. Start with a salutation such as “Dear Hero” or “Dear Brave Veteran.”
  2. Express your thanks for their selfless service.
  3. Do not include the date or year, and do not include the address if a child is writing.
  4. Avoid politics and religion, though saying you pray for them is fine.
  5. Share a little about yourself: families, hobbies, work, school, pets, travel.
  6. Talk about life and interests: sports, weather, music, movies, food, books.
  7. Consider drawing or painting a picture if you can’t find the words.
  8. Put all loose letters and cards in a large envelope and ship to: Operation Thank You Note, c/o Steve Adler, Post Office Box 302854, Austin, TX 78703.

More tips on writing letters to veterans can be found here, and here, and here. An organization called Operation Gratitude has a great FAQ on writing letters to troops and veterans here. Just about every question you can imagine is answered. (If you want to donate $15 so Operation Gratitude can send a care package to the troops, click here.)

To feed veterans: Donate money to the Central Texas Food Bank by clicking here. Between now and the end of the year, every dollar you donate will be doubled by matching funds!

Or you can drop off canned food or pallets of fresh produce at the Central Texas Food Bank headquarters between 8:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M., Monday through Friday. For non-perishable food donations, an after-hours drop box is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just outside the front entrance. If you collect more than 300 pounds of food, they will pick it up.

The Central Texas Food Bank helps veterans in two ways:

  1. First, about a quarter of all the households served by the Central Texas Food Bank have someone at home who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces or as a member of the military reserve or National Guard.
  2. Second, the Central Texas Food Bank operates a monthly Mobile Food Bank at the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System’s Austin Outpatient Clinic.

To house homeless veterans: Go to the Red, White & Blues 512 concert on Sunday to raise money for Austin’s homeless veterans. The concert, which features Shinyribs, Carolyn Wonderland, Mingo Fishtrap, and Nakia & the Blues Grifters. It’s at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater on Sunday, November 12 between 4pm and 8:30pm.  Tickets are free, but you should donate here. Or you can get the VIP experience by clicking here.

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week: Nonprofits working to fight hunger and end homelessness in Austin.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Front Steps provides emergency shelter, affordable housing, recuperative medical care, supportive services, and promotes community awareness.
  • Salvation Army provides for basic needs, emergency shelter, emergency disaster services, rehabilitation, spiritual needs, and youth services without discrimination.
  • Caritas of Austin aims to prevent and end homelessness for people in Greater Austin by providing housing, food, education, employment, resettlement for refugees, and Veterans Assistance.
  • Austin ECHO provides dynamic, proactive leadership that engages policy makers and the community to end homelessness.
    • Donate to Austin ECHO or the Rehousing Austin Fund.
  • Casa Marianella provides emergency shelter, food, and full supportive services to immigrants experiencing homelessness.
  • Foundation for Homeless Austin provides meals, limited medical services, family rehousing, and rapid rehousing services for people experiencing homelessness in Austin.
  • Lifeworks provides housing, education, workforce development, and counselling to children and families experiencing homelessness.
  • Green Doors provides affordable housing, supportive services, meals, and education to people experiencing homelessness.
  • Central Texas Food Bank nourishes hungry people and leads the community in the fight against hunger.
  • Keep Austin Fed provides nutritious meals to hungry Austinites.
  • Meals on Wheels and More provides meals to home-bound Austinites.
  • Austin Empty Bowl Project raises funds for Meals on Wheels and More and the Central Texas Food Bank while raising awareness for hunger in Austin.
  • Austin Habitat for Humanity builds safe and stable homes for stronger communities in Austin.
  • House the Homeless educates and advocates around the issues of ending and preventing homelessness.
  • Mobile Loaves & Fishes provides meals, homes, and a community to people who are disabled and chronically homeless.
  • Saint Louise House provides housing and essential services to women with children who are experiencing homelessness.
  • Sustainable Food Center works to strengthen the local food system and improve access to nutritious, affordable food.
  • Farmshare Austin increases food access, teaches new farmers and preserves farmland.