AUSTIN (KXAN) — Thanksgiving has become synonymous with eating too much turkey while spending time with your family. This holiday, the Salvation Army wants you to think about helping fill the stomachs of the hungry in Austin.
At the downtown shelter on Wednesday, the Salvation Army will be feeding anyone who is in need of a hot meal. Each year hundreds of people experiencing homelessness stop by for food.
Jan Gunter, with the Salvation Army, joined us in the KXAN studio to discuss the ways the community can give back with their Red Kettle Campaign.
“When you think of homelessness you don’t often think about women and children,” said Gunter. “The reality is that 73 percent of those that the Salvation Army sheltered last year were women and children.”
Gunter says the shelter is seeing an increasing number of very young children and families in need of a place to stay. “It’s really kind of a hidden crisis of family homelessness and we’re working really hard to help shelter those people and provide them the support they need to get back on their feet,” said Gunter.
The Red Kettle Campaign enables the Salvation Army to serve tens of thousands of people every year. You can donate online, send a check, or when you see one of the red kettles, which will be all over Austin for the holiday season. All donations will stay local if you donate to the Austin Salvation Army which will help feed the hungry, clothe those that need it, and shelter people experiencing homelessness.
New this year, as a part of their initiative the Salvation Army is asking people to share their reason for donating to the Salvation Army using #redkettlereason.
“When you see those red kettle please dig deep, pull out those quarters but also pull out those bills and really think in terms of making a significant contribution,” said Gunter.