Just Back From the Convention Center

For those who have not volunteered at the Convention Center here is the story:

It is very easy to volunteer. All you need to do is go to the volunteer office located at 201 2nd Street (2nd and San Jacinto across from PF Changs) the hours are 7am-12am. Free parking is in the same building. The entrance is on the San Jacinto side. There are signs the whole way. You need to sign in at the office and you will be given an orange wrist band. Next you can enter the Convention Center through the volunteer entrance.

Once you enter there are info desks in the front. Once inside you are free to choose any task for any amount of time. You can walk around anywhere you want to go. If you go to the right you can help kids play computer games or adults with various computer questions. If you go to the left you can sort HUGE piles of clothes or help find sizes for people in need. The experience is a bit overwhelming. There are hundreds of beds in two huge areas. The men are happy to get any style of clothing. The women are interested in newer clothes. Everyone needs larger sizes. The items that they were very low on were: men’s pants sizes 32, 36, 38–newer is better. Men’s undershirts and coats–it was a bit chilly in the Center. Women’s larger size bras. New adult tennis shoes and socks. Nicer/new L & XL women’s and men’s cotten t-shirts. Also a little girl asked for PJ’s for her Mom and there was only one pair left. I assume it is very cold at night. As people asked for items I really had to struggle to find the items they needed but there were very happy to get anything. Two women did get into a bit of a fight over some colorful new plain cotton shirts I located. The Center also has a need for child care and activities for the kids. They also have a small library with books and magazines from the Austin Public Library.

I have heard from some folks that they do not need anymore volunteers. This is not true. They will need a lot of volunteers for a long time. I’m not sure where you can donate the items that they are very low on but somehow those items really need to get to the Center–fast. I plan to try and hand carry some of those items into the building tomorrow.

One more thing–it would really help the volunteers if you sort your donated clothes by men’s and women’s sizes and styles. We sort by long and short shirts, shorts, shoes, underware, socks, babies, boy’s and girl’s clothes.

Evening News Update: I did hear that they have many more volunteers on the weekend and really need more help M-F. I would suggest going early on Sat & Sun. The news said that they need items to help people move into their new homes– such as kitchen items, paper products, and diapers.

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