Social Action/Tikkun Olam

Tikkun Olam

Here at Agudas, we are dedicated to the principal of Tikkun Olam, or “Healing the World.” We offer many different opportunities to volunteer in the Austin Community. Please check out some of our current volunteer opportunities below.

CAA Members Feed The Homeless Each Week: Shortly after Agudas Achim moved to the Dell campus in 2000, a unique volunteer activity developed. It likely began through a conversation Neil Blumofe had with Larry Bethune, then pastor of University Baptist Church, an inclusive, liberal congregation located near UT at 22nd and San Antonio Street.

The conversation between the two religious leaders concerned the church’s mission to “minister to the needy of the inner city.” One of UBC’s ongoing programs, God’s Family Dinner, involved prepping and serving a creative hot dinner each week to Austin’s homeless in the church’s social hall.

For more than 13 years, Agudas Achim has provided the cooks who prepare a delicious hot evening meal every Thursday for more than 200 of Austin’s needy. Stanley Saikin is the CAA volunteer with the longest service—over 13 years. Other volunteers include Cindy and Art Klempner, Sandy and Marshall Sack, and Susan Rothman, a former CAA member who joined the crew after moving back to Austin.

Pixie and Mark Cohn volunteered at God’s Dinner regularly for nearly a decade, as did Sylvia Spertus and the late Buddy Freed. Lea Isgur, the CAA Social Action Committee chair, fills in as needed. Chef Mac McKaskle plans the meals and supports the CAA crew.

Members of Austin congregations serve the gourmet hot meal that evening. Other churches prepare meals for the poor and homeless once or twice yearly, mainly for Thanksgiving and Christmas. University Baptist Church reaches them 50 times a year!

Help others while enjoying the comraderie of other Agudas Achim members.
Volunteers who can regularly commit 2-3 hours to prepare dinner on Thursday afternoons are needed, as are additional volunteers to help serve the early evening meal.

For more information, contact Sandy or Marshall Sack at (512) 371-1999.

Agudas Blue Barrel Project

SAFE (Stop Abuse for Everyone): The Austin Children’s Shelter and SafePlace have merged and are now SAFE. They provide shelter and counseling to primarily women and children who have suffered sexual assault and exploitation, child abuse or domestic violence. SAFE is currently having a drive to collect toiletries for their clients. Let’s fill the blue barrel with regular sized bottles of shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, baby wipes, body soap, deodorant, feminine care products, lotion, African-American hair care products, combs, brushes, razors, shaving cream and face wash. Click here for more information about SAFE.
 
Refugees: For now, we are only taking donations of HOUSEWARES due to space limitations. If you have space to store donated items or if you have a fairly large shed that can be used to store donations on the Murchison Middle School campus, please let Lea Isgur know (leaisgur@eartlink.net or 512-740-2187).
Did you know Agudas is a collection point for school supplies? Note if there is a particular organization or school that you’d like to contribute to, and we’ll try to accommodate. Otherwise, supplies will likely go to Foundation Communities or a similar type of non-profit.
If you have an organization to nominate to receive donations through Agudas’ blue barrel collections program, please let Lea Isgur know.

Other Tikkun Olam Opportunities

Drive a Senior: West Austin Drive a Senior is looking for volunteers to help transport individuals to doctor appointments, grocery stores, etc. If you have any time at all, they would appreciate any help they can get. Whether it be several times a week or just once a year, the need for drivers is great. If you drive and have a few hours or so periodically please sign up to volunteer!  If you have questions or to volunteer, please contact Steve Chodorow at ad_1nc@sbcglobal.net or Terry Milman at tcomingin@aol.com