Summer Supply Drive

Juniors help the homeless in Austin

by Jharna Kamath, Assistant Editor

Austin’s homeless population hit an all-time high in 2020. With the hot Texas summer approaching, a group of LHS juniors decided to start a Summer Supply Drive from May 3 to May 21 in collaboration with the non-profit organization Austin Humanists at Work. Junior Josephine Vermeulen is one of the student leaders of the project, which started as a project to fulfill the IB CAS requirement. 

“Our group was bouncing ideas off each other and trying to figure out what to do and we came up with this idea because we really think that a lot of people, especially downtown and around the Austin area, really need help,” Vermeulen said. “We thought of collecting items like sunscreen and bottled water, and then we reached out to Austin Humanists organization, and they gave us a lot of ideas about what to collect for their drive.”

Austin Humanists at Work is a non-profit organization that holds monthly giveaways of basic necessities.

“They donate to about 200 people every month, and on a weekly basis too with care packages and things like that,” Vermeulen said. “They help those in need in the Austin area, especially the homeless community, to get them through the cold winter months and the hot summer months. They’ve been handing out care packages, and especially because of COVID they’ve been having to put stuff together instead of having people come up and grab things.”

The organization is flexible about how they receive donations.

“You’re able to donate online through PayPal and their Amazon wishlist, and also through other donations like tents, canned food, water, sunscreen and more,” Vermeulen said. “We really wanted to help them and collect a large amount of donations they can use for not just one month but several months:”

The Summer Supply Drive is currently in progress, so anyone can donate to help the cause.

“People can donate on our website and also in person to the LHS front office where there are boxes labeled ‘Summer Supply Drive,’” Vermeulen said. “We didn’t really set any specific goals for how much we want to raise. We just want to help supply Austin Humanists for more than one month. We’re going to be donating alongside them the last week of May helping them with assembling care packages.”

Click here to learn more about the Summer Supply Drive and here to learn more about Austin Humanists at Work.