Austin community lends helping hand during COVID-19 outbreak

In a time where the number of coronavirus cases continues to go up, many members of the Central Texas community are lending a hand to help those who need it the most during these times.

One by one, cars are pulled up to Travis Heights Christian Outreach Church and left with a trunk full of food.

“We're just serving and blessing, serving good healthy food options for those who have food insecurity,” said Pastor Brian Rawson.

The church has been handing out food for a long time, but there has been a higher demand ever since the outbreak of COVID-19. “A lot of folks are coming through this last week that have just recently lost their jobs so we're seeing a lot of new faces,” said Pastor Rawson.

The demand for food has increased by 50 percent, but their supply of food has also gone down by 50%. The church relies on donations.

LIST: Central Texas schools, colleges, universities coronavirus resources

“We feed about right now we're feeding roughly 250 to 300 families every day we're open,” he said.

To find out when the church is holding its food pantry, click here.

Even in these tough times, they don't plan on stopping anytime soon.

“We're still kind of building the plane while we're flying it to some degree because it changes every day. Some of the restrictions and things and novice, we want to keep people as healthy as we can, but food is essential,” said Aaron Foor, missions pastor for Riverbend Church.

To donate or volunteer, click here. 

In Williamson County, Edward Tydings with EMS loaded up its most recent donations from Round Rock ISD.

“We received another large shipment of supplies from RRISD and that combines with the stuff that we've received from Hutto and Georgetown ISD,” said Tydings.

Round Rock ISD donated 6,500 facemasks and 6,000 pairs of gloves to protect WilCo EMS during this time.

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“One of the big stresses on our responders right now is the worries about taking COVID home to their families, and this equipment is going to help alleviate a lot of that stress because now, our responders don't have to worry about do we have enough,” he said.

Blood organizations are also struggling during this time.

So far, blood donation numbers have drastically dropped ever since COVID-19 precautions have ramped up. In that case, TEXSAR will be holding various blood drives by appointment only.

To book your appointment for the next blood drive, click here. 

“We don't know where we're going to be in the coming weeks and there's always a need for blood,” said Shannon Smith with TEXSAR.



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