Dear friends of the Trinity Center,
As a board member and volunteer at Trinity Center, a non-profit that serves Austinites experiencing poverty and homelessness, I often find I leave the Center trying to put myself in the shoes of the neighbors that I met that day. This year, two of Trinity’s staff members had an opportunity to do just that. They participated in a “street retreat” organized by Mobile Loaves & Fishes to help those who have never been homeless better understand the experience. The reflections of one of Trinity’s staff on that experience bring home the importance of Trinity’s mission:
“A night on the concrete is what you would expect -very hard and exceedingly long. Not knowing the time made the sleepless night seem much longer than it was…My range of emotions that night was extreme. At first the bright stars and cool breeze felt oddly pleasant. Cars and people passed by without noticing me, and that invisibility was intriguing. Later in the night, I sat up fixated on how unfair it is that anybody is sleeping on a downtown sidewalk. I was there for only one night; the others weren’t so lucky. I wondered how they could sleep so peacefully and wake so cheerfully.”
On any given night in Austin, about 4,000 of our neighbors are without a home, including more than 400 families with children. Their experiences couldn’t be farther from the warmth and contentment that the fall season calls to mind for most of us.
When the weather starts to tum cooler, I look forward to kids trick-or-treating, cozy comfort foods, the festivities of Thanksgiving, Christmas and other traditions’ winter holidays, shorter days and curling up on the couch with a blanket and a good book. All of these things share one critical component: the comfort and blessings of a home. For our neighbors who are without a home, fall means something very different. Instead of cozy nights spent indoors, they brace for freeze night warnings and shelters and hoping to find donated coats in the right size for everyone in the family.
That’s why I became a supporter of Trinity Center -and I hope that you will join me in helping Trinity meet its mission of assisting our neighbors who are homeless.
Trinity accomplishes its work through the support and resources offered by the community, both in time and tithe. Each year more than 700 volunteers offer nearly 7,000 hours of service, enabling us to provide all the programs and meals that we offer with a paid staff of only four positions. The Center also provides important financial assistance and case-work services. Trinity’s case workers helped 49 people find housing last year. In order to continue to grow, we call upon you for contribution. It does not take much to make a big impact on our neighbors:
- $1,500 can provide 750 breakfasts and 300 lunches for a
- $5,000 pays for assistance obtaining 100 birth certificates and 200 Texas picture I.D. cards, critical to obtaining housing and
- Any amount that you can contribute gets us closer to meeting our annual budget.
As you look toward the holidays and count your end-of-year blessings this fall, I hope that you will join me in supporting Trinity Center as it seeks to bring some measure of comfort to our neighbors who are not so fortunate.
Wishing you all the warmth and joy of the season,
President, Trinity Center Board of Directors
Phone: (512) 610-3542
Fax: (512) 610-3510
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I would like to contribute: D $200 D $100 D $50 D $25 Other: $_______ per month.
Please send this back to: Trinity Center, 304 E. 7th Street. Austin, TX 78701