With Veterans Day around the corner, we want to take a moment to shine the spotlight on a special community event, now in it’s third year, and one Caritas of Austin volunteer who makes it possible!
Karen Ingram’s passion for ending homelessness began when a friend invited her to volunteer to serve a special Thanksgiving meal in our Community Kitchen. This initial meal quickly became a commitment to serving weekly, leading her to build relationships with the diners who eat regularly at Caritas of Austin.
“I was shocked to learn that there were men and women who had dedicated their lives to protecting our freedoms who were now living on the streets,” says Karen. After learning about Austin’s collaborative effort to end homelessness for veterans in our community, she felt inspired to do something to help. “Having been involved with many nonprofits as both a volunteer and a donor, the idea of groups working together towards a common goal was exciting,” she says.
Karen and a small group of friends got together and discussed the reality of veteran homelessness in Austin and the innovative collaboration of city leaders, the real estate community, and local service providers like Caritas of Austin.
Together, they decided to raise awareness and financial support for the nonprofits working together to serve veterans experiencing homelessness. “Knowing that there are few better ways to bring people together than through a fun night of fantastic music, Red, White & Blues 512 | House Our Heroes Music Festival was born,” says Karen.
This year’s Red, White & Blues 512 | House Our Heroes Music Festival is on Sunday, November 11th from 4:00-8:00 PM at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater. The festival will host four incredibly high energy, ‘can’t stop dancing’ kinds of bands on stage: The Nightowls, Black Pumas, Shinyribs and Samantha Fish. Tickets are $20 for General Admission (free for veterans), and $150 for a VIP experience. For more details and ticket information, click here. This is the perfect way to spend a Sunday evening over Veterans Weekend! Let’s honor our veterans, together!
When asked what she wished people knew about Caritas of Austin, Karen shared that “Everyone has a story. Everyone deserves dignity. Everyone needs love. Caritas honors these tenets in the thing they do. They are making a huge difference in our community, and in the lives of those that need it most.”