Round Rock Empty Bowls Festival Fighting Student Hunger In Round Rock

Round Rock Empty Bowls Festival Round Rock ISD Your Local Color.ComBack many years ago when my son was in high school here in Round Rock, I noticed that he was packing a really large lunch to take every day. He would pack extra sandwiches and load up on all sorts of other goodies to take with him. I thought that was a little unusual because he was a skinny kid, and he really didn’t eat a lot.

I asked him if he got especially hungry at school. He said he wasn’t packing the extra food for himself, but he did have a friend who was coming to school every day hungry. He was taking that extra food to feed his friend. [Read more…]

Our Neighbors At Lone Star Jedi Host Another Lightsaber Summit

Lone Star Jedi Lightsaber SummitEvery time that Lone Star Jedi hosts a Lightsaber Summit in Austin it is always an eyeful. Dressed up in their Jedi gear, Round Rock resident Marc Tucker and his team of fellow Jedi Knights, put on a great show. It isn’t just a show either. These guys are not only Star Wars enthusiasts, but they are also bighearted and intend to use their passion for Star Wars to help out the community they live in.

Certainly, Lone Star Jedi is a fan club for like-minded Star Wars devotees. One of their goals is to create an organization that provides local fans of these movies a chance to hang out together, swap stories, show off their intricate, handmade costumes, and engage in a little good-natured lightsaber combat. [Read more…]

The Round Rock Area Serving Center and Payless Shoes Partner To Provide Shoes 4 Kids

Round Rock Area Serving Center Payless Gives Shoes 4 KidsBen and Meredith moved to our community with their three children this summer to escape New England’s famously brutal winter weather. Ben, a native of Texas, and Meredith, born and raised in the frigid Northeast, were looking not only for warmer temperatures, but they were also hoping to take advantage of the even warmer local job market. Ben was able to find work, but Meredith, equipped with a college degree and years of management experience in the human services field, was less fortunate.

Her search has lasted six months so far, and although the loss of a second income has tightened the household budget, it has done nothing to Round Rock Area Serving Center Payless Gives Shoes 4 Kidsdampen her wonderful spirit. Please take a couple of minutes to listen to her beautiful story in the attached video.

I met this amazing mom and her three children last Friday at the Payless ShoesSource store here in Round Rock located at Louis Henna and I-35 where Payless Shoes and the Round Rock Area Serving Center were teaming up to provide free shoes for local children. [Read more…]

Round Rock Area Serving Center’s Community Garden Provides Healthy Organic Vegetables

ServingCenterLogoWhen your budget gets tight, a lot of fun stuff starts dropping off of your personal menu. Eating out is definitely one of those things that you figure out pretty fast is an unnecessary luxury. As your budget tightens, you notice a lot of other items falling off the list as well. Pretty soon you’re eating a lot of things that you would not normally eat just so you have something, anything, to put on the table. Your choices become less “healthy” as you try to make your diminishing budget stretch so that you can feed yourself and your family. It’s an old story that we are all familiar with, even if we aren’t the ones having to make that choice.

The Round Rock Area Serving Center is painfully aware of that problem. As a food pantry for five zip codes in and around Round Rock, they feed 1300 families per month. They constantly strive to do whatever they can to provide nutritious food for these folks, but they can only do so much. They have a budget too, and one of the items that the Serving Center has a challenge providing is fresh vegetables. [Read more…]

Hike For Hunger: The US Army And The Round Rock Police Department Team Up To Support The Round Rock Area Serving Center

US-ARMY_BIG“Giving back” is a phrase we hear a lot, and it is a very good thing. It comes from the heart and means that bounty is sharing with want. That is a great motivation to give, especially today with so many not able to make ends meet so well anymore. The US Army Recruiting Center here in Round Rock teamed up with the Round Rock Police Department and the Round Rock Area Serving Center to demonstrate the true meaning of that phrase.

Staff Sergeant Michael Wallace of Yazoo City, Mississippi, is the Assistant Center Commander at the US Army’s Round Rock Recruiting Center, and he was the spearhead for this good work. Sgt. Wallace decided that it would be a good idea to give back by collecting for the Serving Center’s food pantry.

Obviously, it would start by collecting non-perishable canned goods. Next, you need to get that food over to the Round Rock Area Serving Center. All of that makes sense, but Sgt. Wallace decided to get that done in a rather unconventional way. [Read more…]

Round Rock Serving Center Provides Computers For Kids

ServingCenterLogoI got my first personal computer as an adult in the early 1990s, and I thought I was on the cutting edge of business technology. I knew that these crazy things were going to be a big part of our future, and I didn’t want to miss out. It was just fine for those days. It had an amber monochrome monitor, a dot matrix printer, no windows, and I could only run one program at a time. For me it was okay, I guess. However, I later came to believe the real impact of that little Epson computer was not on me but on my four year old son, Alex. He was still a little guy then, and he would crawl up in my lap while I was working and just stare at the screen and its blinking curser. He just had to fiddle with it, so I would unplug the keyboard and he would bang on the keys. He seemed to be transfixed with interest.

This carried on to the next computer I got, but this one was a game changer for Alex. It was pretty cool, I guess. It had a color monitor, Windows 95, a mouse, and some games on board, but for Alex, now eight, his interest level in computers went through the roof. At just about the same time, Alex got introduced to computers at school. For him I think this was a perfect storm. His interest level in computers took off like a rocket, and it became a passion for him that would eventually direct his choice for a college degree and provide him with his first job after graduation. You can’t tell me that computers in school and at home are not important. I saw them change my son’s life.

It’s just a fact now that computers are as important to kids in school today as Big Chief note pads, crayons and number 2 pencils were in my day. Do schools still require that stuff anymore? Anyway, I saw it first hand while I was substitute teaching. Computers were in every class room and a part of almost every subject. Children who don’t have a computer at home, and there are many who don’t, are at a huge disadvantage. The kids in our schools who don’t have a computer at home are still required to do homework that requires a computer. What that means is that mom or dad has to find some place where they can get access to a computer for their kids. This task is usually accomplished someplace like the library, and done late in the evening or on the weekend. For some kids what this really means that the homework probably won’t get done at all. [Read more…]

Your Neighbors at the Round Rock Area Serving Center

RRServingCenterTimes are tough all over and nobody seems to know for sure when they are going to get any better. Things are generally good here in Williamson County, but there are still many people who live among us that are experiencing great need. There are many of our friends and neighbors who are desperate to find a way to feed and clothe their families.

“Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?” Ebenezer Scrooge cynically asked the men who entered his counting house the Christmas Eve he experienced his famous change of heart. “Both very busy, sir,” was the reply he got from the men who were there to collect for the poor. “Oh, I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course.” Ouch! We all know that Scrooge would later bitterly regret those cruel words.

I don’t believe that there are many Ebenezers in our community. However, it is possible that we can grow complacent because we are doing well and are comfortable knowing we are able to make ends meet with some to spare. It’s easy to ignore or even forget want that keeps to itself and hides from our sight. After all, we Americans are bootstrappers who can “get ‘er done.” If I can do it why can’t he? [Read more…]