Homeschool Service Project: Feeding Austin Area Hungry

Terri Sue

Love this lady!

For the past few years, our family has had the privilege of working with the Brighter Days Food Pantry which partners with Austin Area’s Texas Capital Food Bank to feed the hungry in our community. Our pantry is one of the few in our area that offer fresh produce, meat and dairy as well as dry and canned goods, hygiene products, cleaning products, fresh flowers, and more. The pantry started out helping only 30 families and has grown to serving more than 100 each week.

My teenagers have done much more work than I have – especially my eldest son who will be 18 next month. They unload the trucks and move boxes, pack tables full of organized groceries, stock freezers full of meat and dairy, lift gallons of milk into coolers and refrigerators, wipe off crates full of eggs and separate them into cartons, put fresh flowers in water vases, load sacks for the elderly, and much more. There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes at a food pantry to bring groceries and fresh foods to those in need.

Food Pantry Loading

Loading at the Texas ‘Capital Area Food Bank’ in Austin

The Brighter Days pantry serves the northern Austin area and helps families to be able to eat well while they are struggling financially. They pray for people, get to know them, and bless them tangibly. At Christmas they also do a toy drive. Our family has been blessed by all those who work at the pantry and we are so thankful for them. They have blessed us far and beyond the amount of service hours we have put in to help there. My teens have been doing about an hour or two of volunteer work there each week for a few years. What began as a volunteer effort for my teenagers as part of their homeschool experience has turned into a friendship experience that has helped our own family in times of need and difficulty and given us a very wonderful way to feel connected to the community and others serving.

Terri Sue Bettis was the girl with the dream for this pantry – a ministry to the community in Leander, Texas – and she prayed it into existence. Her willingness to step out on faith has resulted in her feeding over 34,000 people to date! Each time she has asked God for something bigger than she thought the pantry could afford, He has come through. A new trailer, a new cooler, a new grocery store contract (currently Sprouts, Costco, the local farmer’s market and Trader Joe’s all participate weekly to donate food that is given out… and Natural Grocers donates plastic sacks for the elderly who pick up each week). She has tirelessly offered her family’s time for up to three days each week doing work for the pantry. Her son, Brandon, graduating homeschool this year, has volunteered over 3,000 hours in mostly hard labor for this ministry.

Terri Sue and Ezra

Terri Sue and husband, Ezra

Side note: Her and her husband also help run a fantastic women’s and men’s retreat in the Texas Hill Country called Higher Ground that aims to help men and women find their purpose in Christ. Her entire family serves others with a majority of their time!

I’m so very thankful for her; that’s why I want to ask you to help me give back to the pantry through Recognize Good and Keep Austin Fed. Terri was recognized as a 2014 Volunteer Legend by them this past fall and is now in the running against 8 or 9 others to win $10,000 for the food pantry if she gets enough votes. They have told her she’s in the top 3 already!!! I am hoping you guys can help me push her to the finish line!

Texas Capital Area Food Bank in Austin

At the Capital Area Food Bank in Austin, the pantry’s main partner…

Can you offer ONE MOMENT to click a few things and vote for her?

You would be helping to Keep Austin Fed and blessing a very sweet friend of mine – and our family in return!

Here’s how you can vote (and you can vote once a day in every way):

Go to Terri’s page on the Recognize Good site, then click the VOTE button (you might have to register, but it only takes a moment)

Text BETTIS to (512) 807-0240

Send a message including BETTIS to the RecognizeGood Fan Page (DO NOT POST ON THEIR WALL)

Tweet BETTIS to @recognizegood with #SayThanksAustin (I’d love it if you recruited your friends, too!)

Send an email to with BETTIS in the subject line

If you have any questions, please let me know. I’ll gladly answer them. I can’t wait to see her beaming face when they hand her that check. She’s worked so hard and has such big dreams for her little food pantry that blesses so many people!

Thank you so much for your help!

Remember: VOTE EVERY DAY, EVERY WAY. The contest ends January 30th.