Days of Care (D.O.C.) Drive

New Era, Same Heart

New Era

The Austin Apartment Association was thrilled to unveil the transformation of our annual Doc & Gayle Young Food Drive into the Days of Care (D.O.C.) Drive in 2023. This rebranding came with a renewed dedication to better meet the needs of our nonprofit partners and the communities they serve.

After meeting this Summer with our Food Drive partners, the Housing Authority for the City of Austin (HACA), the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services Rainbow Room, SAFE Alliance, and Foundation Communities, it was attested that the wants and needs of their community recipients have also changed.

Hence, our focus shifted from physical food packs to empowering them with other food support such as grocery gift cards, and restaurant gift cards. 

Our Community Service Committee also spoke with several smaller-sized county food banks and realized the dire need for essential household items such as toilet paper, laundry detergent, dish soap, and many other vital necessities for a home that are typically overlooked during a holiday season drive.

Essential items such as paper towels, paper plates, toilet paper, dish soap, and various other vital supplies are now among our priority donations.

Same Heart

Here at the Austin Apartment Association, we embarked on a bold mission to address a forgotten need and make a meaningful impact on our community. We introduced Days of Care (D.O.C.) Drive for 2023 and announced the care initiatives would be three-fold:

1 – Gayle's Givings of Household Essentials

NEW! in 2023 the D.O.C. drive would also include a household essentials drive that will complement our other efforts. Gayle's Givings is in honor of Gayle Young, wife of our beloved Doc Young. The AAA accepted donations of items such as paper towels, paper plates, toilet paper, dish soap, and various other essential household supplies to ensure that we cater to the critical needs of our community members.

2 – Grocery, Food Gift Cards

We set our sights higher than ever before, with a visionary goal of raising $55,555 in 2023 to support those in need through our traditional fundraising methods. We were very pleased to raise 81% of our goal, $45,093 and allowed us to provide 1,350 $40 H-E-B gift cards that were distributed prior to Thanksgiving

3 – Volunteer Efforts

The AAA Community Service Committee was proud to stand alongside local food banks during their busiest periods of the year and mobilize our dedicated volunteers to support the operational volunteer needs of the crucial organizations in our local communities as part of the 2023 D.O.C. Drive. 

37 Years of Care

What started as a humble initiative back in 1986, spearheaded by volunteer Steve Cartelli with $600 in total donations, has blossomed into an extraordinary annual fundraising event that has raised over $1,000,000 since its inception 37 years ago. The impact of the drive has been nothing short of remarkable, with over 24,350 Thanksgiving Food Packs distributed to grateful Austin residents over the years. Additionally, food pantries in 10 counties surrounding Travis have received a total of $15,600 in vital financial contributions.

At the heart of this incredible journey is AAA volunteer member Michael "Doc" Young, whose tireless dedication and leadership guided the committee from 1987 until his well-earned retirement from the role in 2012. Today, carrying on this legacy of care and compassion, the 2023 D.O.C. Drive is skillfully led by the dynamic team of Terri Needham, Taryn Merrill, Dedra Bouffard, and Samantha Sandoval, ensuring that this cherished tradition continues to uplift the lives of countless individuals and families in our community.

A Snapshot of the 2023 D.O.C Drive


-Maverick's Kick-off Happy Hour

- Jailbird Fundraiser at the AAA’s ATXFest 

- Online Auction

- Happy Hour and Volleyball Tournament

Additional elements that led to success

- Community Services Committee held a telethon during their meeting

- Past President's reached out for general donations

- Merchandise sales for t-shirts and bandanas

Our Partner Organizations we were able to support

- The Housing Authority for the City of Austin (HACA)

- Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services Rainbow Room

- SAFE Alliance

- Foundation Communities