If you’ve been curious about how you can give back to the Austin community on a regular basis, and simultaneously spend time with like-minded people, I’ve found the organization for you. Austin Involved, a local program run by I Live Here, I Give Here, allows its members to vote for and support one fantastic Austin non-profit every month of the year.
When a non-profit is chosen by Austin Involved’s members, it benefits from a three-hour service project. Members also donate $25 per person each month to the same non-profit. That amount of money equates to what you might spend on one specialty coffee drink per week.
With the donation of time and treasure, Austin Involved plays a significant role in helping Austin non-profits to accomplish their individual missions. But beyond the tangible benefits, non-profits are encouraged to persevere in doing good. Austin Involved members send a message that these non-profits don’t hear often enough: “What you’re doing matters – thank you.”
Recent Austin Involved Projects
I Live Here, I Give Here highlights a different non-profit category every month, whether it be literacy, homelessness, disability services or the environment. Austin Involved non-profits always correspond with I Live Here, I Give Here’s category of the month. For example, the June 2013 non-profit category was Arts & Culture, and the non-profit that Austin Involved members voted to support was the Austin Community Steelband.
I had the privilege of attending the June 2013 service project. Members gathered at the headquarters for Austin Community Steelband on Austin’s eastside, near Franklin Barbecue. Around 25 volunteers helped to lay new flooring and hang new blinds. Austin Involved supplied all of the materials.
When I asked Founder Paula Beaird what the service project meant to her, she responded, “You have no idea.” She told me that she wanted to start inviting donors over to their space, but the flooring was coming up and the blinds were broken. Austin Involved solved this issue for Austin Community Steelband.
I loved Paula’s stories of the incredible difference that Austin Community Steelband has made in the lives of children. Ninety-nine percent of the kids that Austin Community Steelband serves are very low-income, without access to music instruction apart from this non-profit. Students learn social skills and discipline, and receive a huge boost in self-esteem.
Imagine contributing to an inspiring story like this on a monthly basis! Here are other non-profits that Austin Involved has supported in 2013:
- May 2013: Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation
- April 2013: The Texas River School
- March 2013: Blackland Community Development Corporation
- January 2013: Catholic Charities of Central Texas
How Do I Become a Member?
To become a member of Austin Involved (or to learn more), visit Austin Involved’s web page and click on the “Become a Member” button. You’ll be asked to choose a donation option and input your billing information. Your $25 monthly donation will be set to autopay on a monthly basis.
As a member, you’ll have the unique opportunity to vote on the Austin non-profit that your money and time will support. For July 2013, members are choosing to support Austin YMBL Sunshine Camps, which is a free summer camp for impoverished children. For the month’s volunteer project, Austin Involved members get to help with Sunshine Camps’ Carnival Night at Zilker Park!
I highly encourage you to give Austin Involved a try. You’ll have the opportunity to make friends with kind and giving people, and contribute personally to making Austin a better place. Here’s the link one more time – click it!
What has been your favorite volunteer experience in Austin?