Blog

Texas State Senator Kirk Watson speaking at YLS Lunch with Leaders on Thursday, September 20 at 3M

The Senator took time out of his busy schedule to address the importance of leadership, collaboration, and volunteer work to a group of 45 YLS and WGN members during lunch. His knack for storytelling and passion for improving Central Texas makes for an inspirational and good time. Please check out his website www.kirkwatson.com to follow the work of Texas Monthly’s “Legislative Rookie of the Year” in 2007.

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ABC Anchor Bob Woodruff and wife, Lee, to speak in Austin

We are looking forward to the upcoming joint speaking presentation of Lee & Bob Woodruff on Monday, October 1 at the Renaissance Austin Hotel at 7 p.m. Most people know the incredible story of Bob Woodruff: While reporting on U.S. and Iraqi security forces in January 2006, Bob Woodruff was seriously injured by a roadside bomb. He is currently undergoing outpatient rehabilitation in New York and has returned to work at ABC News. In February 2007, Lee and Bob Woodruff released In An Instant: A Family’s Journey of Love and Healing. This personal memoir discusses Bob Woodruff’s recovery, the challenges they faced together, and the medical and family support that helped him heal. The Austin American Statesman covered Bob and Lee here For more information about the upcoming event, click here.

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New Collaboration

One of the ways we’ve changed how we work is to participate in more collaborations. A great example of this is with the new Austin based I Live Here I Give Here campaign. United Way Capital Area was one of the first partners to support this new initiative, and David Balch, CPO of UWCA, continues to play an active role on the steering committee. Read all about the campaign launch here and view the launch pictures online

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Last week's community engagement summit

Mando with some of the Public Innovator applicants. Rich Harwood speaks about bringing people together to address our community’s most critical issues. Application deadline for The Public Innovators Lab has been extendedIn case you missed it, the deadline for submitting applications has been extended to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, October 19. Applicants also have the option to submit a copy of their resume (no longer than 2 pages). You can complete the form online, and hit the “Submit” button at the end of the form upon completion.

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Back to square one for public service (today's Statesman editorial)

This morning’s Statesman has a great editorial covering this week’s summit for community engagement, the Harwood Engagement Summit. Click here to read the full editorial if you haven’t read it yet. People don’t know one another and tend to live and work in pockets. Communities can make bigger changes by working together on common issues. When the public and private sectors worked together on assisting Central Texas families with their tax returns last year, the effort brought families $17 million in earned income tax credits, up from $3 million three years ago, Balch said. Now imagine the changes that 100,000 Central Texans can make in their communities by mentoring youngsters, building affordable housing and working with schools. That kind of engagement in our community takes us back to the public square.

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Community Engagement: Its all about options

So I have a theory about this community engagement work we’re doing. It’s about options for everyone and finding ways to connect to that one thing that makes it worthwhile for you to become involved in our community. Sure we want people to volunteer but if we can engage you in other ways, I’m all about that. In fact, we have a very broad definition of community engagement; it’s about sparking interests, learning, connecting and doing hands on community work to ultimately, strengthen Central Texas. Take our Day of Caring event a few weeks ago. It was amazing and I was blown away by the number of people that came out to do real meaningful work that day. We had over 1,000 people doing, connecting & learning and I, for one, can see how much we impact the community when we come together. I think you should feel the good karma coming your way pretty soon! 😉 But you don’t have to take my word for it, check out the volunteers in action! As I mentioned before, we love giving you options and here’s some more… Become a Public Innovator (free scholarships available!) Learn to lead projects with Volunteer Project Leader Certification Help our nonprofit partners and join our Community Investment Review Team Join us for the Cesar E. Chavez Statue Unveiling Ceremony at UT. Thanks for staying involved! Mando Director, Hands On Central Texas Be the Change. Volunteer!

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Harwood Engagement Summit

KUT ran a report on today’s Harwood Engagement Summit. If you missed it, click here to listen to the audio clip. The Summit is bringing together 500 public innovators, thought leaders, and potential volunteers from various segments of the Central Texas. From KUT.org: Disparities in education, income, health, and other social issues are challenges facing large cities including Austin. St. Davids Community Health Foundation and the United Way Capital Area are partnering with local non profits and kicking off a campaign to try and lessen social disparities. Read the press release here.

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