Category: Amplify Austin

Five Reasons to Amplify United Way

Amplify Austin Day 2016 is right around the corner. The citywide day of giving takes place on March 8th starting at 6 p.m. and ends on March 9th at 6 p.m. With more than 600 nonprofits participating, check out five reasons you should make a donation to UWATX on Amplify Austin Day.   We are research-based and results-driven. We say this a lot–because it is so important to us! We are not simply creating programs randomly and hoping for results; everything we implement is based off of our own or collaborative research, and we are constantly monitoring and tweaking our programs each year based on previous results. We also collaborate with other organizations to create a bigger impact. It is important to us to be able to prove that what we’re doing is making a tangible difference in the lives of struggling families and individuals…and we can. Check out some of our success stories to see this in action. We focus on the areas of Austin that need us most. Our Middle School Matters program serves students on three campuses where the number of students living in low-income households is 87% or more on each campus. These campuses sit in Dove Springs, St. John’s and Manor, three of Austin’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Our Financial Stability program provides free CommunityTHRIVE financial classes to low-income adults. These classes are held in neighborhood centers in low-income neighborhoods, making it easy for attendees to access the classes in their own neighborhoods even if they don’t have […]

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CLS Partners Amplify St. John’s

We love when our business partners get creative with their campaigns. CLS Partners organized their spring campaign around “amplifying St. John’s” in order to help us further promote our participating in Amplify Austin. CLS Partners kicked off their second UWATX employee campaign last week during Amplify Austin Day on March 5th. They made a corporate gift of $1,500 during Amplify, and employees spent the latter part of the 24-hour give-a-thon volunteering at Pickle Elementary in the St. John’s neighborhood. Some volunteers worked outside in Pickle Elementary’s numerous gardens, weeding, laying mulch and replanting. Others worked in the library, categorizing and shelving new books and reading to more than 40 children. They also fixed bulletin boards throughout the school and created a healthy eating information area in the cafeteria. CLS Partners accumulated 42 hours of volunteer service on Amplify Austin Day, equaling $982 of value added to the St. John’s community. CEO and President Clint Scott said CLS Partners gives to United Way for Greater Austin because our mission aligns with the company’s core values. “Creating a great work environment and encouraging employee engagement is an integral strategy of our CLS Partners ‘People Philosophy,’” Scott said. “That’s why we choose to partner with United Way to offer our employees the opportunity to give back by giving time and resources. CLS Partners contributed 1.5% of our annual revenue to charity in 2014, and we’re committed to continuing that tradition this year.”     Last year, CLS Partners donated nearly $16,000 to UWATX through employee […]

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Amplify Austin “Power Hour”

Amplify Austin is only two days away! What sets this online give-a-thon apart from others is the chance to win incentive prizes from sponsors.    Hourly prizes: Awarded to nonprofits that raised the most dollars or had the most donors in a single hour on Amplify Austin Day: $1,000 awarded to nonprofit with the most unique donors every hour during Amplify Austin Day $1,000 awarded to the nonprofit that raises the most dollars every hour during Amplify Austin Day   Grand prizes: Awarded to a nonprofit on Amplify Austin Day: $5,000 to nonprofit with most dollars raised in first six hours (6 p.m., March 5 – Midnight, March 6) $5,000 to nonprofit with most donations from unique donors $5,000 to nonprofit with most total dollars raised $5,000 to nonprofit with most individual fundraisers   In attempt to maximize UWATX’s chance to win some of these prizes, we are designating 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on March 5 as the Amplify St. John’s Power Hour! Because St. John’s neighborhood is in the 78752 zip code, we felt this was an appropriate time to raise the most money possible during Amplify Austin. Unfortunately, if you are scheduling your donation in advance, you cannot select a specific time you would like your donation to go through. However, if you have a spare 5 minutes on March 5 from 7-8, we highly recommend making your donation during this time–and your donation could be AMPLIFIED! This blog entry is part of our “Amplify St. John’s” series leading up to […]

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Volunteers Make St. John’s Greater

UWATX will focus on the St. John’s neighborhood during this year’s 24-hour session of community-wide giving through Amplify Austin in hopes we can expand our work in this community, as well as our other target neighborhoods including Manor and Dove Springs. Take a look at some of the projects volunteers completed in the St. John’s community within the last year! Webb students who participate in our Volunteer Project Leaders class have been busy improving their own neighborhood. For Valentine’s Day, they created cards and banners to show their appreciation for teachers at their school. VPL students also participated in our annual MLK Day of Service by working with members of the Young Leaders Society to create giant jenga and other games for the Big Game – Super Bowl XLIX watch party. Funds generated from the watch party will go toward the YLS $180K Challenge, raising money for full-time coordinators at Webb, Decker and Mendez Middle Schools. Last December, the neighborhood came together for our Community Tree Lighting held at Webb Middle School. UWATX volunteers gathered more than 1,600 books to give out to kids of all ages who attended the event. Many of the kids walked away with more books than they could carry. Our valued business partners have also been busy making St. John’s greater in the last year. Texas Mutual spent the day at Webb Middle School volunteering as part of the Insurance Challenge. Some volunteers worked to beautify the grounds, while others decorated and put together welcome boxes to inspire students for […]

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Favor Delivery Is “Amplifying St. John’s!”

Local delivery service, Favor, has partnered with United Way for Greater Austin to help us “Amplify St. John’s!” Favor will donate $1 per every order received on March 5 to UWATX for Amplify Austin Day. You do not have to enter a special code or order from a specific restaurant to make your order count for us–ALL orders received on this day will benefit UWATX! Amplify Austin Day is an initiative run by I Live Here I Give Here to inspire Austinites to give back online for 24 hours. It takes place this year from March 5 at 6 p.m. to March 6 at 6 p.m. How does it work? It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3: Download the Favor app on your mobile phone, or visit FavorDelivery.com to download. Order food from any restaurant or store anytime from 8 a.m. on March 5th until the service stops running at 3 a.m. on March 6th. You can see if you are within Favor’s delivery area here. You just made Austin greater by investing in the St. John’s community–now enjoy your delicious meal or goods! This offer applies to more than food–you can think of Favor as your personal assistant! They deliver meals, prescriptions, groceries, dry cleaning, or anything else you may need. If you have additional questions about Favor, check out their Frequently Asked Questions page. Want to support UWATX further during Amplify Austin? Learn more about our Amplify St. John’s campaign or schedule your donation in advance now.

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Webb Students Lead Their Own Volunteer Project

It’s 4 p.m. on a Tuesday afternoon, and the halls of Webb Middle School are growing quiet. However, three students aren’t part of the stampede of their peers racing for the exits. They’re in a classroom on the second floor, making phone calls to local business owners to enlist help in putting on a St. Patrick’s Day pancake breakfast for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House. These are the students of United Way for Greater Austin’s Volunteer Project Leaders program, and this isn’t their first rodeo. The kids in the VPL program at Webb have been conducting volunteer projects to help out around their community since the program’s inception four years ago. They’ve organized and led campus cleanups, campaigns to gather thank you notes for school librarians, community needs assessments, and a host of other initiatives designed to encourage their classmates and neighbors to give back to their community in St. John’s. While the idea of middle school students dedicating so much of their free time to philanthropic projects may seem extraordinary to many, it’s a no-brainer to the VPL kids. “What would you do if you just saw someone throwing trash around your neighborhood?” says LaDascious, an 8th grader who’s been a part of the program since he arrived at Webb Middle School. He’s just left a voicemail for a manager at Kerbey Lane Cafe, a frequent UWATX collaborator, asking for pancake mix donations and any helping hands they could provide. Kids in the program get many opportunities to practice this sort of outreach, […]

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Amplify St. John’s 2015

2015 marks the third year of Amplify Austin Day–a 24-hour virtual giving movement led by I Live Here, I Give Here.  This year, United Way for Greater Austin is utilizing this day of awareness–and the weeks leading up to it–to highlight a community we care deeply about: St. John’s neighborhood in northeast Austin. We need your help to #AmplifyStJohns from March 5th at 6 p.m. to March 6th at 6 p.m. St. John’s is host to Webb Middle School in which a whopping 97% of students are economically disadvantaged. We invest $309,000 annually in Webb in order to better the lives of these students and their families through mentoring, tutoring, summer programs and case management, along with other services through our Target Graduation program. Last year, we provided these services to 76% of the students at Webb. Webb Middle School students are only a small portion of the economically disadvantaged youth in St. John’s. In fact, 60% of all children in the St. John’s neighborhood live in poverty. This percentage has an even greater impact when compared to the number of Austinites in general living in poverty: 38%. St. John’s residents of every age group are more likely to be living in poverty or to be low-income than overall City of Austin residents. The St. John’s community lacks many of the tools they need in order to help themselves. More than half of the residents in this neighborhood are Hispanic, and 48% of residences are headed up by a single parent. Many residents […]

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UWATX to Light Up St. John’s Community with Holiday Cheer!

United Way for Greater Austin is excited to host the first Community Tree Lighting at Webb Middle School in St. John’s on December 2, 2014 from 4:15 – 6:00 p.m. St. John’s, along with Manor and Dove Springs, is a community that UWATX has wrapped its arms around. We believe that this free holiday event will uplift the underserved community and solidify our presence and investment in the neighborhood. The Community Tree Lighting will feature a 15-foot tree, generously sponsored by Capital Metro, along with face painting, a balloon artist, cookies and cocoa, ornament making and a mini pony from Mini’s and Friends! Webb Middle School musical ensembles will also perform. Our Target Graduation program invested more than $300,000 in Webb Middle School students during the 2014 academic year. We served more than 75 percent of students and provided 1,219 interventions in areas including out-of-school time, mentoring, tutoring, case management, parent education and behavioral health. We are overjoyed to have the opportunity to light up St. John’s with holiday cheer and make the season a little more merry for students and families in the area, many of whom, like the Salazar family, struggle with the increasing demands of affordability in Austin. Please join us for what is sure to be an interactive and joyful family-friendly event!

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UWATX Leads Projects That Make a Difference for Local Schools

United Way for Greater Austin believes that anyone, regardless of their ability to make a financial contribution, can engage in philanthropy. Volunteering one’s time is a valuable way to make a positive impact and invest in the community. As part of our annual participation in Make a Difference Day, one of the largest national days of community service, our staff members organized projects that allowed others to donate their time and talents in order to make local schools greater. On Friday, October 24, Hands On Central Texas coordinated a volunteer project for Mendez Middle School students to clean up litter on campus. Approximately 60 students participated in the project and were supported by adult volunteers through our Young Leaders Society. Ricoh kicked off its United Way for Greater Austin employee campaign by volunteering. Employees helped prepare Webb Middle School’s gardens for future outdoor classroom instruction. Webb’s Volunteer Project Leaders led the volunteers in gardening, and spoke about their campus and future project plans for the school and neighborhood. A group of Dr. Pepper Snapple Group employees also volunteered their time in the St. John’s neighborhood, where Webb is located, by touching up the Born Learning Trail at J.J. Pickle Elementary. Volunteers cleaned up the area and painted shapes, numbers and letters that coordinate with activity signs for children. Dr. Pepper Snapple Group employees also wrote inspirational letters to middle school students at our three Target Graduation middle schools (Webb, Decker, Mendez) and made bookmarks to accompany board books from recent book drives. Decker Middle […]

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[VIDEO] YOU help Austin families thrive

Our friends and neighbors in particular communities are struggling more – in St. John’s, Manor and Dove Springs, families face unique challenges. To help Greater Austin thrive, we focus on these areas.    [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4Dds5ulFns[/youtube]   Learn more about the Salazars, Maldonados or Wynns – and make a gift today to support Austin families.   

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