Category: Uncategorized

Free November Holiday Meals in Austin

Each year, our Navigation Center sees a spike of calls during the holiday season – people looking to help by donating food, toys, gifts or their time and also calls from people looking for a warm meal for the holidays. We’ve compiled this calendar of resources that are FREE and open to the public on a walk-in basis: Click on the image above to see a larger version. Know someone looking for assistance? Tell them to give us a call at 2-1-1 to get connected to resources in our community.

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Volunteers Scaring for a Good Cause!

In celebration of the spookiest time of the year, UWATX’s Young Leaders Society (YLS) members volunteered at Decker Middle School’s Fright Night last week. Fright Night, one of Decker’s most popular student events, allows students to use their creativity while coordinating with YLS volunteers to transform the school into a “haunted house”. Volunteers helped set up, scared students as they moved through the haunted house and took photos of the students for souvenirs. Fright Night helps sponsor the AVID program at Decker Middle School, which gives students the opportunities to attend field trips to college campuses and provides in class activities around career and college readiness. We had the opportunity to talk with Julie Fisher, YLS Chair, about her volunteering experience the Fright Night event. What were some of the activities you were involved in during Fright Night? I was involved with set up, setting the kids in waves down the stairwell and cleanup/breakdown. Describe your favorite part of the night Watching the kids give each other pep talks before going into the Haunted House. The event itself is always a blast, but I love the set up and break down with the students. It is a great opportunity to interact with them and give them a chance to give us the orders on how to set up the different rooms and halls. It was encouraging to see how excited they were after they received such positive feedback from their peers on how “awesome” the experience was. What do you enjoy […]

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Outlaw After-Party for Flood Relief

Still looking for a way to help out with the Central Texas flood relief? On Monday, July 6, a collection of music’s legendary outlaws and rising superstars will come together for a once-in-a-lifetime concert at ACL Live at The Moody Theater in Austin to honor Waylon Jennings, one of the most influential musicians of the Outlaw Country movement. 100 percent of proceeds from the Outlaw After-Party will go to UWATX to benefit Central Texas victims of the Memorial Day floods. OUTLAW: Celebrating the Music of Waylon Jennings, produced by Blackbird Presents, will feature performances by: Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Toby Keith, Eric Church, Kacey Musgraves, Ryan Bingham, Sturgill Simpson, Jamey Johnson, Lee Ann Womack, Chris Stapleton, Shooter Jennings, Jessi Colter and Billy Joe Shaver. Additional performances to be announced. You must be a ticket holder to the tribute concert in order to purchase after-party tickets – get your concert tickets HERE – but hurry! Tickets to the tribute are going fast.   Outlaw After-Party Benefits:  After-Party tickets are $100 each and include open bars and passed bites backstage at ACL Live. 100 percent of your ticket purchase to the Outlaw After-Party will go to UWATX and earmarked for Memorial Day Central Texas flood victims. All ticketing fees have been waived by ACL Live and Ticketfly to aid in this effort. How do I get my Outlaw After-Party tickets?  All current ticket holders will receive an email with a link to purchase tickets to the Outlaw After-Party. New ticket purchasers to the […]

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BB&T’s 2015 Lighthouse Project

BB&T completed its annual BB&T Lighthouse community volunteer project in May to celebrate its sixth year of promoting a company-wide service effort. Across the country, BB&T has contributed more than 325,000 volunteer hours to local nonprofits, including United Way for Greater Austin. This year, more than 50 BB&T volunteers spent two days improving the Boys and Girls Club gardens. The Boys and Girls Club serving McBee Elementary provides high quality afterschool programming to more than 130 elementary students each weekday. Through enrichment programs like the Gardening Club, students not only have a safe place to go after school, but also to deepen their understanding of concepts they learn during the school day and develop an interest in their community. BB&T volunteers renovated the current garden area and added new resources for the Gardening Club to use in their lessons. Volunteers built a fence around the garden, added raised garden beds, created pathways around the garden, added a picnic table as a teaching space, and built and painted signs labeling the garden. The garden will be used by the Boys and Girls Club for Gardening Club lessons, outdoor science activities and as a fun activity space. The project cost $4,900, which BB&T donated. View all photos from the Lighthouse project on Flickr. What BB&T volunteers had to say about the project: “It was an amazing day! It’s great to see all of our BB&T associates work together for a great organization like United Way’s partner, Boys & Girls Club. We have […]

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Recognizing local philanthropy: 2014 Employee Campaign Awards

Last week, almost 500 companies and their leaders proved just how alive philanthropy is in Greater Austin at our 2014 Employee Campaign Awards. Our Employee Campaign Leader of the Year, Laura Seaton, said it best when describing how it feels to give back: “It is an almost indescribable feeling: it is not pride, it is not joy, it is not accomplishment. It is a warm knowing that despite your own life trials and dramas, and we all have them, you have given something of yourself that truly has helped another human being feel a little whole again and a little less lost.” Excellence in Corporate Philanthropy: H-E-B, 3M and Enterprise This award is given to UWATX’s top three campaigns, companies who make important investments with a commitment to making Austin Greater and where employees also give of their time, talent and treasure. Each of these companies implement UWATX’s best practices and do so in a way that represents “excellence” in all categories. They represent the heart of philanthropy in Greater Austin and we are so honored to work with them everyday to life up the working poor and ensure that every one in our community has the chance to thrive. Best Practices: HEB This award recognizes the company that implements UWATX’s best practices, which in clued Senior Officer involvement, access to employees and use of UWATX campaign materials among several others. HEB and its partners not only implement best practices into their campaign but they do it consistently and enthusiastically. […]

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Kerbey Lane Cafe Celebrates 35 Years In Austin By Donating Proceeds to UWATX

This May marks 35 years that our friends at Kerbey Lane Café have made Austin greater with their delicious pancakes and queso! To commemorate their anniversary, Kerbey Lane Café will donate 100% of net proceeds from ALL Austin-area locations to UWATX on May 4th from 6 a.m. to May 5th at 6 a.m.! Additionally, there will be a festive birthday celebration at all locations from 6-8 p.m. on May 4th, complete with miniature horses, face painting and balloon animals. Kerbey Lane Café is also running a “35 Days Until 35” social media campaign with many exciting giveaways including pancake mix, gift cards and t-shirts. Learn more here. Kerbey Lane Café is currently running their second annual employee campaign with United Way for Greater Austin and their staff embodies the spirit of philanthropy by investing a portion of their paycheck and their time back into our community. Restaurant managers go by the title “Community Ambassador” and make corporate social responsibility a priority. By coordinating volunteer opportunities for their employees with our Hands on Central Texas volunteer center, they’ve been able to log hundreds of volunteer hours in service of Greater Austin! Kerbey Lane Café has been instrumental in supporting our work in early childhood education and dropout prevention by consistently volunteering to participate in beautification projects at our high-quality childcare centers and our target middle school campuses. It’s hard to imagine Austin with out Kerbey Lane Café, and we are so proud to call them community partners and advocates. You may have […]

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Looking for a warm meal this holiday season?

Each year, our Navigation Center sees a spike of calls during the holiday season – people looking to help by donating food, toys, gifts or their time and also calls from people looking for a warm meal for the holidays. We’ve compiled this calendar of resources that are FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC to make it a little easier to find that warm meal:     Click on the image above to see a larger version PDF. Know someone looking for assistance? Tell them to give us a call at 2-1-1 to get connected to resources in our community.  

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WhiteGlove Health discontinues services

For the past couple of years, UWATX has worked with WhiteGlove Health to provide health care services for low-income families and the educators serving them. We were very disappointed to learn from WhiteGlove CFO Doug Cannon that they will cease providing services at the end of May.  This is a business decision WhiteGlove has to make, which we understand, but it is unfortunate that workers and families are losing access to affordable high-quality health care. WhiteGlove has offered almost two years of great health care service pro-bono as a gift back to our community at child care centers supported through UWATX’s Success By 6 program. They also provided a grant that allowed us to coordinate the services to their maximum effect .  Through this partnership, services were provided at Ebeneezer Child Development Center, Faith Presbyterian Child Development Center, Mainspring Schools, Trinity Child Development Center, and SafePlace Child Development Center. The project with WhiteGlove was an innovative model for health care that has flourished in other communities – to bring mobile healthcare units to low-income child care centers where the families and workers have the greatest need and. This model resolved constant issues of transportation for the working poor and misunderstanding about what health care options were available and needed for young children and their families. We hope that our public officials continue to look for ways to address the need in our community for affordable health care for everyone. At UWATX, we will continue to seek out opportunities to help families in need overcome […]

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A difficult decision and a call to action

Today, United Way for Greater Austin announced a difficult decision to reduce funding to some of our nonprofit partners. We made this financial decision with careful consideration and regret the negative impact it could have on organizations and the people we all serve throughout our community. This decision came as the result of fundraising shortfalls. A significant percentage of our annual revenues are generated from workplace-giving campaigns and, unfortunately, these have fallen by $3.1 million since fiscal year 2008. Although UWATX has seen a decrease in campaign giving over the last three years, we continued to support our nonprofit partners at consistent levels – with grants in education, financial opportunity and access to health care. We have used money from our financial reserves to make up the decrease in campaign donations and distributed $3.84 million in grants to nonprofit partners in fiscal year 2010 and $3.4 million in fiscal year 2011. In order to continue serving our community long-term, our total giving this year is going to be $2.2 million in grants and we are decreasing the number of agencies receiving grant funding. In addition to decreasing the overall 2012 grant funding amount and number of agencies receiving grant funding, to reduce costs we are cutting our overhead with decreases in operational costs and head count. Though we are cutting grants, our nonprofit partners will still continue to receive designated dollars through campaign. Over the years, these dollars have gone down alongside our overall campaign. We hope today’s decision will […]

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