Gathering for Good 2024: Sowing seeds of change for a flourishing Central Texas

Nurturing. Energizing. Unifying.

A sold-out crowd of more than 350 people came to Gathering for Good on May 2 to support United Way’s mission to break economic barriers and build opportunity for all. Thanks to the generous gifts of so many, we raised more than $140,000!

Thank you to all who joined and supported the Women United luncheon. The event theme, Grow Wild, inspired us to plant seeds of change for our community so that, together, we will amplify our legacy of impact. We hope it gives you great joy to know that, as we celebrate 100 years serving our community in 2024, those seeds will flourish in the next 100 years and beyond.


Special thanks to our amazing event co-chairs Laura Hernandez Holmes and Jennifer Wu; Presenting Sponsor Kirkland & Ellis; Empower Sponsors H-E-B, St. David’s Foundation, Texas Mutual Insurance Company, and Scott & Jeanmarie Rust; and all of our generous sponsors. 

Our deepest gratitude to our three outstanding event panelists:

  • Vanessa Bell, Community Advocate
  • Pamela Benson Owens, CEO, Six Square and Edge of Your Seat Consulting
  • Jolynn Free, Co-Founder and Partner, CFM Wealth Partners

Event panelist Vanessa, a former 2-1-1 recipient, shared what a lifeline 2-1-1 was for her and is for so many in our community.

“I found myself in a situation I never anticipated being in. I was threatened, and I was abused. I made the choice that this was not going to be my life. I called 2-1-1, and my Navigation Specialist changed my whole world. She reminded me that this was just a chapter, not my whole life. She reassured me I was going to be OK. That call specialist, and United Way, restored me.


Just last year, United Way’s 2-1-1 Navigation Specialists answered more than 200,000 requests for help in our region – that’s one call every three minutes! Your donation to United Way can be that lifeline for the next caller, making a profound and lasting impact for those who need it most.

There are a lot of ‘me’s’ out there who aren’t speaking up and who aren’t sharing their story,” Vanessa said. “But that 2-1-1 phone call is their next step, and all of you can contribute to that and help another person just like me.”

Help us reach our goal of raising $165,000 by joining Women United or donating to ensure the next 2-1-1 caller receives a lifeline –  just like Vanessa did.

Gathering for Good brought tangible ways for guests to leave their impression on collective art pieces:


  • Our painting activation invited guests to leave their stroke on canvas, symbolizing planting their seeds of change and contribution to the growth of our collective field of wildflowers.


  • Our ribbon activation invited guests to leave their mark by tying a ribbon on an art frame, visualizing how United Way’s support network has been an integral, vibrant part of our community the past 100 years.

Both pieces will be showcased at the former Pease Elementary, future home to United Way and a high-quality child care center.

Guests also entered to win fantastic raffle prizes, including trendy food and entertainment packages, exclusive wellness items, premium tickets to an Austin FC game, and more, many donated by local women-owned businesses.

We want to recognize and thank our incredible Women United Executive Committee, artist Rosemary Villegas, and the women-owned business who supported this event: Amara Lashes, Ancira Salsa, Austin FC, Barelle Vineyards, Bola Pizza, Britt Design Group, Christen’s Gourmet Pralines, Consuela, COU Skincare, The Cupcake Bar, Eclipse Event Co., ECPR Texas, Ester Gamez Jewelry, Gold Rush Vinyl, Hot Dog Marketing, Kendra Scott, Kiki Price, Lilla & Beth, L’Oca d’Oro, milk + honey, MWM DesignGroup, O’Connell Robertson,  Pink Cactus Productions, Rowing Dock, Sophrosyne Health, Susto Mezcal, Texas Treats, Tiff’s Treats Cookie Delivery, Tiny Grocer, Toybrary Austin, Toyota of Cedar Park, Train With Gina, Urban Betty, and Your Nurse Friend.

Four impactful, easy ways to get involved

  1. Join us for a virtual Lunch and Learn, presented by Women United, on Wednesday, May 15. United Way’s new Director of the Success By 6 Coalition, Barbara Grant Boneta, will share about the legacy of this early childhood coalition, emerging needs and trends in the child care sector, and the coalition’s vision being brought to life in the 2024-29 strategic plan. Register today.
  2. Sign up to volunteer with the Diaper Bank. Women United and United Way’s Shared Services Alliance invite you to sort and pack diapers for local early learning centers. Learn more and sign up.
  3. Be a part of United Way’s Summer Day of Caring on June 7. This annual United Way tradition brings together hundreds of neighbors like you in service of our community. Join your neighbors, family, friends, and colleagues to volunteer. Spots fill quickly, so be sure to sign up today!
  4. Travis County Commissioners Court is considering a ballot initiative for sustainable funding to support high-quality, affordable child care. This would expand access to quality programs for children and youth, support working families, and help to provide better pay to staff and resources for children and youth across Travis County. Contact your Travis County Commissioner before May 13 in support of putting affordable child care on the ballot!

For more volunteer opportunities and other ways to stay involved, visit our Upcoming Events page today.


Thank you to our Gathering for Good sponsors for their generous support!


Presenting Sponsor


Empower Sponsors


Partner Sponsors


Friend Sponsors


Thank you to these women-owned businesses for their generous support!

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