The holiday season is a favorite time of the year for many of us. It’s not the presents or bright lights or parties that make the season, but rather the warm feeling we get from remembering what is most important in life: gratitude, friendship, family, community, fellowship and feeling cared for. During the holiday season United Way for Greater Austin receives an outpouring of generosity from the community through volunteer efforts, donations and overall holiday joy. We too like to take part in that joy by partnering with companies to sponsor and thank the families who are featured in our marketing materials throughout the year. Thanks to the generosity of both NXP (formerly known as Freescale) and Atlassian, ten families were “adopted” this year for the holidays. Employees from NXP and Atlassian contributed their own personal dollars to purchase and wrap gifts for each family member. Gifts included toys from personal wish lists, clothing, shoes and household items, including TVs and iPads. Many of the families asked for simple necessities, such as baking dishes and coats for the kids. “At NXP, giving back is part of our DNA. We are proud to partner with the United Way to support making the holidays special for nine families in the greater Austin area. Our employees have really stepped up this year to support more families and try to make a difference in Austin.” –Rick Morales, NXP In addition, KPMG gave each family a holiday meal kit so that families could share a warm and […]Read More
UWATX Celebrates VPL Students With Documentary Screening
Students and staff from Webb, Decker and Mendez Middle Schools joined Young Leaders Society members at the Alamo Drafthouse last week for a fun end-of-year celebration. The UWATX Volunteer Project Leader (VPL) middle school program aims to transform youth into active community leaders by teaching them leadership skills they need to make meaningful and lasting change in their communities. This year, our 110 VPL students from the three campuses completed 28 volunteer projects. This resulted in 1,565 hours of time given to improving their Manor, St. John’s and Dove Springs communities! Members of the Hands On Central Texas team, who work with these kids each week, and YLS members handed out certificates and t-shirts to the students who were dedicated to the program during the 2014-2015 school year, as well as special plaques for the principals of each school. They also received popcorn and their choice of snacks and drinks during the film as a special treat. Underwater Dreams is a documentary about the story of a group of Hispanic high school students from a Title I school who build and enter an underwater robot in a national robotics competition. The students constructed the robot out of low-cost materials from Home Depot, and beat out all of the competing colleges, including powerhouse MIT. The documentary was meant to inspire the middle school students to pursue STEM fields, as well as any other dreams and future goals they have, regardless of their upbringing. Jesse Garcia, a YLS member and engineer at […]Read More
Fall Day of Caring: 800+ volunteers come together!
On Friday, September 23, United Way Capital Area closed its doors as employees joined over 800 volunteers to complete 35 projects throughout the community. In total, volunteers gave 2,982 hours of service for UWCA’s Fall Day of Caring. Individuals from 22 Austin-area companies came together in teams to build community gardens, support local organizations, mentor students in career skills and much more. The event also boasts a key record: 28 projects were led by UWCA-trained Volunteer Project Leaders– each of them participated in a 2-hour session to learn how to make meaningful and lasting change in their community. Over the past 6 years, UWCA has taught hundreds of volunteer leaders as part of this national training initiative. To say thank you to our dedicated volunteers, we put together a YouTube video featuring clips and photos from throughout the day. Random quotes of kindness: Austin Nature & Science Center– I was amazed at how everyone worked together to get the project done. The people from the Austin Statesman really did an awesome job. The place looks remarkable, more than I expected. I really like that we are able to be a part of the Days of Caring with United Way. We always get so much done on those volunteer days. Thank you so much! – Project Leader Mainspring Schools– I absolutely loved this event. Sometimes when I volunteer, I don’t get to see the full impact of what my time and energy is buying. In this instance, I was able to see the […]Read More