We’ve moved!

We had to change our name, which means we had to change our address, blog, everything. Now we’re GivingCity Austin, the magazine and blog.

From now on you’ll find us here: http://givingcityaustin.wordpress.com/

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How you can help people on the Texas Gulf Coast now

Please see this below from Mobile Loaves & Fishes – best instructions I’ve seen for how to help victims of Hurrican Ike on the Texas Gulf Coast:

Dear Friend,

Mobile Loaves & Fishes is planning a relief trip into the Hurricane Ike impact area of the Texas Gulf Coast.  We are leaving Monday morning September 15 at 9:00 AM from the St. John Neumann Commissary.  We need your help!  Here’s how:

  1. We need financial resources.  These trips cost thousands of dollars (food, fuel, supplies etc.).  Please click here to donate and please forward this to your friends and family.
  2. Volunteers to travel with us on this trip.  This will NOT be an overnight trip.  We need about a dozen people to man the two food trucks and one logistics vehicle we plan to take.
  3. We need Make Ready volunteers to prepare the food and load the inventory on the trucks.  There are opportunities both on Sunday and on Monday morning.

VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING
Sunday, September 14
St. John Neumann Commissary
903 South Capital of Texas Highway (www.mlfnow.org/directions)
2:00 PM

What you can bring:

  • Cases of bottled water
  • Gently used clean ice chests (you will never see them again)
  • Toiletries

The government and first reponders to Hurricane Ike have done an excellent job in these first few hours.  Now its time for Mobile Loave & Fishes to do what we do best….to serve those in need with dignity and compassion.  We can not do this without you.  You are the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves & fishes.

Today: Volunteers flock to help man the 2-1-1 helpline

Just received an e-mail from Mando Rayo of Hands on Central Texas:

We were just informed that the 2-1-1 Texas call center needs to stay open 24 hours this weekend! So we’re going to need lots of help! The biggest needs are the 9:00pm – 12:00am and 12:00am – 7:00am shifts. Please help if you can!

For more information and to register for day or night shifts, please go to www.handsoncentraltexas.org.

They’ll totally train you and set you up. Get yourself and a friend registered on line and sign up for one of those late-night shifts!

Free caregivers’ conference offers resources and support Sat., Sept 27

I was lucky to have had a third parent in my mother’s mother, who lived with my family my whole life until she died just after I graduated from college. In the beginning, she took care of us four kids and my parents. Toward the end, we mostly took care of her.

She had severe arthritis and used a walker for years. I remember using hyrdogen peroxide to clean the incisions from surgeries on her knees, massaging her back and shoulders sore from the walker, giving her her nightly prescriptions, helping her get dressed, and lots of other things I never thought about. I guess I assumed every teenage girl spent Friday night cutting her grandmother’s toenails.  I’m not going to say it was easy or that I always enjoyed it. It was tough. But it really felt like the least we could do since she practically raised us.

Anyone who’s taken care of an elderly or ill loved-one knows how tough that can be – and lonely. And even though it’s inevitable that some of us will take on this role sometime in our lives, most of us go it alone without the support we need to maintain our sanity.

On Saturday, September 27, AGE of Austin will host the 7th Annual caregivers’ conference, “Striking a Balance,” aimed at anyone who finds themself in that role now. The conference will help you find the resources and support you need to manage caregiving responsiblities and make them work with the rest of your life.

They offer a light breakfast and lunch – and they’ll care for your loved on while you attend the conference. Elderhaven Adult Day Center of Austin and Williamson County has signed on, but you’ll have to call them to make reservations at 512-458-6305.

7th Annual Caregivers’ Conference – FREE
Saturday, September 27, 2008
2525 West Anderson Lane, Northcross Mall
Norris Conference Center – Red Oak Ballroom
9 AM – 2 PM
Doors open 8:30 AM for registration
Light breakfast and lunch will be provided.
Go to Age of Austin for more information.

Work the phones and help hurricane evacuees find help this weekend

Have you heard of 2-1-1? It’s like 4-1-1 except that it offers free, statewide, 24-hour access to health and human services and disaster information through its multilingual helpline.

As you can imagine, it’s a great resource for people all over southeast Texas who are being displaced by the hurricanes. They call to find out where to find shelter or food, how to get help moving special needs people, even how to get help moving pets.

Thanks to Gustav, the 2-1-1 line had a 300% increase in volume of calls over one weekend. And hurricane season is not over yet. You’re heard of Ike, right?

There are a couple of ways you can help:

The first is to make a donation to 2-1-1 so they can get the folks and other resouces they need to serve the people displaced by Hurricane Ike.

The second is to VOLUNTEER YOURSELF in Austin this weekend. There will be training, and all you need to get the job is the ability to care about people and help them find their way. If you’re bilingual, you’re especially needed. Just register with United Way Capital Area to get started.

OR if you are interested in becoming a Disaster Response Volunteer for 2-1-1 Texas, call 2-1-1 or email Kimberly Blackburn.

Thanks for your help!

United Way Capital Area cuts jobs but will fulfill grant commitments

Acknowledging the current “economic downturn” and “economic uncertainty,” United Way Capital Area just announced that it has laid off seven full-time employees but will maintain its funding commitments to the community programs slotted for the 2008-2009 fiscal year

According to David Balch, UWCA president, “We are tightening our budget belt on the operations side to avoid impacting our agency grant commitments.”

It’s sad to think that seven people had to lose their jobs in order for UWCA to keep its $3.9 million promise to the programs it funds. But if I undertand UWCA’s revenue stream right, it doesn’t first raise the money then give it to the agencies that run the community programs. Rather, it asks agencies to complete grant applications for their programs, chooses those programs that meet its grant criteria, and promises a certain amount of funding for those programs. Then UWCA sets out to raise that money. 

So if UWCA doesn’t raise the money… something’s gotta give.

Hundreds in Austin Shelter need your help now

Central Texas Red Cross just sent out an email asking for volunteer help in their shelters. This is a great opportunity to go over there and spend some helping out. 

We need shelter workers. 

Are you available????? 

Volunteers are needed for the 6AM – 6PM shift and for the 6PM -6AM. Volunteers are needed Wednesday, September 3 – Sunday, September 7 (Must be at least 18 years old).

To volunteer, please call 512-929-1200 or 512-928- 4271. Or email rturner@centex.redcross.org

Thank you in advance for serving your community! 

Kim Landry, Director of Volunteer Services, American Red Cross of Central Texas

I called and found out more:
1. Mostly they need support for their managers on-site. You would help serve food, answer questions, register evacuees, etc. 
2. Training would be “on the job” style. 
3. They need volunteers at the Delco location. See more about the shelters here. 
4. To volunteer, you should probably register online first. The site gives you the instructions. Once you’ve registered, they’ll call you. 
CenTex Red Cross will take calls until 7 p.m. tonight, but if you register online now, expect a call tomorrow. Thanks in advance for your help!