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!

How to become a civic leader

Autsin offers a lot of opportunities to learn more about growing your civic leadership skills – Leadership Austin, Greenlights, United Way all offer some form of training. Here’s another opportunity for you to break in to civic engagement…

This Thursday, May 22, United Way, UT, and Hands On Central Texas will offer a free course, “Community Workshop – Innovation & Creativity,” from 6 to 7:30 pm.

Coming up with a good idea is difficult—putting that idea to work is even harder. Learn how to discover the needs and aspirations of the community, generate ideas to engage those needs and aspirations, and develop a plan for putting your ideas into action.”

Click here to learn more about the course and sign up.

Austin young pros pitch, putt, play dress-up at Head Honcho event

YMBA members as Elvis at Austin Head Honcho Invitational

The Young Mens’ Business Alliance … it’s a long story.

Butler Pitch ‘n Putt was the site of the second annual Head Honcho Invitational yesterday, a golf tournament kind of thing among several Austin under-40 organizations. I was there for a little while, and I actually saw lots of people playing golf.

Why not? It was a gorgeous day, and the tournament kicked off at 3 p.m., which is a little earlier than happy hour but not so early you’d be cutting into your lunch time. Stephanie Fisher, president of Young Execs of Austin, kicked things off, thanking sponsors and explaining the rules of the tourney. I’m not sure how many of the attendees were golfers. A couple of teams from the United Way Young Leaders Society looked like yacht captains and skippers (Durel Bernard had an explanation for the costumes, but it seemed like a stretch), and the Young Men’s Business League showed up as Elvis… or rather, Elvi. Did Elvis golf?

Ahoy, young leaders!

Kim Jowers and Durel Bernard lead Young Leaders’ Society

Kim Jowers, executive chair of Young Leaders Society, was there to golf despite the fact she has a five-month-old baby at home. (Good for her! We new moms need our time on the green, too.) I also got to meet Traci Fisher of Young Women’s Alliance. They have a Member Appreciation Party this Tuesday night with a really cute theme: “Red Carpet.” This is a members-only, cocktail dress event… on a Tuesday night, no less. They do it right.

The fact that each of these groups makes philanthropy part of their mission demonstrates how important our community’s needs are to young Austin. It would be interesting to poll each group and quantify the financial impact they have on the community. In total, about a dozen young professionals groups were represented, including Catalyst 8, Habitat Young Professionals, Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, Young Hispanic Professionals of Austin, and Helping Austin.

That last group, Helping Austin, is interesting. According to Amy Stanley, this new-ish group works through Austin Community Foundation to raise money for at-risk youth. Most of their donations have gone to Big Brothers, Big Sisters, and just about anyone can join – young or old, professional or … what’s the opposite of professional?

We’ll learn more about each of these groups in a series of Q&As coming soon to this blog/magazine.

In the meantime, heads up around Butler Pitch n Putt. The Elvi are pulling down broken tree limbs, and they’ve got a Bobcat.