Posts in Advocacy
Living Here and Giving Here

The Austin community's massive support for non-profit organizations is one of the things I love most about this city. Amplify Austin is upon us and unless you're living under a rock it's hard to not have heard about it. It's a full 24 hours to go to one website and "shop" for all the charities you'd like to financially support. You've likely received several emails from various groups asking for support and I hope that you'll do so if you're able. 

Not to be left out I thought I would offer a brief list of the charities that I or my family support throughout the year just in case you need some inspiration.

  • The Central Texas SPCA (I'm VP of the Board) which was Williamson County's 1st no-kill animal shelter. We're celebrating our 30th year!
  • Generation Serve (we have a friend on the Board) which is a fantastic organization that promotes volunteerism among families and children. I've taken my three year old to the food pantry with this group and she absolutely loved being a helper! 
  • The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is an organization that I've long been involved in as a fundraiser and will even embark on a campaign for Woman of the Year beginning in April. As much as I'd love to tell you to save your dollars, if you're in the mood and on Amplify's send them a couple of bucks. 
  • The Texas Tribune represents great non-profit news and I support them with a small contribution each year - if you need to know what's happening in Austin or anywhere else in state politics this is a go-to source.
  • Dress for Success gives women the support and clothing they need to nail that next job interview.
  • The Gizelle Foundation is one that is close to my husband's heart, he runs with Gilbert several days a week and his story is absolutely incredible. Go check it out!
  • The Health Alliance for Austin Musicians has a big goal this Amplify year and every little bit helps. My husband sees their patients and works with singers on a regular basis, such a great cause and team running the organization!
How to Help Hurricane Harvey Survivors
 Steve Gonzales / Houston Chronicle

Steve Gonzales / Houston Chronicle

For those of us in Central Texas today, it's a very weird day. Most are on a delayed school start but as of 9 AM things will be relatively back to normal. Rainy, but work, school and the everyday life will continue on. The grocery stores are humming right along, getting gas isn't an issue - oh and my living room does have 4 feet of water in it. 

We have so many friends and family along the coast and I desperately wish now that I had forced some of them into our guest bedroom this week. Now, like many of you I'm just looking for any way that I can help. Here's what I've found an may continue to update throughout the week.

  • If you're in Austin make a welcome kit for a family seeking shelter in our City. 
  • Donate to the American Red Cross here. Update: If you prefer to by actual items, consider giving through the Red Cross's Hurricane Harvey wish list on Amazon. Stuff goes fast because so many are giving, but they update it regularly.
  • Donate blood at We are Blood or any center or hospital near you.
  • Airbnb is matching free rooms with those in need. Learn more here. 
  • Donate to the newly formed Rebuild Texas Fund here.
  • The Houston Press has compiled a list of food banks and how to help.
  • The SPCA is raising funds for homeless pets after the storm. We adopted our sweet Lucy after Hurricane Ike hit Houston in 2008. She was a tiny puppy and found running through a flooded field with a collar but no chip or tags! 
  • This weekend was a great opportunity for me to clean out my closets. The guest bedroom was getting out of control! I rounded up a trunk full of goodies, including blankets, pillows and housewares that we forgot we even had and donated them this morning after dropping my peanut off at school. The Hope Family Thrift Store here in town supports the Austin Disaster Relief Network.
  • I just learned that most rescue efforts don't include the donation of diapers. Of course this makes my little ovaries ache and I had to make a donation to the Texas Diaper Bank. They are accepting Harvey donations in person in San Antonio, but I elected to make a cash donation online instead. The Austin Diaper Bank also does great work and accepts donations year round.

Learn more by reading these round ups from Texas Monthly, Vox, NPR, New York Times and Slate and really anywhere on the internet right now.

If you're into fundraising while you shop, consider:the

Please comment below if you have additions to the list!

 

AdvocacyAmy WhitedComment
Privacy or Discrimination? Women Take Center Stage in Dueling Press Releases on Bathroom Bill

Earlier this week two press releases were issued, each highlighting the position of women on the now (in)famous Texas "bathroom bill." You can't escape the issue if you're connected to Texas. I've been in Boston all week for the NCSL conference and upon meeting someone from out of state it takes approximately 3.4 seconds for he, she or them to bring up the issue. As I type this on the Acela to NYC (woot!) I am slightly concerned that someone will discover I'm even typing about all of this and come start a conversation about it.

No one pays me to lobby this issue and fewer people care what I really think on the matter, so I want to get back to these press releases. On August 8th two prominent groups in the debate, Texas Values and Keep Texas Open for Business each issued press releases focused on the opinion of the female demographic (please note that I did NOT say special interest).  

If you're in favor of the bill you point to women as supporters, citing fear for your own privacy and safety in restrooms and locker rooms - the safety of your children. If you oppose the legislation you also look to women to make the case for you, making the privacy concerns a non-issue, explaining the inconvenience or even fear created by having to send your male child into a men's room alone.  You guys are smart and you get the idea.

With a week left of the special session, women on both sides of the issue are pushing for their own brand of support as women because as we all know, and legislators know,  women care and women vote. 

Read the Texas Values release here.

Read the Keep Texas Open for Business release here.

Junior League of Austin Hosting Community Project Orientation

The Junior League of Austin will soon be accepting applications from local non-profit organizations interested in partnering with the League. If you're not familiar you can learn more about the League here - but the group partners with other non-profits to provide volunteers and sometimes grant funding for various service projects each year.

Here's some information that I've pulled from the League's website where you can apply and learn more. I've also added the upcoming Community Project Orientation to the PINK GRANITE Event Calendar.


Apply to be a Project

Non-profits must apply to become a Community Project. Applications may be for volunteers alone or for volunteers and accompanying funds (but not just for funding).

**Non-profit Organizations: Register/update your contact information here .

ORIENTATION

The next Community Project Orientation will be August 8, 2017. Check in 9:00 a.m. and Orientation 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. at THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF AUSTIN.

For all NEW non-profits AND those who have not been a community project with the Junior League of Austin in the past three years, attendance at the orientation is mandatory in order to submit a proposal. Please contact the Community Vice President at communityvp@jlaustin.org for more information.

Click HERE to view a copy of the 2016 Project Orientation Power Point Presentation.

REQUIREMENTS FOR CONSIDERATION

Please note that to be considered as a community project, the following is required:

* Applicant Non-profit must be a not-for-profit

* Non-profit must show proof of $1 million in liability insurance

* Non-profit must provide quality placements for a minimum of 6 League volunteers

* If funds are requested, the funds must relate to the work of the League volunteers

* Non-profit must allow a representative of The Junior League of Austin to sit on Nonprofit’s Board of Directors as an ex-officio, non-voting member

* All new non-profits and those who have not been a Junior League of Austin Community Project in the past 3 years must send a representative to attend the August 9th orientation in order to submit a project proposal

* Non-profit must include the League name/logo in all publicity regarding the project

APPLICATION — the 2017 application will open soon! 

Application due date is Friday, August 26, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. (no exceptions).

For your application to be considered, the following items must be submitted on or before the due date:

1. Financial Documents (including)

2. Printed Copy of Email Submission Receipt (applicants will receive this email upon submission of online application – save for your records, and print a copy of entire email to be turned in with financial documents)

3. Online Application  This link is no longer available at this time.

For more information, please email Amanda Eldridge, Community Vice President, at CommunityVP@jlaustin.org  or call her at (512) 888-9038.