Did somebody say, “Free hand massage?”

Theatre Action Project, Austin

Have you ever tried giving yourself a hand massage? It’s kind of like tickling yourself – it’s just not the same as when somebody else does it.

Once again, Theatre Action Project has come up with an inspired fundraising event. Its Community Wellness Day on Sunday, May 4, will offer a variety of services, refreshments, and classes – from hand massage to pilates and something called Feldenkrais – all free, but it sure would be great if you could support TAP with a donation.

This event is a great way to explore some new health techniques and services that could better your body and mind while showing your support for a true Austin treasure, TAP, which has been helping children and adults learn more about self expression for more than 10 years.

The benefit runs from 1 to 5 pm at Casa de Luz, Austin’s home for the vegan, macrobiotic, and organic goodness lifestyle, at the end of the street behind Chuy’s on Barton Springs Rd.

Find out more about TAP, Community Wellness Day and maybe Feldenkrais here.

Community Wellness Day
Sunday, May 4
1 to 5 PM
Casa de Luz
1701 Toomey Rd.
Free health and wellness classes and services
Donations welcome
All benefitting Theatre Action Project

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Build your own Peace Bench

Some of the 15 new Peace Benches created by and for the Austin community.

The Peace Benches are out!

At least the first batch of them. You remember our talking about the MLK Day of Service earlier this year, where the first Peace Bench premiered. The goal was to enlist volunteers to build, decorate, and distribute 100 Peace Benches over the course of the year, and last Friday the first 15 were sent out.

See the benches and where they are placed across the city with this link.

You should also check out the comment posted by Alissa Magrum, director of volunteer services for Communuties in Schools. She and about 14 other CIS staff members created four new Peace Benches a few weeks ago, and were very surprised by the emotion of the experience.

“Our benches will be placed in schools and community locations as places where mentors and their mentees can meet. Hopefully, the benches will inspire conversations and thoughts about the kind of community we want to live in and will carry a message of Hope. Hope for a peaceful world.”

Want to build your own Peace Bench? Contact Mando Rayo at Hands On Central Texas.

Donate: This Saturday’s Hill Country Ride for AIDS

A rider sweating it for the Hill Country Ride for AIDS

This Saturday, April 26, is the 10th annual Hill Country Ride for AIDS. Still plenty of time to make your donation online.

Fifty to seventy miles through the Hill Country is nothing to sneeze at. It’s one thing to cruise it in a convertible, it’s a whole ‘nother thing to ride it on a bicycle. I did the 40-something mile 5 Boro Bike Tour in New York City about 10 years ago, and that nearly killed me. I mean, I thought I was in pretty good shape, but when I got off my bike I buried its wheels in concrete and dumped it into the East River. Yes, New York is mostly flat, but you never notice how steep it is to get on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge until you have to ride it. My thighs literally burst into flames. Good thing it was raining.

That’s why I’ve got all kinds of respect for the 77 riding teams signed up to sweat the hills this weekend, especially the dozens of ad agency team members who also produced the ride’s marketing campaign pro bono. Check out their work and sign up to donate here.

It’s not too late to donate. So far, the ride’s raised $450,000 this year alone, but that’s a bit short of their $650,000 goal. (In nine years, the ride’s raised more than $2.5 million.) This is all going to 10 Central Texas nonprofits who help anyone effected by AIDS, by the way. All the money stays right here at home.

Click here to pick a team – or just give a general donation. Just look for the red “Click here to donate” by the thermometer image.

Hey, NPO Communicators: Consider Twitter

So many possiblities on Twitter. If I were a nonprofit communications director (again), I would take advantage of this tool for keeping in touch with my board, my stable of volunteers, and my biggest donors, especially around the time of a big event.

Think about it: Let’s say you have a big fundraising event coming up. You get your biggest supporters signed up to receive your Tweets on their phone – these are just very short little messages you can text from your phone or computer whenever the mood strikes. So you send out a message like, “Finalized caterer today. Got a great deal on the mousse Andrea Ball liked so much!”

Just an occasional message to keep your event and your organization on their minds. It’s totally free, it’s ridiculously easy, and it’s even kind of fun. Who doesn’t like to get a little message on their phone? It doesn’t even have to be an action item, just a message like, “In talks with major corporation to donate a slew of office equipment… no more slumming it a Kinkos.”

I’ve put my Twitter feed on my blog (see left) because it lets me update the site from a phone text. It’s great for quick announcements, random thoughts, and reminders – and it’s a super-easy way to maintain contact with the people who support your mission the most. Let me know if you sign up because I’d love to receive your Tweets!