GivingCity Issue 1: Download it here!

Please feel free to send this link to a friend of colleague. Also, thanks for adding us to your media list – we’d love to hear more about your organization and cause.

To download your copy, just click on the cover or on the link below. Please let us know what you think. Feel free to send me any feedback or post a comment below.

(File size 5MB)

The guide to doing good in Austin
The guide to doing good in Austin




HEM Jeans: Your old jeans = Help for SafePlace

Hem's Jeans for SafePlace event


I love when local businesses find a cool way to help local nonprofits.

I don’t know why it’s different from what Macy’s does… wait! Yes, I do!

It’s different because it’s local and because, again, Macy’s “Shop for a Cause” event is yucky.

Macy’s asks nonprofits to sell $5 shopping passes to customers that would give customers an extra 20% off on this one day in September. Usually, Macy’s runs 20%-off coupons in the paper (aka, buys an expensive newspaper ad), which are available to anyone who buys a paper for 50 cents. What “Shop for a Cause” does it put the burden on nonprofits to hawk their coupons (aka “$5 shopping pass”) – except nonprofits get to keep the $5. Gee, thanks.

Now if any local nonprofits do participate in this, I hope it goes really well for you. I know you need a variety of revenue streams to stay afloat these days, and I hope this works out to be one.

But then we get local Austin businesses like Hem Jeans, this super-cool denim store born and raised in Austin. From August 13 – 31, when you bring in a gently worn pair of jeans to Hem Jeans, they give the jeans to SafePlace and give you $40 off a new pair.

No special “shopping pass” needed, other than a pair of jeans that don’t fit you anyway. An Austin business giving to an Austin charity. Nice.

An easy volunteering opportunity – MLK Day of Service

Are you looking for an easy, pain-free way to break into volunteering? Here it is: One day, one project, no skills required. You might should not mind cleaning, though.

Hands On Central Texas, a program of the United Way of Central Texas, offers it’s one-day, super collaborative MLK Day of Service next Saturday, January 19. Mando Rayo, Hands On director, and his Hands On team organize the event so that volunteers start with a huge, volunteering pep rally, then dash off to one of the nine projects they’ve lined up around town.

Which project are you going to choose? I recommend you hurry – of the nine projects slated, three are already full. Below are those projects that are still available.

9 am – 10:30 am: “Reflecting on the Dream” opening and volunteer check-in at Huston-Tillotson University
11 am – 3 pm: Service projects, location determined by project

HERE’S WHERE TO SIGN UP for any of the projects below.

1. Help prep and clean the newly remodeled emergency shelter at LifeWorks. LifeWorks is the only walk-in emergency shelter for runaway and homeless teens, ages 10 to 19. They provide food, a safe place to rest, counseling, and a lot more.

2. Help sanitize and clean the children’s playrooms at SafePlace. SafePlace is an emergency shelter for people and families facing domestic violence and sexual abuse. They provide safety and counseling and promote prevention and social change.

3. Help prune, mulch, and perform other winter-maintenance gardening tasts at SafePlace.

3. Clean up MLK Blvd, from Airport Blvd to Springdale Rd. State Representative Dawnna Dukes is hosting the 8th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Clean Up. The project aims to honor Dr. King by beautifying the street that bears his name.

4. Help clean up and paint a room at an East Austin church that will become the new child care room. The project is being produced by Austin Area Interreligious Ministries, an inclusive, interreligious organization that strives to foster respect and cooperation among the different faiths toward the city’s common good.

5. Help weed, hoe, mulch, and perform other winter maintenance gardening tasks at the Austin Travis County Mental Health Mental Retardation organization, which helps individuals and families achieve self-reliance and overcome mental, emotional, or substance use disorders and intellectual and developmental disabilities and delays.

More to come about this annual celebration of service!