Austin Involved makes philanthropy easy
“Welcome home” and “thank you” are powerful words for veterans according to Ewanda Hawthorne, Family Therapist at the Austin Vet Center. Thanks to volunteers with Austin Involved, area veterans will soon see those words written down on note cards holding $25 vouchers, a small gift aimed at helping returning soldiers integrate back into the community.
The Austin Vet Center was the latest local charity to receive time and money from members of Austin involved, a non-profit co-founded a year and a half ago by Matt Swinney and Courtney Clark.
“I've realized that even giving just little bits of time and money here and there combat that feeling of hopelessness,” Clark said.
Clark recognizes giving back to the community can be a challenge especially for those who are short on cash, time or have yet to find an organization they are passionate about. Austin Involved tries to make it easy for people to be philanthropic. Each month Austin Involved donates time and the $25 monthly membership fee to a member selected charity.
“We partner with other nonprofits in town like I Live Here, I Give Here and KUT radio to identify a particular community issue each month,” said Clark.
Heart House Austin, Animal Trustees of Austin and Meals on Wheels are three of more than a dozen non-profits Austin Involved has helped. Currently they have 85 members and they're growing.
“That's 85 new philanthropists for the city of Austin that didn't exist a year and a half ago when we started,” said Clark.