2018: Year in Review

Wow, 2018 was certainly a busy year for Austin Allies! I spent an entire afternoon going through photos, posts, and calendars from the past year and I am both amazed and humbled at how much we were able to accomplish together! With all of your help, Austin Allies:

• Prepared, cooked, and served 9 meals at Ronald McDonald House

• Hosted 12 Book Clubs at BookPeople and welcomed visits from Mayor Adler, author Kat Kronenberg, and Maya Smart

• Sorted and packed up almost 40,000 lbs of food for Central Texas Food Bank

• Attended ACL’s Austin Kiddie Limits where we talked with hundreds of families and put together more than 650 musical egg shakers which were then delivered to 7 local music programs

• Manned the Hand to Hold/Austin Marathon water station

• Donated school supplies, pajamas, stocking goodies, and apartment items to Saint Louise House in addition to putting together an apartment for a family that SLH serves

• Chaired the Children’s Activity Tent for the Texas Book Festival

• Collected, sorted, and packed up school supplies for Partnerships for Children

• Collected school supplies for Communities in Schools

• Distributed hundreds of books to children served by BookSpring

• Wrapped literally thousands of diapers for Austin Diaper Bank

• Participated in two different “It’s My Park Days” with Austin Parks Foundation

• Decorated bookmarks, collected books, packed backpacks, and staffed two Pack Drive booths for Carrying Hope

• Collected items for a mom and her two boys escaping domestic violence, as well as yoga and art supplies for Joyful Inspiration

• Delivered more than 10 bags full of birthday gifts and cards for the kids living at Helping Hand Home

• Put together 50 Valentine goodie bags for the children at SAFE

• Handed out 4,000 bottles of water to marchers and supplied snacks and drinks for the speakers at March For Our Lives

• Participated in Austin Public Library’s Dia de los Niños, AISD’s Summer Reading Splash and city-wide PTA event, Circle C’s Food Trailer Night, and Mills Elementary’s first Citizenship Day

• Hosted 4 Family Fun Nights where we collected school supplies, birthday gifts for foster children, socks for Triumphant Warrior, and items for Allison Elementary’s playground transformation

• Staffed Austin Diaper Bank’s booth at the Round Rock Express game

• Washed and ironed 100+ tiny graduation gowns for Avance

• Renovated Allison Elementary’s Kindergarten playground

• Held a book drive where we collected over 2000(!) books for BookSpring

• Put together and delivered bags of food and cleaning supplies to 66 families supported by Amaanah Refugee Services

• Handed out books to hundreds of kids with AISD Library Media Service’s Buford the Book Bus

• Delivered books and crafted with kids with BookSpring and the Housing Authority of Austin

• Worked in the garden with Urban Roots

• Prepped summer camp materials for GirlStart

• Collected, washed, and sorted bras for Support the Girls

• Cleaned Barton Springs Pool

• Hosted activities for our littlest Allies where we participated in activities to support Austin Creative Reuse, Support the Girls, Caritas, and Silver Santa

• Sent 2 SUVs FULL of items to families who were being detained at the Texas border

• Wrapped holiday gifts at BookPeople

• Decorated hundreds of meal bags and cards for Meals on Wheels

• Packed and handed out Care Kits for seniors and veterans served by Silver Santa

• Played BINGO with seniors at Autumn Leaves Memory Care

• Collected hundreds of hygiene kits for ECHO to hand out to those experiencing homelessness in Austin

That list just completely takes my breath away. We have been able to do so much good and support so many organizations and people in Austin and we couldn’t do it without y’all. We are forever thankful to all of you for your generous and loving hearts and look forward to an even better 2019.

Thank you, Allies!

Erika Nowlin

Director, Austin Allies


Thankful

Two years ago, we formed Austin Allies in order to demonstrate to our children what it means to be kind, caring, and giving. It remains as important to us today as it was that very first day to be able to model these types of behaviors for our kids and to teach them that this world - that our world and our community - only works when people lend a hand and take care of one another.

Now, over 700 days and 300 volunteers later, we would like to take this season of Thanksgiving to once again tell each and every person who has offered up their time, goods, or money, from the bottom of our hearts THANK YOU. As we said when we set out to form Austin Allies, none of this can succeed if we don’t get help from all of you. And now, because of all of your generosity, love, and support, we can celebrate our second anniversary with our sights set on an even better and more productive future for our organization!

We’ll have some exciting announcements over the next few days and months about Allies, but know that our commitment to providing kids and their grown-ups fun opportunities to volunteer and donate will never waver! We have seen firsthand over the past two years that kids love helping and giving back to their community, so whether it’s our teens serving up a salad at the Ronald McDonald house, our littles sorting diapers at the Austin Diaper Bank, or any of the other incredible volunteer opportunities in-between, Austin Allies remains committed to our city and its people now and hopefully for a long time to come!

THANK YOU.

Erika, Vanessa, and the Austin Allies Team