My name is Ellie Nowlin, and I helped my mom put together a fantabulistical organization called Austin Allies. I really love volunteering with Allies. It makes me feel good to know what I’m doing is making people’s life better. I like thinking that I helped found a volunteer organization, and I volunteer almost every week!
My favorite place to volunteer is Saint Louise House. I’ve always been an interior designer at heart, so I love putting that dream to work to help somebody. We cleaned the house up, moved furniture in, and voila! We just made a house for someone!
That feeling you get is so good and it comes in so many different ways: when they announce the numbers at the Food Bank, when you admire your dinner display at Ronald McDonald House, and when you see all the smiling kids reading their brand-new books at Buford or the Housing Authority. It also comes when you see nicely sorted stacks of donated books at BookSpring, when you see your enormous diaper mountains at the Diaper Bank, and sending away bra island on trucks to Support the Girls. I also love our Book Club, which meets every month as well! I really enjoyed making Placemats and Bookmarks at the Texas Book Fest and egg shakers at ACL.
I think the best part of Allies is realizing you can have a good time and be accommodating. Working with Austin Allies isn’t just like another carnival fundraiser. You can make a bookmark, or cook a lunch or dinner; it’s fun… and you’re helping someone! You can help people in so many ways, and Allies is the best way to do it!!!
Ellie, age 11
Allies junior co-founder and volunteer