Statesman Season for Caring Raises $ 1.6 Million for Austin Nonprofits


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A new baby for the new year. Professional training for a new career. A stable place to live.

These are some of the things families featured in the Statesman Season for Caring program should look forward to in 2022.

Since the Statesman launched the 2021 program on Nov. 28, donors have made $ 1,487,885 in monetary donations and $ 132,252 in in-kind goods and services.

The total of $ 1,620.37 is higher than any other year since the program began in 1999. This is the fifth year that the program has crossed the million dollar mark.

Giving brings “great happiness”

This year, the Sheth family kicked off with a $ 500,000 match, that central Texas easily made by Christmas.

Pat Munday, wife of the late car dealership founder Bill Munday, donated $ 250,000. “Giving to this fund brings me great happiness because I know the donation will be used successfully to have vital impacts in the lives of others,” she wrote in an email.

An anonymous donor gave $ 225,000. “Everything is local,” said the donor. “It makes an incredible difference.”

People lined up at P. Terry’s burger stands and Taco Ranch on December 11 for Giving Back Day, where all proceeds were donated to Season for Caring. They raised $ 36,317.

Factory Mattress donated new beds to all families, totaling $ 26,341 in beds.

“We have the ability to give back to those in need and help central Texas where we can,” said Stephen Frey Jr., president of Factory Mattress.

Furniture Mall of Texas and Austin’s Couch Potatoes delivered new furniture to four families and make furniture available to other families at wholesale price.

Students at Grisham College and Rawson Saunders School collected gifts and gift cards for two of the families.

Arelis López Guzman is overcome with emotion when a new sofa from the Furniture Mall of Texas is brought into her home.

Academy Sports and Outdoors presented a $ 1,000 gift card to each of the five families.

Austin Community College reached out to help three families continue their education.

The Firehouse Animal Health Centers donated $ 10,000 worth of family pet care.

The Capital Area Dental Foundation provided dental care to all family members who needed it.

Veterinarian Sean Quintana gives Chi-Chi one last look before returning him to his owners at the Firehouse Animal Health Center in Round Rock.

The Driskill Hotel held its annual Caring Group cookies and gathered some of Austin’s best bakers to fill cookie tins for sale. The boxes sold out quickly and raised about $ 6,400. The Driskill also offered a family a night at the hotel.

Individual donors read people’s wish lists and contacted cars, loan repayments, eye care, gravestone and more. They scoured Amazon’s wish lists of families to make sure everyone had something for Christmas.

Dr. Kavin Kelp takes x-rays with Tre Gaston-Ellis as part of the Capital Area Dental Foundation's commitment to Season for Caring.

A difficult year ahead

The donation is not finished. Donations made through January 31 will go to local nonprofits and star families in 2021.

Since 1999, Season for Caring has donated more than $ 16.8 million to local nonprofits. These organizations use the money to help presented families and meet needs such as rent and groceries for hundreds of their clients throughout the year.

“These are really basic needs,” said Jennifer Peterson, director of public relations and strategic partnerships at Any Baby Can, which works to strengthen families with a focus on children with special needs. “It was food; it was layers; it was things that supported them.”

The need is greater:‘Heartbreaking Times’: Pandemic most felt by families of Austin nonprofits

In 2021, Season for Caring nonprofits saw an unprecedented need to pay rent, utilities, medical bills, groceries, and transportation costs. Many pandemic safety nets, such as unemployment benefits and moratoriums on evictions, have ended.

The rising cost of rent, gasoline and food has put further strain on the population served by many organizations, from refugees to people living at or below the poverty line to people with diseases across the country. long term life threatening.

Without the Season for Caring funds, “we wouldn’t be able to keep people in their homes,” said Melinda Marble, communications coordinator at Hospice Austin, a nonprofit hospice hospice service.

These needs are not expected to decrease in 2022.

Caitlin Coker adapts shoes to King Jackson, 3, while Deandre Batts, 13, and Diana Sneed watch Academy Sports and Outdoors on December 15.  The Five Season for Caring families received $ 1,000 in store gift cards for holiday purchases.

Families still in need

Many of the families presented still have unmet needs.

Tahaguas Abraha and his family, who came from Eritrea via a refugee camp in Ethiopia, need a vehicle for seven people, a car seat, an immigration lawyer to help bring the brother d ‘Abraha in Austin and orthodontic care. (Interfaith Action of Central Texas, 512-386-9145, interfaithtexas.org)

Mike burnett and his family have lived in a motel for most of the past two years and need housing and a small washer and dryer, as well as a more stable job for Burnett. (Boys & Girls Clubs in the Austin area, 512-817-8910, bgcaustin.org)

Nathalie Castillo, who has a medically fragile 2-year-old daughter, wants her carpet to be replaced with a floor covering, wheelchair ramps installed, accessibility in a bathroom improved, and maintenance of the car and new tires are carried out. (Any Baby Can, 512-454-3743, anybabycan.org)

Left to right, Gabby and Alexis Burnett talk as Anna and Mike Burnett kiss after receiving a vehicle and laptop donated by Dirk Heinen on December 9.

Housing needs:A Better Place to Live, Stay on Many Families’ Wish List Season for Caring

Shilda fresch, who adopted five siblings in addition to three biological children, would like a bigger house, a bigger van and orthodontic care. (Dress for Success Austin, 737-471-6377, dressforsuccessaustin.org)

Tre Gaston-Ellis and her two sisters are raising two of their younger siblings after their mother died of COVID-19 in August. They need car repairs, an estate lawyer, help claiming benefits, and an apartment deposit. (Hospice Austin, 512-342-4726, hospiceaustin.org)

Used cars needed:Austin without a car, a fight for families looking for better jobs, places to live

Arelis López Guzman and her family from Guatemala just had a baby. They need a lightly used car, help paying medical bills, and an immigration lawyer. (Founding communities, 512-447-2026, foundcom.org)

BJ Lentz, a legally blind musician, wants help with transportation with gift cards for ridesharing services as well as electronic glasses, smart speakers and an Audible subscription. (Austin Musicians’ Health Alliance, 512-541-4226, myhaam.org)

Ashley rivera, a mom with stage 4 breast cancer, would like a play landscape for her children as well as help with medical bills, and would like her garage converted into a place for her children to play. (Wonders and worries, 512-329-5757, Wondersandworries.org)

Community at work:‘Overwhelmed by the blessing.’ Austin Church Helps Senior From Family Eldercare Warm Up For Winter

Cheryl selby, a widow who lived in an RV with no heat or running water, now has a better RV, but needs gift cards for Home Depot, Lowe’s, and HEB. (Family daycare, 512-450-0844, familyeldercare.org)

Judy Silvaand her husband, Juan, care for her brother, Ramon, who has Down syndrome and had a stroke 17 years ago. They would like a mobile home, rugs, car hitch, and a support for a wheelchair or van with a wheelchair lift. (Austin Palliative Care, 512-342-4768, austinpalliativecare.org)

Diana sneedlost her home in a fire in July. She and her grandchildren need a lawyer to help her settle her fire claim, blinds and curtains, as well as rent and utilities. (Meals on Wheels Central Texas, 512-476-6325, repassurrouescentraltexas.org.)

Donate to Statesman Season for Caring

Learn more about Season for Caring, read the stories of the families featured, and donate to Statesman.com/seasonforcaring. You can also find a coupon to send a donation by mail on Page 8 E.

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