The title you just read conveys a staggering number. Think about it. 35,000 presents for kids in Austin. What does that mean? 35,000 kids would’ve missed Christmas were it not for the Chuy’s Parade, and lots of Austinites, that decided to support those that weren’t as fortunate this year.
That 6-word memoir was what I got out of volunteering at this year’s Parade.
More importantly, here are a few of the thoughts of the members of our group:
“Helped thousands in a few hours.”
“Helped raise over thirty thousand toys.”
“Thousands of toys donated for families.”
“Our Christmas Eve, their Christmas Morning.”
Last weekend Positive Footprint got together to volunteer in support of Urban Roots, an Austin organization that uses sustainable agriculture to impact the lives of young people and increase access to healthy food.
The older I get, the more I realize life is a finite thing (Yes, I know I’m only 26). I say this without the intention of sounding morbid or paranoid, but with an appreciation for the little things that we get to do that we sometimes take for granted. To me, this past event was a great example of that.
We had a small group; only 3 out of 8 of our members could make it. Interestingly, I found it to be a great number. It was nice to actually talk and get caught up with everyone’s lives, spend time discussing future ambitions and dreams, exchange stories, and simultaneously, support a great organization. Unfortunately, sometimes with a large group and lots of things to accomplish in a short amount of time, this gets missed.
I’m glad we didn’t miss that this time.
Next weekend (Sept. 15) we are supposed to be hosting a volunteer event to sell cookies on behalf of Austin’s Good Cookies - a great organization that raises money for children’s cancer research. We did this last year and helped them raise almost $1,000 with a few hours of work. Our high school volunteer team loved it!
Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to secure a retail location or restaurant to partner with this year.
If you can help us, there’s something great in it for you. Free advertisement for 1 year on our website (we’re on track this year to receive over 20,000 unique views). My only request is that it be something non-offensive or obscene. Fair enough, right?
The first Austin retail business or restaurant that gives us a space outside with steady foot traffic wins. What are you waiting for? Get in touch with me now while the offer is hot on the table.
512-589-two three three seven (cell) or david (at) positive-footprint.org
P.S. – I’ll update this post as soon as we find someone to partner with!
Our high school volunteer group will be out on Saturday, July 14 from 7am – 12:30pm hosting a HUGE 8-family garage sale in Southwest Austin. A few of the things being sold include: electronics, gaming consoles, bikes (kids and adults), clothes (all ages), books, kitchen items, knick knacks and toys, among many other things. Just follow the signs from Edwards Hollow Run & Brodie Lane.
The really great thing about all of this is that 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Mobile Loaves & Fishes. So, come out, bring your friends, tell your family and talk to your neighbor. We’d love to help you find some great deals while supporting an amazing cause! :)
Thanks and hope to see you on Saturday, July 14!
P.S. – If you’d like to support their effort by donating an item or two from your garage, please get in touch! :-)
About a month ago I made a decision. After a successful first year and over $14,000 of good done for Austin, I decided that I would broaden our reach and introduce additional, mentor-led high school volunteer groups. So, I put out the call on our website for high school students to join and secretly hoped we’d gather enough interest to start a second group. Then, something incredible happened. People started spreading the word. Our students started talking to their friends. Before I knew it I had over 50 applications to join.
Okay, so this is where your help comes in. We recently applied for a small grant through GoodMaker but need your vote to win it. It’s incredibly simple, and in 45 seconds you can help ensure that we do over $75,000 of good for individuals in need this year.
1. Click “Vote for this idea”
2.Confirm email address
3. Confirm vote
Last night I stopped by a student’s house to drop off something they had left after our retreat over the weekend. I ended up talking to his dad for a while, and heard a story that really moved me. He recounted a day a few weeks earlier that he had been approached by a homeless man while filling up his car at a gas station. When the man came up to him he was startled and taken back by his appearance. Feeling worried and uncomfortable, he declined the man’s request when he asked for money. His son, having witnessed what happened, immediately came out of the car and walked up to the homeless man. He pulled out his wallet and handed him his own money.
It’s moments like this that help me remember why I’ve spent the past year devoting time, sweat and money into Positive Footprint. Quite frankly, if there is an impact that we can have, I’d like for that impact to be on our high school students. But the truly amazing thing is our effect hasn’t stopped there, but rather trickled down to the families, friends and distant relatives of those that are involved.
Year one has been spectacular and succeeded my every hope. Year two will have some tough shoes to fill.
Looking forward to the next year,
Reflection Questions: What stood out while delivering fans to folks in need with Family Eldercare? Why did you choose Mobile Loaves & Fishes as the focus of your summer project?
The reason I chose to assist Mobile Loaves and fishes over this summer was because, out of all the events we have done in positive footprint, I feel that particular one stood out the most. The time and effort we spent creating those homeless kits, the smiles of the people we gave those kits to, is a memory that still rings fresh in my mind. I want to experience that again, so I am devoted to assisting this volunteer organization as much as I can over the summer.
Positive Footprint is recruiting high school students for new groups in the Fall. Interested?