Donations large and small have been made to the Austin Community Foundation for the Statesman Season for Caring program.
$ 5 checks, $ 25 money orders, and $ 250 credit card payments. Checks from financial companies in the name of family funds, checks from companies, school children pooling their money, churches collecting donations from members.
The combined efforts of the community have done great things. As of November 28, more than $ 871,000 has been donated to Season for Caring – more than enough to secure the Sheth Family’s $ 500,000 game.
With this match, Season for Caring raised $ 1,371,484 in monetary donations. This is almost double what was collected at this time last year, which was a banner year for the program which started in 1999.
Increase the match:The Sheth family matched $ 500,000 in donations from Season for Caring
Season for Caring donations will first aid the families featured in the program; Then they will be used by the 11 local nonprofits in this year’s program to help hundreds of their clients throughout the year with basic needs such as housing, utilities, transportation, groceries and medical care.
Financial donations go through the Austin Community Foundation either by sending a check in the mail or through online credit card donations at Statesman.com/seasonforcaring. Share transfers and cryptocurrency payments can also be made through the foundation.
While the increase in donations this year is remarkable, the need in central Texas has also increased. In this second year of the pandemic, local nonprofits in Austin have been hit hard. More and more people are struggling since the unemployment provisions and the moratorium on pandemic evictions disappeared. Organizations have struggled to raise funds, with in-person gatherings limited or non-existent on the schedule.
“It’s been a heartbreaking time, and to see how desperate people are, just the economic divide in our community,” said Simone Talma Flowers, executive director of Interfaith Action of Central Texas, one of the organizations at Season for Caring nonprofit.
Without the Season for Caring grants, “we wouldn’t be able to solve some of these individual issues that families face,” she said. “We could give a little bit but nothing substantial. That’s where the difference factor comes in, with Season for Caring.”
In addition to the fact that the Sheth family doubled their contribution from $ 250,000 to $ 500,000 this year, two other large donations helped.
Pat Munday, wife of the late car dealership founder Bill Munday, has donated $ 250,000, the third year she has received a substantial amount.
“Giving to this fund brings me great happiness as I know the donation will be used successfully to have vital impacts in the lives of others,” she wrote in an email. “Especially giving during the Christmas season makes Christmas ‘truly Christmas’ when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most. Hoping that the days to come bring many more blessings to the statesmen season for compassion. “
An anonymous donor gave $ 225,000 to Season for Caring and a similar amount to People’s Community Clinic. This is the second year this donor has given a six-figure amount to Season for Caring and another local charity. Last year it was the Central Texas Food Bank.
“Everything is local,” said the donor. “It makes an incredible difference.”
The Season for Caring giveaway will run until January 31. Many families presented still have important and urgent 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 Abraha’s brother 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.)
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 auto repairs, a lightly used car, an estate lawyer, help with claiming benefits, and a deposit for the apartment. (Hospice Austin, 512-342-4726, hospiceaustin.org.)
BJ Lentz, a legally blind musician, wants help with transportation via gift cards to 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.)
Cheryl selby, a window that 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 wheelchair rack, or a 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, a washer and dryer, blinds and curtains, and rent assistance and public services. (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.