Get Involved

Our Get Involved series is just one of the ways that KUT and KUTX give back to our community. Each month we spotlight a local nonprofit that's in need of your help. In these stories we discover the purpose, motivation and the needs of the highlighted program. It's a way to connect our listeners, through volunteering or contributions, with charities that make an impact to Austinites. 

"Without volunteers, we could not help as many people as we do, but we always need more volunteers, both as individuals and groups. KUT listeners are people who care about their community and who can make time in their lives to help those less fortunate," Suellen Mills, Vice President for Volunteer Services of Meals on Wheel and More, said.

We began Get Involved back in 2006 and have shared the stories of more than 100 local nonprofits since then. 

Support for Get Involved comes from Thundercloud Subs. “Fresh, fast and healthy. Since 1975."

From Austin Youth River Watch, this month's Get Involved spotlight organization:  

Austin Youth River Watch transforms and inspires youth through environmental education, community engagement, and adventure. As a result of our work, youth are better prepared to create positive outcomes for themselves and the environment, ensuring a better future for all.

From Health Alliance for Austin Musicians, this month's Get Involved spotlight organization:  

Did you know that live music is not only part of Austin's cultural identity, but also an essential economic engine for our city, bringing in billions of dollars through live performances each year? In maintaining this vital identity, it is important for us, as a community, to ensure our musicians are alive and well, and able to keep playing that music we all love.

From Austin Angels, this month's Get Involved spotlight organization:  

Every child deserves love and consistency. But too many don’t receive it — especially those in our foster care system. Austin Angels is out to change that.

From Bike Austin, this month's Get Involved spotlight organization:

Bike Austin is the largest membership-based bicycle advocacy and education organization in central Texas. We are working to help transform the transportation landscape into a space that is safe and hospitable to people of all ages and abilities to move freely. Our aim is to see the number of people choosing to ride bicycles increase, especially for short trips, and it become a normal aspect of daily living for residents of Austin and the surrounding communities.

From Austin Bat Refuge, this month's Get Involved spotlight organization:

Austin Bat Refuge, at its core, is two long-time volunteer wildlife workers dedicated to promoting respect for bats and their place in the environment through education, conflict resolution, rehabilitation and release. We have been rehabilitating bats and assisting the community for 10 years; becoming a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in early 2016 has allowed us to fundraise to expand our education and rehabilitation capacities and to better assist local bats in trouble.

From Refugee Services of Texas, this month's Get Involved spotlight organization:

For 40 years, Refugee Services of Texas (RST) has proudly been serving refugees, asylees, survivors of human trafficking and other displaced or vulnerable men, women, and children in Texas. 

Get Involved Spotlight: Travis Audubon

Mar 1, 2018

From Travis Audubon, this month's Get Involved spotlight nonprofit:

Travis Audubon was founded in 1952 by Central Texans who recognized the vital connection between conserving wildlife habitat and the ecological balance necessary for healthy, sustainable, and habitable communities.

Our vision: Inspiring conservation through birding.

From Austin State Hospital's Volunteer Services Council, this month's Get Involved spotlight nonprofit:  

Since 1952, the Volunteer Services Council (VSC) has made a difference in the greater Austin community by bringing comfort and hope to the children and adults receiving treatment for mental illness at Austin State Hospital (ASH).  We invite you to continue partnering with the VSC by supporting our mission to enhance the quality of life of our patients.  Your support this year is more crucial than ever, given the ongoing State mental health funding deficits. 

From Jeremiah Program, this month's Get Involved spotlight nonprofit:

Jeremiah Program - Transforming Lives Two Generations at a Time

Jeremiah Program offers one of the nation’s most successful strategies for transforming families from poverty to prosperity two generations at a time. Jeremiah’s proven, holistic approach begins with establishing a supportive community for determined single mothers to pursue a career-track college education. Through a combination of quality early childhood education, a safe and affordable place to live, empowerment classes, and life skills training, families find stability and a path out of poverty.

From Project Transitions, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:  

Mission: Project Transitions is dedicated to serving people with HIV and AIDS by providing supportive living, housing, recuperative care and hospice in compassionate and caring environments.

From VELA, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:  

No one prepares you for having a child with special needs. There will be ups and downs, acronyms and paperwork, and special education services and doctor’s visits to figure out. VELA was created to empower families of children with special needs through hand-on courses, support and community building. VELA stands for Vibrant. Empowered. Limitless. Able- this is how we feel about the families we serve!

Overview of Services: We know that providing parents with brochures and websites is simply not enough to empower them on this new journey. Instead, we aim to build a community around them through our Family Empowerment and Training Program. Through the parent, for the child. VELA’s programming includes free courses designed to teach parents how to support their child’s strengths and needs, connect to community resources, and navigate systems (Autism, Special Education and Taking Care of You Courses), Monthly Support Groups, Supportive Case Management and Family Fun Days! All programming is in Spanish and English and includes specialized childcare services. 

From Generation Serve, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

Mission: To engage youth in volunteerism and empower them to make a difference in their communities.

  

From Foundation Communities, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

Mission: Creating housing where families succeed.

From Meals on Wheels Central Texas, this month's Get Involved spotlight nonprofit:  

Mission:

Meals on Wheels Central Texas seeks to nourish and enrich the lives of the homebound and other people in need through programs that promote dignity and independent living.

From Swan Songs, this month's Get Involved spotlight nonprofit:

Swan Songs mission is to fulfill musical last wishes by organizing private concerts for individuals with a terminal illness or nearing the end of life. At their request, a favorite style of music or local musician is brought directly to the home or healthcare facility. The concert allows the recipient, family and friends to focus beyond the illness and come together through music. 

Get Involved Spotlight: Out Youth

Jun 1, 2017

From Out Youth, this month's Get Involved spotlight nonprofit:

Out Youth’s Mission:

Out Youth promotes the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social well being of sexual and gender minority youth so that they can openly and safely explore and affirm their identities.

From Girls Rock Austin, this month's Get Involved spotlight nonprofit:

Girls Rock Austin's mission is to empower girls, women, trans and gender-nonbinary youth through music education and performance.

From Farmgrass, this month's Get Involved spotlight nonprofit:

Mission: Farmgrass's mission is to promote the mental and physical well-being of independent Central Texas farmers and ranchers.

Farmgrass raises emergency medical funds for local, independent farmers by donating proceeds from community events throughout the year such as Farm To Feast, a locally sourced dinner banquet, and Farmgrass Fest, a family-friendly Americana music festival. These events raise awareness about the dangers and struggles of farming, promote the local food movement, and bring in critical funds for independent farmers who don't have a financial safety net.

From Boneshaker Project, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

MISSION

To inspire kids to lead healthy and active lifestyles!

ABOUT US

Go outside! Run on a playground, ride a bike, grab a racket, and ‘shake your bones’ to feel healthy and active. This is the lifestyle we inspire our community’s kids to live. In AISD the percentage of overweight and obese students varies widely by school, from from 23.5% to 53.5% according to a 2010 Children’s Optimal Health report. Additionally, obesity rates are disproportionate by race, as African American and Latino rates of obesity are twice as high as other racial groups.

From AGE of Cental Texas, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:  

Mission:

AGE of Central Texas tackles the challenges of aging with expert solutions, and is dedicated to senior adult and family caregivers to help make aging a journey of compassion and strength.

Who We Are:

From this Brighter Bites, month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

Brighter Bites is a non-profit that delivers fresh fruits and vegetables directly into families’ hands, while teaching them how to use and choose a different kind of fast food. We make it fun. We make it free. And we make it happen via a simple, three-part formula. Since summer 2015, Brighter Bites has distributed over 1 million pounds of produce to more than 3,500 Austin families.

Mission

Brighter Bites creates communities of health through fresh food.

Vision

Brighter Bites is rooted in the belief that if we give our kids something better to munch on, they will. And the lives they lead will be as vibrant as the foods they crave.

  

From Little Artist Big Artist, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

From CareBox Program, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

Mission:

CareBOX Program provides free essential care supplies to cancer patients to help prevent malnutrition, infections, and injuries from falls.

From the Texas Appleseed, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

About Texas Appleseed

As a nonprofit public interest justice center, Texas Appleseed works to change unjust laws and policies that prevent Texans from realizing their full potential. Our organization does this by anchoring a dynamic network of pro bono partners and collaborators to develop and advocate for innovative and practical solutions to complex issues. Through data-driven research, we uncover inequity in laws and policies, identify solutions for lasting change, and advocate for these solutions. When justice is beyond reach, Texas Appleseed provides the ladder.

  From the Blanton Museum of Art, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

Blanton Mission Statement:

Founded in 1963, the Blanton Museum of Art is one of the foremost university art museums in the country and holds the largest public collection in Central Texas. Recognized for its modern and contemporary American and Latin American art, Italian Renaissance and Baroque paintings, and encyclopedic collection of prints and drawings, the Blanton offers thought-provoking, visually arresting, and personally moving encounters with art.

Blanton Education Vision:

Our Vision: We believe that art matters. Our aim is to provide visitors with engaging and memorable gallery experiences that will motivate further exploration.

We make this vision a reality through the dedicated work of volunteer gallery teachers. Our volunteers make visitors feel welcome in the museum and introduce them to a variety of ways of looking at and experiencing art. A gallery lesson at the Blanton helps visitors develop visual literacy skills and make personal connections with art that can extend beyond their time in the museum.

  From Ghisallo Cycling Initiative, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:  

Mission and Vision

Our Vision:We envision a community where youth become expert cyclists who grow to become lifelong, safety­conscious riders.

Our Mission:Our primary mission is to develop youth who safely and expertly integrate bicycling into their daily lives, to teach participants self­sufficient cycling skills, and to facilitate the experience needed for youth cyclists to be peer leaders.

From Explore Austin, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

Established in 2006, Explore Austin helps change the lives of underserved youth through leadership, mentoring, and adventure.

 

Founded in 2006, Explore Austin combines the benefits of mentoring and outdoor adventure in a six-year program for 6th through 12th grade underserved youth. 

From Communities In Schools of Central Texas, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

MISSION AND VISION

Children cannot learn at their potential when they are in crisis or face significant non-academic needs. Most students who drop out of school are dealing with multiple problems that present barriers to their education: poverty, unattended health needs, hunger, an unemployed parent, domestic violence.

Our mission:  Communities In Schools of Central Texas surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

Communities In Schools is a dropout prevention program. Through campus-based programs and special projects, Communities In Schools creates a network of volunteers, social services, businesses, and community resources that work together to break down barriers and help students succeed. Communities In Schools of Central Texas serves thousands of children and families every year, providing options where there once were none. Each year, CIS serves more than 50,000 clients. Of our more than 6,000 case managed students, 99% stay in school and 84% improve grades, attendance or behavior.

From Divine Canines, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

Divine Canines provides free therapy dog services to more than 60 sites around Austin and Central Texas. Our specially trained dog-and-handler volunteer teams visit children and adults facing various physical and cognitive challenges, including mental illness, physical limitations and dementia. Clients who interact with our wonderful dogs benefit emotionally and physically, showing signs of improved mood, confidence, communication and trust. Our dogs love the attention and affection they get from our clients!

Get Involved Spotlight: GirlForward

Apr 1, 2016

From GirlForward, this month's Get Involved spotlight non-profit:

MISSION: GirlForward provides adolescent refugee girls with individual mentorship, educational programs and leadership opportunities, creating a community of support that serves as a resource and empowers girls to be strong, confident, and independent.  

WHY GIRLS? In conflict, adolescent girls are especially vulnerable to violence, isolation, and being kept out of school. When they are resettled, they need extra support.

  

EDUCATING GIRLS: Most GirlForward girls have had less than two years of schooling before arriving in the U.S.

  

WHY REFUGEES? There are 60 million people worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes. We are in the midst of the biggest refugee crisis the world has ever seen.

  

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