The Austin Chronicle

Holiday Wish Lists 2004

Presents for Public Service

November 26, 2004, Features

Thank you.

So easy to say. So difficult to embrace.

Thank you.

Thanking God is big these days.

As in: Thank you, God, for delivering us from the maw of death at the hands of _____________ . (You may fill in blank with whatever natural disaster, economic downfall, or imagined or real bogeyman tweaks your fear knobs the most.)

Yeah, lots of tragedy. Sucks. For them.

If we don't personally suffer from it, then God must love us.


That type of gratitude is hollow. Seems shortsighted. Seems mean-spirited. Seems really greedy, cheesy, smug, and sheltered.

Whatever God does exist, I imagine her to be like wizened grandma at a special family event, enjoying the special occasion of attention, the oohhh-ing and aahhh-ing over lavish presents, and showering of gratitude –- yet, all the while wondering if her family really appreciates and knows what to do with the gifts it already has.

Here is our annual Holiday Wish List list. We are grateful for these and other area organizations that fill the gaps that we, as the most wealthy and organized society ever to set foot on Earth, still seem to create. Somehow, despite the appallingly ample amount of resources at our fingertips, some of our own still need. Our desperately and deliberately crumbling social service structure reminds me of the family with the brand new Cadillac whose kids get sent out in storms without a raincoat. Do we really do this to our own?

It is important to remember that the groups that serve to fill society's needs also have needs of their own. In these cases, very specific needs, hence this list.

We've asked groups for five items, with the understanding that cash, volunteers, computers, and printers are fairly universal. We encourage you to call these folks for the very specific items and brand names that would serve them best. Many more groups will participate in this, and whatever is not here in print may be accessed online.

We hope you find this list most useful. Literally.

Happy holidays, every one.

And Thank You.

–- Kate X Messer; list compiled by Reena Karia and Kate Getty

701 Tillery, 472-2001

• Scanner
• Printing services or discount on printing
• Copier and printer paper
• Archival supplies
• Film/video production services to document cultural events

AIDS Services of Austin
PO Box 4874, Austin, 78765,458-2437

• A heavy-duty, side-by-side refrigerator
• Conference room chairs
• Comfortable desk and side chairs
• Office-supply gift certificates
• Locking file cabinets

Any Baby Can
1121 E. Seventh, 454-3743

• Ages 0-2 – warm clothes, nursery items, mobiles, and musical toys
• Ages 2-4 – warm clothes, books, kids games, trucks, and dolls
• Ages 4-6 – warm clothes, Barbie dolls, skates, scooters or skateboards, educational toys (LeapFrog), books, board games, puzzles, colors sets, and paints
• Ages 6-8 – warm clothes, watches, cameras, shoes or tennis shoes, dolls or Barbie dolls, and educational toys
• Ages 8-10 – warm clothes, make-up sets, nail polish, beauty supplies, jewelry,fashionable clothes, purses, watches, skateboards, cameras, soccer balls or footballs, baseball/softball gloves, sports gear, and tennis shoes

Austin Free-Net
206 E. Ninth #13.109, 326-9084

• LCD projector
• Wireless access points
• Ergonomic chairs
• CD burners
• Desktop publishing software

Austin Habitat for Humanity,
310 Comal #100, 472-8788

• Land – donations or good price
• Overhead projector
• Used building materials at our RE-stores
• Delivery truck
• Paint spray rig

Austin Humane Society
124 W. Anderson, 837-7985

• Canned cat food
• Nonclumping cat litter
• Stainless steel 9- to 10-inch-diameter dog bowls
• Laundry detergent
• 10-foot-by-12-foot-by-11-foot-3-inch Woodmaster storage shed (available at the Home Depot)

Austin Outreach and Community Service Center
8101 Cameron #104, 833-0444

• Office supplies (copy paper, ink jet paper, and laser printer paper)
• Cabinets for storage and coats
• Couch and chairs
• Bottled water for one year

Casa Marianella
821 Gunter, 385-5571

• Phone cards
• Walkmen
• Sweatshirts
• Bath towels
• Work shoes

Equal Justice Center
510 S. Congress #206, 474-0007 x101

• Mini DV camera or digital still camera
• Design help for logo, Web site, newsletters, brochures, marketing materials, etc.
• Stamps/postage
• File cabinets, bookshelves, brochure racks
• Laptop PCs – Pentium 4 class 1.0 gigahertz or better
• Refrigerator
• Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards tickets or other frequent flyer credits
• DVD player
• TV for educational programs

Girls Empowerment Network Austin
PO Box 3122, Austin, 78764, 414-0472

• LCD projector
• TV/VCR combo
• Stamps
• A dolly
• Laminator
• Office and art supplies
• Door prizes & volunteer recognition gifts (small gifts/certificates)
• Name tag labels
• Floor rug
• Disposable cameras

The Griffin School
710 E. 41st, 454-5797

• PR/design services, either per project or ongoing
• Visits from local, working artists for assemblies and workshops
• Roofing services
• A bus or three vans
• A/V and electronics repairperson; A/V repair service and ongoing maintenance
• Laser printers or three-in-ones or printing services

Inside Books Project

• Digital mail scales
• Dictionaries (English and Spanish/English)
• Postage
• Mailing supplies
• Books

Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas
PO Box 2340, 78768, 474-5475

• Airline miles
• Software with licenses
• Printer toner cartridges
• LaserJet mailing labels
• Printer and copier paper

1221 West Ben White Boulevard, Ste 108-A, 324-6872

• Adopt-a-Family
1) Families range in size from 2-10 individuals.
2) All families are currently or have recently received services from one or more LifeWorks programs.
3) A variety of gift delivery drop-off dates and times are available.
4) As a guideline to donors, LifeWorks suggests that donors spend between $50 and $100 per individual in the family plus a gift card for groceries.
• Adopt-a-Youth
1) Donors may adopt an individual youth or a group of youths from our programs.
2) Youths range from 16-21.
3) A variety of gift delivery drop-off dates and times are available.
4) In order to maintain equity and fairness within the house, LifeWorks suggests that donors spend between $50 and $60 per youth.
• Sponsor a Holiday Party
1) You provide food and decorations for the holiday party
2) Assist with recruiting volunteers to provide stocking stuffers for each of the party's guests. LifeWorks suggests that donors spend $35-50 per youth on a gift card to one of the many larger retail stores (i.e., Target, Wal-Mart, HEB, etc.) that stock clothes, food, and other essential items.

MonkeyWrench Books
110 E. North Loop, 407-6925

• New window (because mean people broke the last one and tagged on the one before that)
• A projector (because we are tired of watching movies on a small TV screen)
• New stereo (because ours is on the verge of not working at all)
• A new sign (criteria: bright, neon, big, gaudy)

Out Youth
909 E. 491½2, 419-1233

• Surveillance cameras (they were recently vandalized)
• New printer
• Wireless Internet access for four computers
• Accountant for 2004 audit
• Office supplies

Project Transitions Inc.
7101-B Woodrow, 454-8646

• Patio furniture
• Movie tickets
• Paper products (tissues, paper towels, napkins)
• CDs and DVDs
• Gift cards for household items from stores like Target or Wal-Mart

Rude Mechanicals
2211-A Hidalgo, 472-9472

• Power tools (cordless drills, new table saw, mig welder, drill press)
• Video and film projectors of just about any kind
• Airline miles (yes, we're serious)
• Guest-artist housing
• Cameras (digital and video)
• Dry cleaning services
• Sign-making services
• Theatrical lighting instruments
• Comfy chairs for sitting

1515-A Grove, 267-SAFE

• Arts and crafts supplies
• Educational/interactive toys for toddlers and children up to age 12
• Teen gifts such as Walkmen, tapes/CDs, games
• Gift cards to grocery stores or general stores like Wal-Mart or Target
• Diapers size 4-6 and pull-ups, baby wipes, and baby care (powder, shampoo, etc.)

Texas Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League

• Stamps
• Folding chairs
• Postage machine
• Office supplies

Texas Homeless Network
200 E. Eighth, 482-8270

• TV
• TV/VCR combo

Victory Grill
1104 E. 11th, 542-0098

• Archiving supplies, framing/matting in black, silver, browns
• Large Christmas tree
• Indoor/outdoor red carpet
• Discs for Sony Mavica digital camera

Williamson County Crisis Center
211 Commerce #103, Round Rock, 255-1212

• Vinyl mattress covers in twin, full, queen
• Personal toiletries and containers for them
• Videos, VHS for moms, teens, and children
• Economical phone cards and gift cards (HEB, Target, etc.)
• Hair dryers, irons, grooming appliances, etc.

Wright House Wellness Center
4301-B N. I-35, 467-0088

• Food and snacks for clients
• Padded folding chairs for support groups
• Household items (bedding, towels, cookware, etc.)
• Brand spanking new vacuum cleaner
• Shelving units for fitness class supplies

YMCA of Austin
1100 W. Cesar Chavez, 322-9622

• Children's books for ages 3-10 for our reading program
• 30 vinyl beanbag chairs for the reading centers at our 15 afterschool sites
• 30 LeapFrog math books
• Halloween costumes and dress-up items for children ages 3-6
• Items to equip a science/nature center: 15 microscopes, 30 magnifying glasses, 30 butterfly nets, 30 pairs of binoculars, other elementary-age appropriate items in multiples of 15

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