Give 'til it helps, part 1
We can point and grumble about economic indicators and wail and gnash about how these people or those people are at the root of all of our nickel-rubbing woes. But, in truth, for a culture in looming financial ruin (or finally seeing the pinpoint of light at the end of the recession tunnel, whatever your perspective), the fact remains: We are living pretty large. Pretty damn large, friends. Yet, many are not – even here in River City, where our embarrassment of riches, relative to the rest of the map of U.S. financial survival, is generally good and insulated. Too bad that's not true for many folks right in our own town. Too many do not enjoy the bounty that is Austin.
Another fact remains: It's truly in all of our interests for the entire social fabric to hold true; it's not in our interest to witness the suffering of threadbare patches surrounded by gilded filigree. That's some old-school caste warfare shit right there and kinda antithetical to the concept of democracy. So here's a call to all of our friends who lobbied to ensure that $250,000-plus incomes will continue to be taxed at disproportionately low and laughable levels: Redistribution of hoarded resources is one way out of this mess. And since you don't think the government can handle budgeting this balance, and so many of you insist that you know better how to handle the booty, show us what you got. Call these nonprofits today, Mr. & Ms. 1,000 Pinpoints of Light, and sprinkle your fair share (relative portion, embarrassing pittance, whatever you are comfortable calling it).
Each year, The Austin Chronicle invites local nonprofits to submit lists of the things they need to serve our community. We edit these as space dictates and encourage you to research the details on what specific kinds/brands/sizes/conditions of things are needed (some are legal mandates, so do please call). Here are a few hints: Please don't dump off old or broken items. Since they always need computer stuff, copies, printing, and your cash and love (i.e., volunteer hours), we've taken most of those out of the lists. If you have those to give, call your intended recipient and shower them with your tangible affection.
Let's do this, darling Austin. Let's support the good these superheroes do all year long.
List compiled by Kate X Messer and Katie Tomasino.
Part 2 runs next week in print, and the overflow and any last-minute additions will appear online. (There is still time to submit your list to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
ANY BABY CAN
Spanish & English children's books
New car seats
Cribs, bassinets, Pack 'n Plays, layette items, beds
Children's coats, winter shoes
High chairs, strollers
ASSISTANCE LEAGUE OF AUSTIN
Upholstered conference room chairs (12)
Square card table & chairs (four sets)
Kitchen/dining chairs (20)
THE AUSTIN ACADEMY
Grocery/retail gift cards
$95 GED testing fees
Ozarka water service
AUSTIN COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
Buy a Giving Card! They operate like retail gift cards and can be redeemed to benefit any public charity in the U.S.
How to buy a Giving Card:
1) Go to www.austincf.org.
2) Purchase one or more cards in any amount.
3) ACF mails the card to the buyer, who then sends it to the recipient.
How to redeem:
1) Go to www.austincf.org.
2) Use the six-digit number on the back to redeem card by choosing from list or by entering the nonprofit of your choice.
3) ACF sends a check for the whole amount on the card to the charity.
Rolling chairs (for computer labs)
Foam ear pad covers for headphones
Braille keyboard stickers
Color laser printers
AUSTIN GROUPS FOR THE ELDERLY
Wii console, games, and controllers
Potting soil, bird seed
AUSTIN HUMANE SOCIETY
124 W. Anderson, 646-PETS. www.austinhumanesociety.org
Retail/grocery/pet store gift cards
High-quality canned dog and cat food
Blankets (without stuffing)
Nonclumping cat litter
Towels (all sizes)
Cat/dog treats & toys
CAPITAL AREA FOOD BANK
Support the restoration of proposed cuts in the food stamp program.
Engage in CAFB policy priorities by signing up for public policy alerts.
2,500 $100 donations to purchase a new Mobile Food Pantry to reach more underserved populations in Central Texas. Did you know one in seven Texans use food stamps?
Food donations, especially those high in protein: canned tuna, canned chicken, peanut butter, etc.
Work boots (men's sizes 7-10)
New socks, sneakers
CENTER FOR CHILD PROTECTION
Underwear, socks (for boys and girls, all sizes)
Diapers (newborn-size 2)
Retail gift cards
Scientific calculators for students taking ACT and SAT tests (30)
$5-20 restaurant gift cards
Laptop computers (5)
Digital cameras (3)
Computer mice (10)
Flash drives (20)
Laptop cases (10)
EAST AUSTIN COLLEGE PREP ACADEMY
Land in East Austin
Musical instruments (orchestra)
Interactive dry-erase boards
Books (for ages 11-14)
Digital & video camera(s)
EQUAL JUSTICE CENTER
Graphic designer for brochures and workers' rights education materials
Expert digital-video editing for workers' testimonies
Digital video camera
Dell server and equipment (call for specs)
Printing services for 1,000 new bumper stickers
DJ services donated for Merry Martini Mixer
Office admin, IT, field interns
FRIENDS OF AUSTIN STATE SUPPORTED LIVING CENTER
2203 W. 35th, 374-6048. www.aussvsc.org
Large permanent canopy to cover deck area and minigolf course
Construction of a sand volleyball or basketball court
Adult three-wheeled and two-seater bicycles
Softball gloves, bats, balls, bases
Folding tables and chairs
Gently used furniture
Gently used clothing
Golf clubs & carts
GIRLS EMPOWERMENT NETWORK
Small couch or chairs in good condition
Office/grocery store gift cards
Medium-sized conference table
Portable presentation screen
HELPING THE AGING, NEEDY AND DISABLED INC.
Bath towels & washcloths
Grocery gift cards
Tonka trucks, play sand, shovels/pails, soccer balls, large bouncy balls
Kitchen appliances: coffee makers, pots, pans, toaster ovens
Paper products: paper towels, tissues, toilet paper, napkins
New booster seats, toddler car seats, high chairs
Items for our food pantry: Ensure, Carnation Instant Breakfast, peanut butter, canned soups, canned meats, dried beans, etc.
Soothing music CDs
Drawing tablets & colored pencils
Coloring books & crayons
HOUSE THE HOMELESS
New sets (tops and bottoms) of women's thermal underwear (medium/large)
Donations for HUGS for the Homeless
Backpacks (adult-size, in dark colors, with no mesh or fancy logos)
Sleeping bags (adult-size, in dark colors)
Hooded sweatshirts (adult sizes, in dark colors)
Foreign-language dictionaries (Arabic, Urdu, Hindi, Chinese, Vietnamese)
Nonperishable food items: trail mix, dried fruit, granola/protein bars, etc.
Baby bottles with disposable liners
Grocery/retail gift cards
Wool hats & gloves
White crew socks
MEALS ON WHEELS AND MORE
Stationery items (pens, notepads, stamps)
Robes, housecoats, and slippers (all sizes)
Ensure (any type)
NARAL PRO CHOICE TEXAS
PROJECT ABUNDANT LIFE
Energy-efficient A/C (large wall size)
Metal or plastic folding chairs (three dozen)
Gardening tools and supplies for backyard community garden
Color copy service
REFUGEE SERVICES OF TEXAS
Volunteers and mentors willing to help teach English and orient newly arrived refugees to the Austin area
References to employers seeking individuals with limited English skills
Retail/grocery gift cards
Prepaid cell phones
Bikes, helmets, locks
Winter clothing for adults and children ages 3-12
Bedding: twin size sheets and blankets, pillows
Diapers (sizes 3-6) and baby wipes
Nonviolent toys/electronic games
Grocery/gas gift cards
Gifts for teenagers
Books in Spanish
Pots & pans sets
TEXAS CIVIL RIGHTS PROJECT
Adobe Acrobat X Standard
THEATRE ACTION PROJECT
Gently used electronics: digital projectors, boom boxes, radios, digital cameras, video cameras
Kid-friendly craft supplies: construction paper, markers, crayons, scissors
Summer camp scholarships
Kid-friendly musical instruments
Paper cutters & laminator
One month electricity/rent
Blank CD-Rs or DVD-Rs
Gently used costumes
Gently used tools
Fire wire cables
THUNDERING PAWS ANIMAL SANCTUARY
Premium dry dog/cat food: Go! Natural, Nulo, Merrick, Orijen
Mats for bunny cages: something they can sit on and eat!
Tidy Cats scoopable cat litter
Small Petmate animal carrier
"Green" cleaning products
Two- or three-door cages
Central HVAC filters