This month, CI is doing something a little different on its website. City orders to encourage social distancing, slow the spread of the coronavirus and protect residents have dealt a blow to the local economy.
Some local businesses have started new efforts to keep their neighbors healthy and help those in need. CI is highlighting some of those efforts, but there are surely more in the community. If readers know of a local business that is working to help the community get through this time, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. The Austin Community Foundation, located at 4315 Guadalupe St., Ste. 300, and United Way for Greater Austin, 2000 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., announced April 20 that it awarded $1.8 million to 97 Central Texas nonprofits from the All Together ATX fund, The grants ranged from $3,000 to $50,000, and recipients ranged from AGE of Central Texas to YMCA of Austin. Through April 22, the All Together ATX fund has raised $5.1 million, according to the ACF website. The fund is designed to help nonprofits supporting those who have suffered economic or health-related harm as a result of the coronavirus. www.alltogetheratx.org. ACF: 512-472-4483. www.austincf.org. United Way: 512-472-6267. www.unitedwayaustin.org
2. Austin FC and YETI Coolers have set a goal to raise $27,000 for the Central Texas Food Bank by April 27, and both companies will match any donations up to the fundraising goal. As of the afternoon of April 23, the campaign is more than 90% of the way to its goal with more than $24,770 raised. Austin FC's home team offices are located at 1835-A Kramer Lane, Ste. 600, and Yeti's flagship store is located at 220 S. Congress Ave. Austin FC: www.austinfc.com. Yeti: 512-640-7249. www.yeti.com
3. The Austin Food and Wine Alliance will host a virtual online bake sale May 9, just ahead of Mother's Day on May 10. Customers can order baked goods online from April 23-May 6 from local restaurants such as Uncle Nicky's, Juniper, Eberle, Olamaie and more. Orders of each box include a $10 delivery fee to help support the restaurants and a $5 donation to AFWA. The boxes will be delivered between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on May 9. www.givebutter.com/afwa-bakesale
4. Austin Lighthouse for the Blind, a local nonprofit located at 4512 S. Pleasant Valley Road, has expanded its capacity to create needed supplies at its warehouse and distribution center. The nonprofit offers skills training, education and employment opportunities to the blind. According to a media release, the nonprofit has put additional resources into the production of products such as soap and hand sanitizers—tripling employee counts on production lines, hiring 20 additional temporary workers and investing more than $100,000 in equipment. 512-442-2329. www.austinlighthouse.org
5. The Austin Tech Alliance announced the launch of a new website, Lend A Hand ATX, which will mobilize the tech community to assist with community needs as Austin battles the coronavirus crisis. "We didn't see an entity that was galvanizing stay-at-home tech workers for volunteer opportunities, so we created Lend a Hand ATX," said Liz Coufal, an ATA advisory board member, in a media release. Tech volunteers can offer assistance and community members can request help at the Lend a Hand ATX website. www.austintech.org.
6. Local nonprofit Creative Action has put out a call to the community to create chalk art at their local bus stop honoring the Capital Metro drivers who are putting their health at risk to continue their work providing means of transportation for essential workers. Residents can share their art with Creative Action and Cap Metro by tagging both on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and using the hashtag #ChalklinesforFrontlines. They can also visit the Creative Action website and fill out a form to submit a photo of their work.
7. Foundation Communities has launched a free online tax prep service program in conjunction with GetYourRefund.org. The nonprofit based at 3000 S. I-35, Ste. 300, Austin, utilizes IRS-certified volunteers each year to help thousands of Central Texans file their taxes, according to a media release. That in-person program closed in March due to coronavirus concerns, but volunteers are now available online to assist in tax filing and help residents claim federal stimulus payments. The 2020 tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15. 512-447-2026. www.foundcom.org
8. JHL Co., a local events and branding firm headquartered at 1401 Rio Grande St., Austin, announced April 20 the launch of Feed the Fight ATX—a charitable effort created to support health care workers, law enforcement, first responders and local restaurants. Feed the Fight initially began as a neighborhood effort in Washington, D.C., has now provided more than 10,000 meals to health care workers, according to a media release. Residents can give back by making a donation at the charity's website, and meals from restaurants such as Chuy's, Tacodeli and Tony C's will be donated to employees at Ascension Seton, the Austin Police Department and Baylor Scott & White clinics. 512-236-1001. www.jhlcompany.com
9. Lime launched a program in Austin on April 22 to bring its fleet of scooters back to the city and provide free rides to essential workers. "Lime Aid" is also offered in 13 other cities around the world such as Dallas, Oklahoma City and Paris. Health care workers and law enforcement officers can receive free 30-minute rides by signing up online. www.li.me
10. Tomlinson's Feed donated more than 54,000 pounds of pet food to animal rescues in Central Texas, according to an April 21 company release. The food was raised as part of Tomlinson's Pound4Pound food drive over the 2019 holiday season in which customers purchased pet food bags for donation. Tomlinson's and pet food brands then match the donations. According to a media release, Tomlinson's plans to donate more pet food throughout the year. Tomlinson's has locations throughout Central Austin, including Burnet Road, Far West Boulevard, Airport Boulevard and W. 12th St. www.tomlinsons.com
11. A few members of the Austin public relations community created a new website April 17, upEats ATX—or Under Promoted Eats ATX—to help promote restaurants who do not have a digital presence or heavy publicity investments through the economic challenges of the coronavirus. Customers can browse through a list of restaurants and add their own suggestions. www.finddeliciousfood.com/upEatsATX