UPDATED: 10:47 a.m. CST July 28, 2015
1. About $450,000 in charitable grants were awarded June 17 by Impact Austin, a nonprofit composed of Greater Austin-area women seeking to reward worthy causes selected by members. The group awarded five $80,000 grants in five categories: VSA Texas, formerly known as Very Special Arts (culture); Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center (environment); Council on At-Risk Youth (education); Drive A Senior (health and wellness); and Catholic Charities of Central Texas (family). A sixth $50,000 catalyst grant was awarded for the first time to Texas Advocacy Project. In total, more than 51 grants and $5 million have been awarded by Impact Austin since 2003. www.impactaustin.org
2. The first graduates at The Goodwill Excel Center, the state’s first public charter high school to enroll students age 26 and up, were honored June 26 at The Blanton Museum of Art. The center, which opened in August 2014, was approved during the 2013 legislative session for state support following efforts spearheaded by Goodwill Central Texas, which uses money made from sold donated goods to support job training and employment programs. www.goodwillcentraltexas.org
3. A crowdfunding campaign from organizer Nitin Pabuwal seeks to raise $5,000 to help provide hygiene services for Austin’s homeless population. The money, should it be raised by early August, will go to Front Steps, Caritas of Austin, The Salvation Army and other groups dedicated to helping the homeless. https://youcaring.com/homeless-in-austin-375248
4. Austin Mayor Steve Adler was among the guest speakers at the 2015 Con Mi MADRE Leadership Summit that took place July 10-11. The conference was part of the organization’s broader mission to empower Latina youths and their mothers through education and support services. Rosie Castro, mother of U.S. Secretary of Housing and former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, also spoke at the event. www.conmimadre.org
5. Fifty children participated in this year’s Camp Grey Dove, a free week-long retreat for siblings of pediatric cancer patients, hosted by Any Baby Can, a family-focused Austin nonprofit that provides various support services. The camp took place June 8-12 in Killeen. The free camp offers siblings an outlet that otherwise may be unaffordable for families facing mounting medical bills. www.anybabycan.org
6. The Austin-based company behind Texas Music Water announced plans in May to expand to Nashville and other U.S. markets. The brand, now dubbed American Music Water, donates 25 cents from the sale of each water bottle case to various music- and art-focused charities, such as the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians and SIMS Foundation. www.americanmusicwater.com
Correction: This page was updated July 28 to change the speakers listed for Con Mi MADRE's event from Julian Castro to Rosie Castro.