Day #26: Give By Studying the Issues with "I Live Here, I Give Here" in Austin, TX

Day #26: Give By Studying the Issues with "I Live Here, I Give Here" in Austin, TX 1

Did you know that 60% of people that live in nursing homes never receive visitors?

Or that 1 in five adults in Austin can't read well enough to fill out a job application?

Neither did I...until today when I met with Patsy Woods Martin, the Founder and Executive Director of "I Live Here, I Give Here." [See Left].

We met in her office on the 12th floor of the San Jacinto Center in downtown Austin. She told me about the organization's mission to educate and connect individuals and non-profits - and to increase personal philanthropy in Central Texas.

Day #26: Give By Studying the Issues with "I Live Here, I Give Here" in Austin, TX 2

In my opinion, the coolest thing about what their organization does is host monthly Community Spotlight Conversations - 1-hour lunch panels that focus on a particular issue. For example, February's lunch was all about Foster Care & Adoption; this month's lunch will be about Childhood Obesity. Other past topics have been Illiteracy, Early Childhood, and Senior Citizen Care.

Tim & I have been reflecting on the fact that intentional giving begins with learning.

In fact, we are convinced that non-profits often go about recruiting volunteers in the wrong way. They try to get people to sign up as a volunteer or attend an orientation as the 1st step...instead of inviting people to come "study the issues" and discuss solutions first.

On the flip side - If there is an organization that you MIGHT like to volunteer with or be a part of in your community, why not start by calling to schedule a tour and/or to meet with the founder? You can even bring your kids along (like we do). You'll be able to sense pretty quickly if an organization is a good fit for your personality, your skill set, your schedule, and your passions.

Do you regularly volunteer with a non-profit or church in your community? If not, what's holding you back?

Our Pledge

We hereby pledge:

- To spend intimate, quantity time with our family.
- To actively help the poor, the sick, the lonely, and the helpless.
- To value, protect, and advocate for children.
- To de-emphasize the importance of “stuff” in our lives.
- To bring publicity to good causes and good people.
- To live with intentionality, as if this year was our very last.
- To observe the needs in our country/community – and then do something about them.
- To give – every day.

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