Local non-profits participate in Giving Tuesday

After several days of shopping, today is all about giving back. In honor of "Giving Tuesday," the group "I Live Here, I Give Here" is hosting a pop up event today at the Livestrong Headquarters in East Austin.

ELGIN, TEXAS - After several days of shopping, today is all about giving back on "Giving Tuesday."

This afternoon, the group "I Live Here, I Give Here" hosted a pop up event at the Livestrong Headquarters in East Austin. Several non-profits, including Down Home Ranch, offered activities and items for sale to support their causes. 

Down Home Ranch is a working farm and ranch that sits on 410 acres north of Elgin. Since the early 1980s, the non-profit has been giving people with intellectual disabilities a place to live, work and volunteer -- something staff said many desperately want but have a hard time finding.

A 2014 survey commissioned by the Special Olympics shows that unemployment among people with intellectual disabilities is more than twice as high as for the general population. 

One of the community member's favorite jobs is growing and selling poinsettias during the holidays. 

"We grow these every single year," Clyde said.  

For the last six years, Clyde has been planting and pruning poinsettias at Down Home Ranch. 

"Here at Down Home Ranch, Christmas starts in August," Clyde said. "They take three months to grow. They don't come into bloom until late October, early November." 

This year, Clyde and his team planted more than 12,000 poinsettias.  

"We first plant them in a pot with dirt and then we put the dirt in and we cover the dirt with the seeds," Crystal said. 

"The secret to planting a good poinsettia would be to water it every day," Clyde said. "Once they grow, we take them to churches and fundraisers."  

"I love packing them and delivering them," Crystal said.  

Today, the employees took their poinsettias to sell at the pop up shop. 

"Everybody loves our poinsettias," Crystal said.

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