Amplify Austin helps nonprofits raise money


by JADE MINGUS / KVUE NEWS and Photojournalist ERIN COKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @JadeM_KVUE

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 5 at 12:31 PM

AUSTIN -- Starting at 7 p.m. Monday, Amplify Austin started asking the Central Texas community to give back through online donations. The 24-hour giving period will benefit 320 nonprofit organizations.

Donors can choose any charity they want to allocate their dollars to on the project's website. The minimum donation is $25 and there is no maximum. You can also give using your smartphone.

As of about 10 a.m. Tuesday, the $1 million goal had been exceeded with $1,089,777 donated. The initiative ends at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

"Because Austin is such a young city, and because we are a wired city, we believe this is a great opportunity for the community broadly to come together," said Patsy Woods Martin, the CEO of 'I Live Here, I Give Here.'

Donations could be a big help for charities including Meals on Wheels and More. The nonprofit serves thousands of people in need by providing a hot meal during the week. Federal sequester cuts mean $180,000 fewer dollars to spend on a growing need in Austin.

"We already have people on waiting lists, and the sequester cuts are just going to magnify that problem," said Dan Pruett, CEO and president of Meals on Wheels and More. "I think it's so great people are going to rally today for the causes they care about."

A $25 donation to the charity will provide two weeks of meals for someone like 83-year-old J.D. Stockton.

"I'm partly legally blind, and I can't get out. It's a relief to know I'll have a meal everyday," said Stockton.

Another nonprofit that stands to benefit is Capital Area Crimestoppers. The group has helped solve more than 10,000 crimes in Travis County since it began through anonymous tips.

Habitat for Humanity is also among the 320 nonprofits in the Amplify Austin initiative. The group has helped provide 335 homes in the past 27 years. Through it's home repairs program and home ownership counseling the organization also helps 800 families annually.