February, 2012Today, United Way Capital Area (UWCA) awarded $118,000 from its Central Texas Wildfire Relief Fund to three organizations that continue to support and rebuild devastated communities after last fall’s massive wildfires. Since September 2011, UWCA has helped families in crisis affected by the Central Texas Wildfires by providing available resources and engaging individuals and businesses seeking to help through in-kind and monetary donations.
In all, the UWCA Wildfire Relief Fund raised $122,000, of which $4,000 was used in October 2011 to provide Wells Fargo and H-E-B gift cards to help people displaced get what they needed to get back to work, feed their families and buy clothing. The remaining $118,000 was raised over the next several months with the mission of addressing long-term recovery by supporting volunteer-related efforts.
“At United Way Capital Area we unite philanthropists at all levels to ensure our community continues to thrive,” said Debbie Bresette, President of UWCA. “When the wildfires devastated Central Texas last fall, we brought together our resources and networks to increase our collective impact in providing for both immediate needs and long-term recovery efforts. Today’s announcement is just another strategic investment by United Way Capital Area in the future of our community.”
Adopt A Family, which has helped more than 250 families by pairing displaced families with sponsors, was awarded a $75,000 grant for its “Volunteer Action Network” program. The grant is specifically meant to provide recruitment and assignment for volunteers to help with disaster clean up and adopting families.
Another organization, Society of St. Vincent de Paul-South Central Region, was awarded $20,000 by UWCA. The nonprofit deploys volunteers to areas of disaster and provides professional disaster consultation and case management services. The funds will go toward the recruitment and training of volunteers to provide case management services to Bastrop families affected by the wildfires.
The third organization that received funds from UWCA was the Spicewood Long-Term Recovery Committee. The nonprofit, which received $23,000, provides home repairs, rebuilding and case management services to those displaced by the wildfires. Specifically, the money will go toward rebuilding 16 new homes for families that lost their own residences in the fires.
Since its inception, UWCA has engaged businesses, organizations and individual philanthropists to develop a larger impact when addressing Greater Austin’s needs. The funds raised for the Central Texas Wildfire Relief Fund came from a variety of sources, including individual contributions, text-to-give donations, workplace giving and support from businesses like Bank of America and Samsung Austin Semiconductor, who were among the top donors.
“At Bank of America, our philanthropic mission is to give grants and donations to organizations that understand their community’s needs and address these needs in a way that provides long-term positive change,” said Nikki Salzillo, Corporate Social Responsibility Market Manager at Bank of America. “For this reason, we provided funding to United Way Capital Area’s Wildfire Relief Fund, knowing that the organization would distribute the funds in a way that would reflect our mission of supporting long-term needs.”
About United Way Capital Area
United Way Capital Area inspires, leads, and unites an eclectic community of philanthropists including individuals, nonprofits, business and government to overcome barriers to economic opportunities and ensure Greater Austin continues to thrive. United Way Capital Area’s work is research-based and results driven and resources are invested so that everyone has access to the promise of Austin. For more information about United Way Capital Area, please visit www.unitedwaycapitalarea.org.