Our social team has noticed a trend over the past three months. People more than ever are posting about wanting to volunteer but not knowing where to start. So, we thought it’d be a good idea to put a list together. Below are some volunteer initiatives Springbox has participated in over the past year along with ways you can get more involved.
1. Go on a delivery with Mobile Loaves and Fishes.
In December, ‘Boxers teamed up with Forthright to volunteer with Mobile Loaves and Fishes, an organization that provides food and clothing to the homeless community of Austin. Learn how you can get more involved here.
“MLF is an outstanding organization. It was an honor for us to be a small part of helping them to deliver their mission. On a cold day, a cup of hot chocolate can make all the difference for someone in need. Their trucks are a beacon of hope that that brings out the best in people.” -Tom West, CEO & Owner
2. Haul some mulch with Austin Parks Foundation.
‘Boxers spent a chilly Saturday morning with the Austin Parks Foundation, working to keep the parks beautiful. APF is a nonprofit organization devoted to building public-private partnerships with the aim of developing and maintaining parks, trails and open space in Austin and Travis County. They’re always looking for volunteers to show the parks some love. Find out more here.
“The parks in Austin are pretty top-notch, but they aren’t magically like that. The APF helps keep them in great shape, and we were happy to help be a part of that. Plus, it was nice to stop staring at a screen for a while and haul some mulch.” -David Hamernick, Copywriter
3. "Give a dam" and support the Flatwater Foundation.
In the summer of 2016, a team of ‘Boxers set out to paddleboard a 21-mile stretch of Lake Austin as part of Tyler’s Dam that Cancer event to benefit the Flatwater Foundation, an organization that helps families coping with cancer. After all was said and done, the team raised well over 11K for the foundation.
“So many ‘Boxers’ lives have been deeply affected by cancer, so it hit all of us really close to home. And as difficult as the physical piece of the day was, we were surrounded by folks that are battling cancer and realized that it was only a sliver of the hardship that they're experiencing.” -Sarah Ritchie, Business Development & Marketing
Next year’s event is scheduled for June 12, 2017, so mark your calendars and grab your paddles. Even if you aren’t much of a paddler, there are plenty of other ways to donate, support and volunteer.
4. Party for good with March of Dimes.
This one’s as easy as it sounds. This year, Springbox helped March of Dimes (an organization with the mission to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality) brand and promote its new event geared toward a new generation of giving, The Switch ATX. Beats were provided by DJ Chorizo Funk and Riders Against the Storm and bites and booze were brought by some local Austin favorites. It was a huge success, but in 2017, it’ll be even bigger and better. Next year’s event is still TBA, but be on the lookout for it sometime in the fall.
“One of the biggest challenges for nonprofits is awareness. There are a lot of great organizations out there that are still trying to figure out how to engage with millennials, that next generation of givers. It was rewarding to help March of Dimes create an event that spoke to and welcomed a younger generation to get involved and give in a way that worked for them.” -Sam Berliner, Senior Art Director
5. Participate in the many Salvation Army events in 2017.
This year, Springbox participated in The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program, a program that believes every child deserves a special gift during the holidays. Donors can choose to buy items from a child’s wish list or donate directly to the fundraising efforts.
“Watching our Angel Tree grow with presents for our sponsored families and children filled me with joy! It's a special thing to be able to help others enjoy an amazing holiday season.” - Shelly Borga, Office Manager
Outside of Angel Tree, The Salvation Army has opportunities to get active year round. You can find out more here.
6. Do your research.
Austin is filled with opportunities to get more active. Think about what you’re passionate about and find something that works. If you’re looking for more ideas, we’ve built a list that’ll get you started. In addition to organized giving efforts, ‘Boxers also volunteer with many of the organizations on the list below on their own time.
Vela - A nonprofit based in Austin, TX empowering and educating low-income Spanish and English-speaking parents of children with disabilities.
GENaustin - GEN’s mission is to support and guide girls to make wise choices as they navigate the unique pressures of girlhood.
KTIM - A nonprofit radio station out of La Grange, TX.
Austin Pets Alive - APA's innovative programs save more than 6,000 animals from euthanasia annually, keeping Austin no-kill since 2011.
SafePlace - A nonprofit providing services for individuals and families affected by sexual and domestic violence.
Planned Parenthood - A nonprofit organization that provides reproductive health services both in the United States and globally.
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network - a nationwide network of people dedicated to working together to advance research, support patients and create hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer.
7. Add to the list.
So many people are looking for ways to give back to their community and don’t know where to start. If you have a cause you’re passionate about, speak up! If you volunteer with a group you love, post! The list we have above is always expanding, so if you’d like to suggest an organization, please comment. We’re always looking for recommendations, too.
And that’s that. May your year be packed with more giving, mulching, paddling, partying and volunteering than ever before. Happy volunteering, y'all!
-The Springbox Social Team