Friday, November 28, 2014

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GIVING BACK

Every community has unsung heroes who dedicate their spare time to helping and improving the way of life for others. Giving Back is a segment that uncovers dynamic individuals in our community, giving them the recognition they deserve. Each week, TWC News' Jess Mitchel tells a new story of giving.





11/12/2014 07:51 AM Posted By: Jess Mitchell
TWC News: NPSFL Teams Benefits 100 Club of Central Texas
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A good way to give back on a chilly day is by standing next to some flames and doing some cooking.

"We are cooking hamburgers right now to raise money for our semi-pro football team, which is the Central Texas Wolf Pack," Raul Carrillo said. "It's comprised of first responders."

Carrillo and others on the Central Texas Wolf Pack are part of the National Public Safety Football League, a full-contact league that raises money and awareness for various charities across the country.

"Instead of the players getting paid, whatever money we would get paid, we donate to our charities of our choice," Carrillo said. "All teams in the league are nonprofit."

Each team in the league supports a different charity. The Central Texas Wolf Pack chose the 100 Club of Central Texas, an organization that provides funds for the families of first responders hurt or killed in the line of duty.

The best part is that while working to help charities, members of the league also have a lot fun.

"It's great," Carrillo said. "It's competitive, but at the end of the game, we get together, and we have a good time after the game."


10/29/2014 07:45 AM Posted By: Jess Mitchell
TWC News: Save Austin's Cemeteries Seeks to Preserve History
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Many people may think that cemeteries are spooky are creepy, but they're also an important part of our history.

"Part of that history is the architecture and the beautiful artwork on these stones that are at risk," Dale Flatt with Save Austin's Cemeteries said.

Save Austin's Cemeteries is an organization working to preserve Austin's cemeteries. It started, Flatt says, because cemeteries have a need that the parks department can't fulfill.

"Myself and many others are working very hard to document the site and come up with a preservation plan for these areas," he said.

As former a City of Austin firefighter, Flatt says this is his way to give back to those who helped him while he was working.

"Now it's a way of giving back to the citizens who gave so much to me," he said. "And leaving something behind so future generations can enjoy it like we enjoy it."


10/22/2014 08:05 AM Posted By: Jess Mitchell
TWC News: March of Dimes Volunteer Dedicates 10 Years to Organization
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Austin is fortunate to have some incredibly dedicated volunteers in the area, some of whom have dedicated years of service to a particular organization.

Nancy Sheppard is a prime example. She's been a volunteer with the March of Dimes for the last 10 years.

"This is ... one of the organizations in Austin that work with pregnant and newly parenting families which has always been a passion of mine," Sheppard said. "I think it's so important that we work with these families early on."

Sheppard says over the last decade, she's done pretty much everything — from presentations to helping with the walks and awareness — with the organization, something for which she is grateful.

"To be able to volunteer with an organization that is so aligned with what I care so much about means everything," Sheppard said. "You see these healthy families and these healthy babies — it's pretty much instantaneous gratification there."


10/15/2014 08:50 AM Posted By: Jess Mitchell
TWC News: Hospice Austin Volunteer: 'We're Not Given a Handbook on Living'
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Grieving the loss of a loved one is extremely difficult, but Hospice Austin is there to help.

"Hospice Austin helps that loved one who's passing away on that last journey to die well," Hospice Austin volunteer Sharon Edwards said. "That's why Hospice Austin is so special to me, because they help that person feel loved, feel secure; they can have peace."

That cause drove Edwards to help out. She started volunteering with Hospice Austin after her husband died.

"I learned that there's no way around it, over it or under it; you just have to go through it," she said.

And she wants to help others through the process. Edwards has dedicated 11 years to fundraising for Hospice Austin.

"We're not given a handbook on living, nor are we given a handbook or taught how to die," she said. "That's the great thing about hospice; they can get as close to that dying part of it as anybody can."


10/08/2014 07:13 AM Posted By: Jess Mitchell
TWC News: Volunteer has Personal Connection to Down Syndrome Association
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There are many ways in which people in the community choose to help out, whether it be by cleaning the environment, helping the elderly or taking care of children.

Kristin Cox volunteers with the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas.

"I like that it's a family and a community, and it's not about the disability," she said. "It's more about what we can do and what we can give back to our community and other families like ours."

Cox got involved in the organization because of a personal connection to it. She has a daughter with Down syndrome.

"[The Down Syndrome Association] reached out to us when she was little and gave us an opportunity to meet other families like ours and get involved in play dates and play groups and other activities," Cox said.

And as much as Cox gets from being part of the group, it's helping others. That's truly rewarding for her.

"It's given us an opportunity to reach out to other families who may not have known that there's outreach and support groups for us," Cox said. "We've made lifelong friends and also gotten to involve our family more in the community."

The Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas is hosting a Buddy Walk on Oct. 19. You can sign up and find out more information at the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas' website, DSACT.org.


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If you'd like to nominate someone to be featured in a TWCN Giving Back segment, send an email describing their qualifications and fill out this form:
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