Together We Can Be a Ray of Hope

This time of year, giving is on everyone's mind. Season for Caring, a program of the Austin American-Statesman, offers our community the chance to help neighbors facing tremendous challenges during the holiday season. Yet most families featured in Season for Caring never thought they'd need assistance. For 17 years, Austin Community Foundation has helped the Statesman connect its readers with families in need and the nonprofits that help them. 

The Foundation receives about 2,000 charitable donations ranging from $1 to thousands from Statesman readers during the holiday season. In addition to providing gift acknowledgment to donors, the Foundation grants funds to the charities helping the featured families in need. 

In the early days of the Statesman’s holiday giving campaign, stacks of envelopes containing a form clipped from the newspaper and a check arrived daily at the Foundation’s office. Our staff opened piles of envelopes and sorted through thousands of checks written by Central Texas newspaper readers. 

Now, about half of readers who donate choose to do so online. While the workload has changed, the spirit of giving that Season for Caring celebrates is welcomed at the Foundation office each year.

 Over its lifetime, Season for Caring has helped Central Texans give more than $10 million in cash and in-kind goods and services for families who need it most. The program has accepted every sort of non-cash donation--autos, home makeovers, new dentures, a state-of-the-art prosthesis and much more.

Meet this year’s Season for Caring families or like the Season for Caring Facebook page for updates on the 12 wonderful families you can give to this holiday season.