Day #26: Give By Studying the Issues with "I Live Here, I Give Here" in Austin, TX

Day #26: Give By Studying the Issues with "I Live Here, I Give Here" in Austin, TX 1

Did you know that 60% of people that live in nursing homes never receive visitors?

Or that 1 in five adults in Austin can't read well enough to fill out a job application?

Neither did I...until today when I met with Patsy Woods Martin, the Founder and Executive Director of "I Live Here, I Give Here." [See Left].

We met in her office on the 12th floor of the San Jacinto Center in downtown Austin. She told me about the organization's mission to educate and connect individuals and non-profits - and to increase personal philanthropy in Central Texas.

Day #26: Give By Studying the Issues with "I Live Here, I Give Here" in Austin, TX 2

In my opinion, the coolest thing about what their organization does is host monthly Community Spotlight Conversations - 1-hour lunch panels that focus on a particular issue. For example, February's lunch was all about Foster Care & Adoption; this month's lunch will be about Childhood Obesity. Other past topics have been Illiteracy, Early Childhood, and Senior Citizen Care.

Tim & I have been reflecting on the fact that intentional giving begins with learning.

In fact, we are convinced that non-profits often go about recruiting volunteers in the wrong way. They try to get people to sign up as a volunteer or attend an orientation as the 1st step...instead of inviting people to come "study the issues" and discuss solutions first.

On the flip side - If there is an organization that you MIGHT like to volunteer with or be a part of in your community, why not start by calling to schedule a tour and/or to meet with the founder? You can even bring your kids along (like we do). You'll be able to sense pretty quickly if an organization is a good fit for your personality, your skill set, your schedule, and your passions.

Do you regularly volunteer with a non-profit or church in your community? If not, what's holding you back?

Our family spent 2011 traveling the USA in an RV, striving to intentionally "give every day" for the glory of God. We interviewed CEOs of nonprofits and served alongside over 40 organizations and churches.

Our Pledge

We hereby pledge:

- To spend intimate, quantity time with our family.
- To actively help the poor, the sick, the lonely, and the helpless.
- To value, protect, and advocate for children.
- To de-emphasize the importance of “stuff” in our lives.
- To bring publicity to good causes and good people.
- To live with intentionality, as if this year was our very last.
- To observe the needs in our country/community – and then do something about them.
- To give – every day.

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