AUSTIN, Texas — Five local nonprofits are getting a boost in funding from a group of women pooling resources to try and help the community.
“When we collect all of the contributions of our members and give those out as high-impact grants to organizations, these are game changers for the nonprofits that we work with, so they can really take a program or a service to another level,” said Becky Austen, Impact Austin's Girls Giving Grants co-chair.
Impact Austin is donating $446,000, split among selected organizations. Recipients include Jeremiah Program, CASA of Travis County, Helping Hand Home for Children and Communities in Schools of Central Texas.
“What binds them all is a passion for making Austin such a great City and serving of all those who have needs here,” Austen said.
Girls Giving Grants, the youth extension of Impact Austin, presented an $8,200 check to Foster Angels of Central Texas. The nonprofit will use their grant money to help about 80 children in foster care with beds, cribs, mattresses and bedding they need. Foster Angel’s mission is bring a sense of normalcy back to children in the system.
“We want to make sure that they have high self esteem, that they feel like they can do anything, that they have all these opportunities that they’re not held back by their circumstances,” said Maggie Sheppard, the marketing manager for Foster Angels.
Jeremiah Program works to help families two generations at a time. They provide safe, affordable housing as well as college support for single mothers with pre-school aged children. The organizations plans to use their $112,000 grant to support the empowerment and life skills classes.
“Most of our moms have grown up in such chaos that they haven’t really envisioned a successful future, so the empowerment allows them to really see a different future for themselves and their children,” said Shannon Moody, Jeremiah Program’s executive director.
Twenty-one-year-old mother Deja Phillips is studying criminal justice. She already has two associate degrees.
“It’s made want to achieve a lot more,” Phillips said. “I graduate in December with my bachelor’s, so I think I’m going to continue on and get my master's more so to be a role model for my child.”
Phillip and her 3-year-old son Rashad Jr. get housing support from Jeremiah Program.
“My baby, I want to give him the best,” Phillips said. “He’s very, very smart and I want to have someone behind him, like they did me.”