Amplify Austin 2021

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Paramount Staff Recommends Our Favorite Nonprofits

As we reach the one-year mark of the COVID-19 shutdown and continue to recover from Winter Storm Uri, we are inspired by the compassion and generosity of our community as well as the incredible work of our fellow Central Texas nonprofits who have provided essential services while experiencing challenges of their own.

Amplify Austin runs this Thursday, March 4th at 6pm through Friday, March 5th at 6pm and you can already make early bird donations. For this year’s citywide 24-hour day of giving, we asked our staff to nominate Austin-area nonprofits and share why they are meaningful to them. Below you can find the 16 nonprofits we are AMPLIFYING.

If you would like to include the Paramount & Stateside Theatres in your Amplify Day giving, you can do so here. Thank you!
AMPLIFY THE PARAMOUNT


Austin Area Urban League

“It is important for me to spotlight the tireless efforts of the Austin Area Urban League (AAUL) on behalf of the underrepresented, historically neglected and displaced Austinites. Since 1977, the AAUL has worked to empower, uplift and guarantee civil rights. They seek to meet the needs of underserved populations in the Austin/Central Texas region by focusing on programming and services in the areas of Education and Youth Development, Workforce and Career Readiness, Health, Housing, Justice and Advocacy.

In response to Winter Storm Uri, the AAUL immediately mobilized to distribute food and water to communities at-risk and already experiencing social, economic and justice inequities. Through the #LoveThyNeighborTX campaign, the AAUL is raising funds to continue to support those in need of housing or housing repairs, food and other essentials.”

–Erin Waelder, Associate Director of Individual Campaigns
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Austin Disaster Relief Network

“We all were relying on ADRN for resources and information during the winter storms. They really stepped up to help all of Austin from providing safe transportation, food, water and so much more. Their work isn’t done, and they are still helping serve many Central Texans who are experiencing food scarcity and no water. They mobilized quickly and efficiently, and I’m so grateful for what they’re able to do.”

–Krystal Parsons, Director of Development
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Austin Justice Coalition

“The Austin Justice Coalition (AJC) serves people who are historically and systematically impacted by gentrification, segregation, over policing, a lack of educational and employment opportunities, and other institutional forms of racism in Austin. AJC’s mission is to improve the quality of life for people of color by helping them be the driving force behind their own liberation.

This organization is important to me because Austin is important to me and seeing a better justice system in this city as well as improving the lives of those who have been suppressed here.”

–Lauren Garcia, Associate Director of Major Gifts
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Austin Mutual Aid

All we have it each other. Austin Mutual Aid

AUSTIN MUTUAL AID

“I’ve been volunteering with them quite a bit over the past week [after the winter storm] and know a ton of folks who are involved. They’ve been doing pretty incredible work, and it’s a full team of all volunteers.”

–David McMichael, Director of Grants
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Candlelight Ranch

“CLR offers a variety of outdoor experiences and learning opportunities to kids and families of all abilities. There are 3 Zip lines, one of which crosses an inlet of Lake Travis, a climbing wall, fishing, archery, equestrian activities as well as other team building opportunities available in the Texas hill country setting. One of the things that draws me to volunteer here is how the staff/volunteers/participants devise creative ways to allow those of any ability to participate in each activity in some meaningful way.

Through CLR, I became certified to be a zipline facilitator at the ranch, and pre-covid, have taken many through the zipline experience as well as assisted in facilitating other activities. Without exception, every time I have volunteered, I have received so much more than I have given. It is hard to express the joy I feel in my heart when I see another person succeed at something they weren’t sure they would be able to attempt…let alone, succeed at.”

–Cathy McDonald, Director of Culture & Experience
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Casa Marianella

“As the only homeless shelter in Austin dedicated to displaced immigrants, Casa Marianella’s mission to provide food, safe housing, and support to those looking for a better life is beyond admirable. With 65% of their shelter residents, including children, being asylum seekers, I’m proud to highlight this amazing organization who helps welcome the most vulnerable into our great city.”

–Javier Ramirez, Marketing Manager
AMPLIFY NOW


CASA Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children CASA of Travis County, Inc.

“The work they do is vitally important for children in the foster system. Their goal is for every child in Travis County to have a CASA, and a donation will help support this goal.”

–Katie Moore, Literacy to Life Production Manager
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Central Texas Food Bank

“I have supported them for years, but Covid has created an urgent and large need in our community. I think we can make real progress if we work together to make sure everyone’s basic needs are being met.”

–Maica Jordan, Chief Development Officer
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College Houses

“College Houses is a cooperative nonprofit that provides AFFORDABLE student housing. Located near UT and Austin Community College, housing is some of the highest in the city. Even though they’re located near UT and ACC, you can be a student at any higher learning institution – online, HT, or St. Edwards. Most of the affordable housing costs also include food and other resources by being a cooperative community. I lived there for four years all through college, and it is what has influenced and changed me the most. This place was not only my home, but helped me grow into who I am.”

–Krystal Parsons, Director of Development
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HONK!TX

“HONK!TX is the underdog of music festivals in Austin, and it’s one of the best! It’s a 3-day festival (held in different areas of Austin each day), free to attend, family-friendly, LGBTQA+-friendly, and a joyous good time.

The nonprofit festival brings street bands and brass bands from around the country (and world) to play for Austinites, and in 2018 brought one of the best international bands I’ve ever seen in my life (Rim Bam Bum from Santiago, Chile).

HONK!TX sadly had to cancel in 2020 due to Covid, and it won’t happen again in person this year. I hope it comes back in 2022!”

–Kara Fuhlbrugge, Associate Director of Creative Services
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Keep Austin Fed

“I wish every place had an organization like this, but it’s especially meaningful in a foodie town like Austin. Keep Austin Fed rescues (often incredible) surplus food from landfills and gets it to 60+ partner organization that serve neighbors in need. It’s an incredible web of community connections between restaurants, businesses, KAF staff/volunteers, and the partner organizations. It’s also a real feel-good social media follow to see new, favorite restaurants and businesses stepping up to donate food – Easy Tiger, Antonelli’s Cheese Shop, grocery stores, catering companies, etc.

Remember when SXSW cancelled at the last minute? KAF turned a tragic story for events into a hopeful one for Austin. Wonder what happens to surplus food from all local spots at Austin-Bergrstrom? A partnership with KAF. That’s just a tiny preview.

There are so many ways to get involved: your company can plan to donate surplus food after events; people can become food run volunteers that rescue excess food and deliver it; and, of course, you can donate money to empower KAF to continue helping our hungry neighbors!”

–Nick Barbieri, Director of Content Strategy
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Marbridge

“Marbridge is a facility providing independent, semi-independent, assisted living, and skilled nursing care for adults with intellectual disabilities. My oldest sister, Alyssa, has been a resident of Marbridge for nearly 20 years. Marbridge has always been a great place for Alyssa, but this past year through Covid, they have really gone above and beyond for their residents. Though my family and I haven’t been able to see Alyssa in person or give her a hug for over a year now, Marbridge has set up weekly video calls for our entire family to visit with her. It is what I look forward to most each week, and truly feel like time with Alyssa hasn’t been lost to this pandemic.

Supporting Marbridge helps provide assistance to long-term residents who have outlived family resources and could otherwise face leaving the only home they have ever known.

It keeps admission costs lower by helping to cover the gap between what it costs for them to provide for a resident and what they charge. And it helps ensure the long-term future of Marbridge by allowing them to meet their growing needs while remaining sustainable.”

–Lauren Garcia, Associate Director of Major Gifts
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Pop-Up Birthday

“This organization fulfills birthday requests for CPS caseworkers on behalf of kids in Central Texas within the Foster Care system. A birthday box is filled with gifts, decorations, party supplies and activities, etc, themed to whatever the child likes most, and delivered to their foster family in time for their birthday! They work to provide joy, hope and normalcy to these kids lives at a time when they need it most. In December of 2020, it was reported that there are 2,177 kids in foster care in the central texas region (30 counties). That is a lot of cake and balloons! Pop-Up Birthday exists to bring sparkle and fun to these kids just to make them feel special, and that’s a precious thing. They serve kids from 0-18 years of age, and they rely on donations to help fill boxes for every kid, because everyone deserves to be celebrated on their birthday!”

–Sydney Peloquin, Director of Analytics & Database Optimizations
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Pug Rescue of Austin

“It is impossible to be in a bad mood around a pug. I have two pug-nieces, and these little clowns brighten my life. All animal rescues are worthy of support, but when I can, I support the Pug Rescue of Austin for the amazing work they do rescuing these silly, sweet, snorty dogs.”

–Lauren Garcia, Associate Director of Major Gifts
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Transgender Education Network of Texas

“Transgender Education Network of Texas is a great organization that offers so many services. They provide educational resources, healthcare, and legal services for the trans community, as well as spiritual wellness and youth advocacy. They’re a great organization that more people should know about!”

–Ammon Taylor, Paramount Education Music Director
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Urban Roots

“My son was an intern at Urban Roots during his sophomore year at McCallum High School. The program taught him a lot, and gave him many opportunities for personal growth.”

–Chip Tait, Director of Food & Beverage
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