Little by little, the effects of sequestration are becoming more tangible in the everyday lives of some Americans. And though the federal government has reinstated some agencies’ funds, cuts are coming to the programs destined to feed some of the country’s most vulnerable adults.

But there’s at least one Austin non-profit that’s looking for ways to keep feeding adults in need.

KUT News

Update: Amplify Austin ended its 24-hour fund drive with nearly $2.8 million in donations. 

Original Post (2:48 p.m.): Non-profit funding initiative Amplify Austin doubled its initial goal of raising $1 million in 24 hours – with time to spare.

Donations to more than 300 non-profits in Austin passed the seven-figure mark around 9 a.m., with the amount still climbing as the donation drive rolls on.

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Back on My Feet, a national non-profit that helps homeless people through running, is launching an Austin chapter today. 

“Our members don't want to be homeless, they just don't know how not to be homeless,” founder and president Anne Mahlum says. The idea is to build the health and self-esteem of homeless individuals through running, before putting them in touch with employment opportunities.

KUT News

The Austin Salvation Army is warning people to keep an eye out for imposter bell ringers after a man was spotted with a red kettle at the corner of Parmer and Metric yesterday.

The Salvation Army says bell ringers who are collecting money legitimately for the organization will have necessary signage and identification and won't be positioned on street corners. Instead, Salvation Army bell ringers are located at stores and malls.


Good morning. Expect a high near 95 and a slight chance of showers this Tuesday. Here’s some of this morning’s top stories.

Austin School Board Sets Budget

The Austin ISD Board of Trustees gathers to act on a budget this evening.

The board will vote on a $1 billion spending plan Tuesday night that provides a one-time three percent pay raise for staff by drawing money from its emergency checking account.

Photo courtesy

Austin based tech firm Convio – which sells fundraising and outreach software to non-profits (including KUT) – has agreed to be purchased by South Carolina-based Blackbaud, a competitor that sells similar software.

The agreement was announced today on Blackbaud’s website. In a press release, the company wrote “The acquisition of Convio will combine the two companies’ strengths to accomplish a common mission – making multi-channel supporter engagement a reality – at a faster pace than either company could achieve on its own.”

Horia Varlan

A local organization that wants to close the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education is beginning to branch out across the United States. Girlstart began in Austin in 1997, and provides free after-school programs, summer camps, and Saturday classes for girls.

“STEM is a national priority. There aren’t enough graduates in America than can fill STEM jobs,” Girlstart executive director Tamara Hudgins told KUT News.

Photo by Dan Reese for KUT News.

Former KVUE broadcast journalist Olga Campos has joined Austin philanthropist Milton Verret to work on charitable efforts for children with serious medical conditions.

Campos will begin by managing the CowParade Austin program Veret began, which will auction painted cow statues to benefit the Superhero Kids Fund for the Blood and Cancer Center at the Dell Children's Medical Center.

Photo by Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

After three months at work, Front Steps Executive Director Jim Ormand was fired August 5 after just three months on the job.

Front Steps is a non-profit organization that operates the city-owned Austin Resource Center for the Homeless, one of the largest homeless shelters in Central Texas.

Photo by S.E.B.

More than 1,200 Austin organizations have had their non-profit status revoked by the Internal Revenue Service because they failed to file tax returns for three consecutive years. The IRS revoked the status for more than 275,000 organizations nationwide.

Austin's bustling non-profit community is brimming with need over the holidays. There's no way we can mention them all, but here are four charities that could use your help. Please add your favorite non-profit to support in the comments section below.

The annual Coats For Kids Program reports a record breaking number of donations this year. More than 35,000 coats will be distributed to low income children tomorrow at the Palmer Events Center.

All the coats are new or gently used.

Local media are all over Louanne Aponte's court appearance today. She's the 52-year-old former director of Family Connections who fled to Venezuala after she was accused of siphoning funds from a number of local charities and spending the cash on a home in Circle C, a Mercedes, and a 20-foot boat.

Marbridge Victory Hall Athletic and Events Center floor plan
Image courtesy Marbridge Ranch

The non-profit residential community Marbridge in deep south Austin helps adults with intellectual disabilities live independent lives. The facility has been around for more than 50 years, and now it's trying to raise money to build a gym and events center for its 240 residents.

A charitable wing of the Austin Police Association yesterday donated $10,000. But Marbridge still has a long way to go; estimated cost of the project is more than $2 million.

Louanne Aponte
Image courtesy Family Connections

The former executive director of the local non-profit Family Connections, Louanne Aponte, is in Travis County police custody and headed back to Austin. Aponte is accused of misappropriating more than $327,000 from the organization between 2004 and 2009.  She is also accused of stealing from other local charities.

On Thursday, we'll take a minute to pause in appreciation for the men and women who put their lives on the line for the United States without asking any questions. 

Veterans are never immune to aging or poverty, and as we see in this video produced by KUT News intern Sobia Lodhi, local agencies like Meals on Wheels are there to lend a helping hand when others are not.

LifeWorks East Austin Youth and Family Resource Center
Image courtesy LifeWorks

The Austin non-profit LifeWorks broke ground today on a new East Austin family resource center. The social services organization says it will increase its ability to serve young people and families in crisis by 25 percent.

LifeWorks already helps about 10,000 families a year through housing programs, counseling and education. They have surpassed their capacity to serve more people, so this will allow them to expand in a community with increasing need.