current charities


hopefully sow

We believe foster kids deserve more. We strive for a world where these children receive love, joy and aspiration. It is our mission to sow these seeds through experiences, meeting tangible needs and providing opportunities beyond the system. 

Junior Achievement of Central Texas

 JACT inspires and prepares young people for success in a global economy. Our volunteer-led programs foster entrepreneurship, financial literacy and career skills, and use experiential learning to inspire students from all backgrounds to own their economic success.  Austin has one of the highest growth of US start-ups, yet we are among the most economically segregated metro areas in the country. JA provides a path for students from all backgrounds to take part in our dynamic economy. In 2018, JA will empower 350 teen entrepreneurs to start their own business through the JA Company Program. Our new Start Up Incubator will allow young adults to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams alongside mentors from the community. During the 2018, we'll serve 5,500 students in grades K-12 to help them design a successful future based on their aspirations and interests.

Family Eldercare

 Family Eldercare exists to ensure all Central Texas seniors, adults with disabilities & at-risk veterans thrive with dignity in a supportive community. At the core of Family Eldercare’s mission is the philosophy that a supportive community is a great place to grow old. Family Eldercare carries out its mission through a variety of programs designed to promote the health, well-being and dignity of elders, prolong independent living in the least restrictive environment, and to prevent abuse, neglect, self-neglect and financial exploitation of elders and adults with disabilities. We have been recognized as experts in aging serving the Austin area since 1982.

Center for Child Protection

The Center for Child Protection is a nationally accredited children’s advocacy center and the only nonprofit in Travis County involved in the investigation of crimes against children. For more than 27 years, the Center has been the first stop for children in Travis County who are suspected victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse and for children who have witnessed a violent crime. The Center is the community representative of the Child Protection Team, where local law enforcement agencies, Child Protective Services, Dell Children’s Medical Center and the District Attorney’s Office work together to address outcries of abuse. With this partnership, the Center works toward ending the cycle of child abuse through advocacy, education and community support.

Seedling Foundation

(Winner 08/2018)


Seedling is the most innovative school-based mentoring program for chldren of incarcerated parents in Central Texas providing stability and support during a unique time of need in these children's lives. We currently serve 600 children in Central Texas with devoted and well trained volunteer mentors who meet with the children over lunch each week. Not only do our children beneift due to building hope, resilliance, and increased desire to be successful in school, but our program also offers joy and feelings of community contribution to our wonderful mentors. Our hope is to grow to at least 1,000 mentors in the next six years and to expand other opportunities for the children.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

The Texas Regional Office provides safety education to children, families, schools and the larger community in Texas. We also provide training, technical assistance, and resources to law enforcement personnel and others who investigate crimes committed against children, specifically cases of child sexual exploitation.

Fostering Hope Austin

(Winner 04/2018)

We believe that all children deserve a loving, healing, committed family, but in Travis County and our surrounding counties we lack enough foster and adoptive families to take care of the children in our system. In addition, many current foster and adoptive families are not well-equipped or supported to care for kids with trauma backgrounds. Many foster and adoptive families are part of churches who are also not well-equipped or resourced to care for the children or families. Fostering Hope Austin addresses these problems by training families and community leaders in trauma-informed care. We also facilitate collaborative solutions to fill gaps in our system.

The Refuge for DMST

The Refuge for DMST™ (Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking) is developing The Refuge Ranch, a long-term, residential, therapeutic community for 48 girls, minors through age 19, who have been rescued out of sex trafficking. Located on 50 acres in a beautiful and restorative setting outside of Austin, TX, The Refuge Ranch will provide trauma-informed, holistic care for the girls on-site, including: a University of Texas Charter School program, a medical clinic staffed by community partners and various therapeutic programs uniquely designed for the development of a child survivor. When open, The Refuge Ranch will be one of the only long-term, live-in rehabilitation facilities for child survivors of sex trafficking in the United States. For more information, go to

Texas Fair Defense Project

In Austin, we hold clinics to help people who have lost the ability to drive legally-- usually because they can't afford to pay traffic tickets-- recover their licenses. We help them get community service and set up payments plans so they can get to work and drive their kids to school. We also do impact litigation, legislative advocacy, and education to end counterproductive, costly, and unconstitutional practices like jail time for traffic tickets and our broken money-bail system.

B.I.G. Love Cancer Care

B.I.G. Love Cancer Care Services is a 501c(3) nonprofit, volunteer-based organization honoring the life of Brooke Alyson Phillips. When Brooke passed away at age five from acute myeloid leukemia, her parents, Jessica and Chaney, turned their pain into hope by starting B.I.G. Love Cancer Care. The organization’s mission is to help provide basic necessities and much-needed support every week to children battling cancer and their families. The purpose of B.I.G. Love Cancer Care is to help ease the overwhelming physical, emotional and financial burden of cancer and offer a measure of strength, hope and love to patients and their families.

Capital IDEA

Capital IDEA’s mission is to lift working adults out of poverty and into living-wage careers through education. Our programming ends generational poverty in Central Texas. We sponsor education for in-demand careers that pay a living wage, offer benefits, and provide for professional advancement. Capital IDEA funds all participants’ tuition, fees, and books. Because our participants are non-traditional students with distinct needs, our program also provides a range of wrap-around support services that are vital to the success of adult learners. As needed, participants receive childcare, transportation, and emergency assistance so that they can focus on their education. Also, all participants are provided intensive case management and counseling services designed to help working adults balance their busy lives with the demands of going to college.


Beyond the Grade

Beyond the Grade's mission is to provide music education and life skills to at-risk students in Austin area schools. BtG aspires to give kids opportunities to learn from music industry professionals, while letting the students interests guide the curriculum.  Since 2014, Beyond the Grade’s Afterschool Music Programs have been giving students a positive musical outlet while building creative problem solving, group awareness, self-awareness, peer support, and interpersonal communication skills.

Austin Partners In Education

Austin Partners In Education (APIE) operates at the intersection of education and business, offering opportunities for organizations and individuals to create a meaningful impact among Austin’s economically disadvantaged students. APIE, in partnership with Austin Independent School District (ISD) and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, delivers best-practice, scalable, and results-driven programs for college readiness, math, mentoring & career exploration to at-risk Austin students.

Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas (DSACT)

DSACT's programs and services are for individuals of all ages. Our New Parent Program and Baby Talk group welcome new families to the DSACT community with an immediate connection to another parent of a baby with Down syndrome, as well as printed information, toys, books for new parents and for the growing baby, and frequent social gatherings for these new families to support and connect with each other. DSACT's social and recreational programs continue across the lifespan and include monthly sessions with recreation therapists, martial arts, book clubs, performing arts, social dance, and much more! Educational opportunities include workshops for both parents and school personnel to learn how to best support students with Down syndrome academically and behaviorally, as well as consultations with all the local school districts to impart strategies and address concerns and questions the schools may have. We also participate in advocacy efforts to raise awareness and acceptance of people with Down syndrome and support national organizations conducting Down syndrome research. All of these activities help us to work toward our vision of a world in which everyone is accepted, valued for their uniqueness, respected for their abilities and contributions, and assured the opportunity and choice to create their own path to fulfillment and success.

Imagine A Way

Imagine A Way (IAW) is an Austin based non-profit organization serving Central Texas children diagnosed with autism and their families. IAW raises funds to provide therapies for those children diagnosed with autism but whose families cannot afford them. We focus on children in the early childhood ages between 2-7. We give parents the help they need during the years when it can make the biggest impact.

Heroes Lodge Project

Heroes Lodge is an American G.I. Forum critical VA service model (501(c)3 charity). A modernization of our historic veterans organization founded in 1948 in Texas Heroes Lodge is modernizing our service model of three basic components, housing, employment and counseling, see and

Susan G Komen Austin

Susan G. Komen Austin is a nonprofit committed to saving lives locally and fighting breast cancer globally. As the only local breast cancer organization attacking the disease from all fronts, Komen Austin serves the city's five-county area. Services are available across 4,284 square miles providing care for 2 million residents in the Greater Austin area. Through annual fundraising efforts, Komen Austin invests 75% directly into local community healthcare grants and educational initiatives. Through these community healthcare partners, we break down barriers to critical breast health services for under and uninsured women and men. The remaining 25% funds global research to find cures for breast cancer. Susan G. Komen invests the second largest amount of funds for this research; surpassed only by the U.S. Government. $100 funds a lifesaving mammogram.

Beautifully Loved

Winner 11/18

Beautifully Loved’s mission is to love and care for families dealing with pediatric cancer and other childhood illnesses through experiences that promote wellness, beauty, and fashion. 

Flatwater Foundation

Flatwater Foundation is dedicated to providing those diagnosed with cancer, their families and loved ones access to mental health therapy and family support. This includes access to both traditional and non-traditional methods of psychological counseling.
In 2017, we provided over $815,000 in therapy for families touched by cancer by covering 100% of their bill. We have built a network of over 90 therapists in the Greater-Austin area and partner with major cancer centers and nonprofits to find families that need the care.

Autism Society of Texas

The Autism Society of America, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. The Autism Society of Texas is an affiliate of the Autism Society of America. We uphold our mission by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research, and advocacy.

safe horns

Non profit that advocates for safety on and around UT Austin. We are not affiliated with the University. All volunteer group working to improve safety infrastructure, lighting, police presence, community engagement and education through events like our annual SafeHorns West Campus Night Out, Coffee with a Cop, Queso with a Cop and various gatherings to bring the community together. We also donate to programs on campus like, the UT food pantry/Career closet and SUREWalk

Drive a Senior Northwest

Drive a Senior Northwest has been providing volunteer services to senior adults in Northwest Austin, Cedar Park and Leander (125 square miles of NW Travis county and western Williamson County) since 1986. Volunteer drivers provide rides to medical appointments, grocery stores, dialysis, cancer treatments, personal business errands, etc. to help seniors who no longer driver stay in their own homes longer and active in their communities. In 2017, DASNW volunteers provided over 8000 rides as well as almost 100 minor home repairs, and extra help requests. Volunteers use their own cars and gas and choose their rides from an online system, based on their own availability, one drive a month or one a week or more, helping their senior neighbors and giving back to the community. For most of our service area, there is no public transportation, so seniors would be isolated and home bound without the DASNW volunteer driver program. Adding over 200 new seniors to our program each year means we need to recruit and support many more volunteers to meet the needs.

Texas council on family violence

The Texas Council on Family Violence is one of the largest domestic violence coalitions in the country. We promote safe and healthy relationships by supporting service providers, facilitating strategic prevention efforts, and creating opportunities for freedom from family violence.

Catnip Casa Cat Refuge

Catnip Casa Cat Refuge is the parent organization created to provide a venue for the community to support and provide for special needs cats, as well as to learn to care for special needs cats and encourage foster or adoption of kitties that need a bit more care.

Our Love & Cuddles Pet Respite Care program provides a venue for people in our community to help aging/disabled/veteran owners and their pets by donating funds for boarding and medical care or offering foster care for pets when the owners are hospitalized, allowing the pets to return home. 

Austin Sunshine Camps

Founded in 1928, Austin Sunshine Camps has spent the last 90 years providing free, overnight camp experiences to low-income, high-potential youth in the Austin area. When a child arrives at Austin Sunshine Camps, they enter a completely different world. They enter a world of new and friendly faces, where fun and unlikely friendships define each day. For a majority of our campers, many born in Central Texas, it’s the first time they’ve ever seen Zilker Park or felt the water of Lake Travis. They get three square meals a day, discover self confidence in the treeline of our ropes courses, and experience the unfamiliar warmth of caring mentors from our community. Over 50,000 campers have had a chance to attend camp at Austin Sunshine Camps and we are thrilled to begin the next 90-years of our journey with outcomes-based, innovative programming for campers from ages 8-18.

Austin Creative Reuse

Established in 2012 as a non-profit, Austin Creative Reuse opened Central Texas' first Creative Reuse Center in September of 2015. ACR’s mission is to promote conservation and reuse through creativity, education and community building. Our Creative Reuse Center is located in the Linc Shoping Center near ACC Highland mall. 

L4 Cares

L4 Cares implements programs that address the needs of “the Least, the Last, the Lost and the Lonely.” L4 Cares primary mission is to train and send Ambassadors to work at the local levels to raise social consciousness about the state and condition of “the Least, the Last, the Lost, the Lonely.” These Ambassadors will address the identified needs in a community by engaging volunteers, coordinating fundraising activities, and providing input on how L4 Cares resources should be applied to the community. Our programs support the military, seniors and people in crisis.

Samaritan Center for Counseling and Pastoral Care

Samaritan Center (SC) has served Central Texas for 44 years, providing behavioral health services to children, adolescents, adults and families. Our mission is to improve the mental, physical and spiritual health of children, adults and families, with special attention to under-served and military families. Our vision, To be the Integrative Wellness Center of choice, providing and promoting excellence in mental, spiritual and physical health that is accessible and affordable for all. SC’s main office is in Austin, and to increase access to care, we have two locations in Cedar Park, three locations in Georgetown and one in Bastrop, Buda, Round Rock and San Marcos.

Adults Independent and Motivated (AIM)

Adults Independent and Motivated (AIM) is an independent living option for young adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. It was modeled off of a living option in Kansas and was formed in 2014 in Central Texas by a group of parents who were struggling to find the right living arrangement for their young adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Unlike other options available in the area, AIM is an option where the young adults can live in an apartment complex with a close-knit community of their peers (and other apartment residents). The community is walkable, so AIMers are able to easily go to a coffee shop, grocery store or restaurants with their friends. They experience some independence, but also have appropriate supports, as determined by their families. AIMers have very ordinary lives. They go to work, fix dinner, clean their apartments, do laundry, play sports and hang out with friends. Truth be told, however, for these young adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities to live such ordinary lives is really quite extraordinary!

Texas Justice Initiative

The Texas Justice Initiative is building a portal for data on the Texas criminal justice system, comprised of records obtained through open records processes. Not only do we collect the data and present it to the public in a useable way -- TJI also analyzes our data sets, keeps our data up-to-date and provides oversight on data we collect by looking for errors and missing data. We aim to be a resource for journalists, researchers, policymakers and the general public seeking information on interactions between Texas law enforcement and Texans.

Simple Sparrow

Simple Sparrow is a care farm, serving Travis and Williamson counties, specializing in trauma and sensory dysregulation care. We provide therapeutic farm education for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to learn, grow, and heal. Our curriculum is based on our Core Values of: 1) Respect- respect the earth, animals, self, and others. 2) Kindness- be kind to the earth, animals, self, and others. 3) Duty- we are responsible to care for the earth, animals, self, and other.