AUSTIN (KXAN) — The ninth annual Amplify Austin Day 2021, a mass fundraiser for nonprofits in Central Texas, kicked off Thursday evening at 6 p.m.
The regional fundraiser comes at a time when organizations are working harder than ever to provide necessary supplies and assistance to Texas families in the aftermath of the deadly winter storms last month.
Just like the struggles your family has inevitably had within the last year, it was possibly equally hard for nonprofits.
Central Texas nonprofits report new and larger expenses from the pandemic, plus a discontinuation of yearly fundraisers for safety reasons, severely impacting the way they operate.
Nonprofit “Keep Austin Fed” said the normal food supply was disrupted. Restaurants and catering businesses closed and grocery stores were empty, cutting off the standard surplus.
At “Hospice Austin,” new COVID-19 patients were taken in, requiring extra personal protective equipment for staff.
“Our staff was really going through some challenging situations,” said Melinda Marble, the communications coordinator for Hospice Austin.
And at childcare provider “Sammy’s House,” which typically cares for children with special needs, more clients coming from low-income families were brought in, sheltered and cared for.
“We didn’t realize last March what we would be dealing with this March,” said Sammy’s House Development Director Courtney Kramer.
The fundraiser is set to last for a full 24 hours, and anyone can join in to donate to these critical causes. More than 675 Central Texas nonprofits are participating in 2021. That’s a drop from the 760 that participated last year.
“It’s the one day that Austin comes together and says, ‘let’s make this a big 24-hour campaign,'” said Lisa Barden, executive director of Keep Austin Fed.
You can donate to organizations in the area on the event website here. Amplify Austin is aiming to double its unique individual donors this year to 60,000.
“Find a cause that you are passionate about. There are so many good nonprofits out there. Just give, because people are suffering,” Marble said.
The day is organized by the nonprofit organization I Live Here I Give Here, and over the past eight years, the event has pulled together more than $69 million for hundreds of Central Texas nonprofits.
In 2020, $12.3 million was raised for more than 760 organizations in seven Central Texas counties.
The event will also be streamed online on the Amplify Austin Day website. You can check out the schedule here.