Just off of Burnet Road in central Austin, you’ll find a house that is different from every other in the well-know neighborhood of Allandale. Sammy’s House is appropriately branded as a “special place for special children.” The magic of their unique teaching philosophy encourages acceptance, diversity, and compassion and incorporates 75% of children with special needs and 25% without.
Sammy’s House began in November of 1999 as an in-home child care center serving only four children who were medically fragile. Due to an overwhelming response from parents of children with special needs, it was obvious that Sammy’s House was a resource that was more than welcome and needed in the community. Today, Sammy’s House offers a child development center, respite care, summer camp, support services, and so much more.
It takes a lot of work to make the magic happen at Sammy’s House and there are so many ways to get in involved and help.
Sammy’s House hosts two signature events each year that you can attend as a guest, volunteer, or sponsor.
The Adventures In Compassion Carnival is a family event hosted in the spring and includes games, entertainment, and welcomes children of all abilities. The event is free for Sammy’s House families and children with a small admission fee for everyone else. This year will feature a passport program where kids can get their passport stamped at different stations throughout the carnival and win a prize after completing their adventure. Check out the Sammy’s House website for dates, times and more information.
Eat, Drink, And Be Scary is an adults only Halloween themed gala held in the fall, of course. Enjoy incredible live and silent auctions, dinner and drinks, live music, dancing and costume contests. All proceeds benefit Sammy’s House. Visit their event page for more information on attending and sponsoring as well as photos from previous galas.
If your schedule is booked for events but you still want to help, their are countless opportunities to get involved and help this wonderful organization.
If you’d like to get involved on-site and work directly with kids and staff, classroom volunteers are welcome at Sammy’s House and are often asked to complete projects that support their curriculum and therapeutic objectives. Facility volunteers are needed to complete projects designed to maintain the children’s playground and help with general maintenance. This is a great way to volunteer as a group or with those that you work with. Keep in mind that if you are interested in working directly with children, you will be asked to complete a CPR/First Aid Certification and pass a background check.
There’s more! Volunteering as a fundraising or administrative role is work that you can do on-sit or from your couch! A variety of project help is needed and third party fundraisers are key to the success of Sammy’s House. According to development director Nicole Vinton, donations and fundraising cover program expenses but also allow for scholarships as 75% of Sammy’s House children are either from economically disadvantaged homes or under protective care. A great way to show some love to Sammy’s House is by hosting a third-party event. There are no shortage of happy hour locales in Austin and many of them will donate a portion of proceeds to your favorite non-profit (wink wink Sammy’s House). Hosting a competition or tournament is a perfect way to hang with friends and help others. If your skee-ball skills are on point, check out the Full Circle Bar that hosts a tournament to benefit Sammy’s House.
No matter how you want to help this incredibly special organization, the need is there. Visit their website, follow them on Facebook and Instagram, and keep up with all of the magic happening and find a way to be a part of it!