Flowers. Chocolates. Fancy dinners. These things help you demonstrate romantic affection for that special person in your life, but what if you could show your community some love on Valentine’s Day?
It just so happens that several local businesses and organizations present great opportunities for you to benefit Austin charities this year. And you’ll certainly have fun doing it! Here are some great ways you can give Austin a big hug and kiss for Valentine’s Day.
Make cards for kids going through a tough time
Do you remember how fun it was to give and receive Valentine’s Day cards from your grade school classmates? You swapped simple cards with your favorite cartoon characters, and even though the items were just pieces of paper, they meant your classmates cared about you.
Right here in Austin, there are some children in the middle of tough situations who may not be able to go to school to trade Valentine’s Day cards. So Mama Fu’s Asian House and Mix 94.7 have teamed up to deliver cards to children in local hospitals and shelters.
It's time to put your design skills to the test – all month long we are partnering with @mix947austin and Dell Children's Hospital for the annual Valentine's Day "Cards for Kids" promotion! Come out to any of our 13 Austin area Mama Fu's restaurants and design a Valentine's Day card for a child receiving treatment. We will have exciting giveaways, samplings and other events in the coming weeks!
Get a group of friends together for a card making party. Then, drop off your cards at any Austin area Mama Fu’s location or the Mix 94.7 studios by February 6 at 5:00 p.m. Morning show hosts Booker, Alex, and Sara will deliver your cards in time for Valentine’s Day. Your cards will bring joy to kids at places like Dell Children’s Medical Center, Austin Children’s Shelter, Center for Child Protection, and Ronald McDonald House.
Dip strawberries in chocolate with your charity’s team
A strawberry covered in a cool, bittersweet layer of chocolate is a Valentine’s Day staple. But since strawberries go bad within a few days of purchasing them, it takes an unseen army to dip each year’s strawberries over the course of a few days. Betcha never thought about where your chocolate covered strawberries came from!
Well, you can take a walk back into the kitchen at Amy’s Ice Creams to help make those perishable treats and at the same time help your favorite charity. The folks at Amy’s need help February 11-14 to fulfill this year’s demand. People will be washing dishes, washing, cutting and dipping strawberries, cleaning, and conducting quality control tests from noon on February 11 to as late as it takes on February 14 to get the job done.
Sign up with a small group of your charity’s volunteers, and you can all donate the money you earn to your charity. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get your group signed up. Amy’s donations director Denise Malek recommends signing up in groups of no more than 10 people since Amy’s wants at least half of the people working a shift to be current Amy’s employees.
So how does your charity get the money for all your hard work? “We write them a non-taxed check for their collective work which can then be donated to their organization,” Malek told Austin.com. “Checks can also be written separately to each individual if they prefer. This is just a creative, fun way to raise funds.”
And if you want to purchase chocolate covered strawberries from Amy, you can preorder them now!
Adopt a pet for free
How could you get something for free and help out local charities? Just adopt a pet between February 10 and February 12 at Austin Humane Society, Austin Pets Alive!, or Austin Animal Center. Petco Foundation will pick up the adoption fees through their “Discover Love” national adoption event, so local shelters will still get the revenue they need to keep doing their good work.
“At any given time, there are 2,000 pets of all ages, sizes and breeds waiting in Austin shelters for new families,” Austin Animal Center Chief Animal Services Officer Tawny Hammond said in a January 31 press release. “This is an exciting opportunity for our shelters to come together, with support from the Petco Foundation, to find homes for hundreds of homeless pets.”
The goal for the three days is 600 total adoptions, and the three adoption organizations will be tracking the numbers throughout the weekend and blasting them out on social media.
“If you’ve ever shared your life with a pet, you know: love changes everything,” Petco Foundation Executive Director Susanne Kogut said. “And love is why every day, we work in partnership with animal welfare organizations in Austin and across the country to help bring more pets in need together with loving people.”
If you’ve been thinking about taking a cat, kitten, dog, puppy or rabbit into your home, now is the perfect opportunity. But remember, pets are a big responsibility, so you need to be committed. How fitting for Valentine’s Day!
Featured photo by Flickr user grwepr, Creative Commons licensed