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Susan Marler — Nonprofit, Charity, Philanthropy, & Giving Blog Authors — Austin, Texas — ILH,IGH
66% of Austinites feel uninformed about the issues.
89% say they would give to a specific need in the community.

Why We’re Here

I Live Here, I Give Here’s mission is to deepen and expand the culture of personal philanthropy by inspiring Central Texans to invest more money in our community. We educate and connect individuals and non-profits so more Central Texans experience the personal benefit of increased philanthropy.

I Live Here, I Give Here’s mission is to deepen and expand the culture of personal philanthropy by inspiring Central Texans to invest more money in our community. We educate and connect individuals and non-profits so more Central Texans experience the personal benefit of increased philanthropy.

Did you know that according to a study done by The Chronicle of Philanthropy in 2012, Austin is ranked 32nd out of the 50 largest cities in the nation in per capita charitable giving? This is a big improvement over our ranking at the beginning of the 21st century when we ranked 48, but there is still a lot of room for growth!

Austin is a vibrant city with a personality all its own. Central Texans are passionate, driven, and generous volunteers of their time and talent. But that’s not enough. The biggest problem facing Austin Nonprofits is there is not enough money.

Our community is well known for cherishing its environment and local businesses, its time to nurture our home-grown nonprofits in the same way!

We depend on our nonprofits to meet so many of the Austin's most basic needs; but the shortage of funds for these organizations is creating large gaps in services.

This is where I Live Here, I Give Here steps in. Our main purpose is to connect people like YOU with the issues you care about and the Nonprofits that support them.

I Live Here, I Give Here is proud of the work we have accomplished since our launch in 2007. We connect the people of Austin with the causes they care about.

We partner with nonprofit groups so they can be more accessible to you. We spotlight specific needs in Austin every month to let you know how you can help.

Please check out our Programs and get to know our Board Members and Staff!



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Teen Dating Safety

by Susan Marler
March 28, 2011

Do these numbers surprise you?

·  1 in 5 teens who have been in a serious relationship report being hit, slapped or pushed by a partner.

·  1 in 3 girls who have been in a serious relationship say they’ve been concerned about being physically hurt by their partner.

·  1 in 4 teens who have been in a serious relationship say that a boyfriend or girlfriend has tried to prevent them from spending time with friends or family; the same number have been pressured to only spend time with their partner

……I wish that they surprised me. However, as we have been preparing for the April Spotlight on Teen Dating Safety, I have remembered many examples from high school when friends of mine were victims of dating violence. Violent acts were often ignored or considered normal teenage boy behavior by school administrators or parents – instilling in our young minds the understanding that violence just par for the course. In my discussions with the great non-profits that work to help prevent teen violence and assist teens who have been victims of violence, I am so relieved to hear that many young people are now speaking out against dating violence. Zero tolerance of violence remains a distant goal, but thanks to the Expect Respect Program, Teen Justice Initiative and GenAustin, we are getting closer to attaining that ideal.

see the full entry

Spring Is Here!

by Susan Marler
February 28, 2011

Spring is here! It’s a great time to be outdoors. One of my favorite things to do outside is to work in my garden. In March, I Live Here, I Give Here is spotlighting the problem of Childhood Obesity here in Austin. I was disappointed to learn that Austin’s kids are actually more obese than the national average. One of the ways a great local non-profit, Sustainable Food Center, is working to alleviate the issue of Childhood Obesity in Austin is by introducing children and their families to gardening. Families may not have the resources or transportation required to get fresh produce for their meals, this might lead them to eating processed foods which are higher in fat and sugar. When a family learns how easy it can be to grow a few vegetables and receives the tools to do so, it greatly improves the chances that they might improve their dietary habits. Hopefully, this type of intervention and resulting change in diet will help to keep the children in that family from becoming obese. Another benefit of getting children involved in gardening is that they are more likely to eat their vegetables and get those vitamins! Homegrown produce tastes better and children have lots of fun ‘picking’ their dinner. My three year old helped me to harvest salad for one of our meals this week and she actually ate it, which made a believer out of me!

see the full entry

The Butterfly Effect

by Susan Marler
January 31, 2011

Taking action towards solving community problems on both a systematic and individual level is crucial. This approach can help keep service providers and concerned community members from becoming overwhelmed by the vastness of some community issues. For example, the societal factors which lead to over 10,000 child abuse and neglect reports being filed in Travis County every year are innumerable and tangled up in family relationships. People who want to help stop child abuse face the daunting challenge of figuring out where to start. As I did research for I Live Here, I Give Here’s Community Need Spotlight on Foster care and Adoption, I learned about an initiative called The Heart Gallery, which is an art exhibit featuring photographs of children waiting for adoption after being removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. The Heart Gallery photographs introduce us to the actual children who are living in foster care and who have been affected by child abuse. Children who grow up in foster care are twice as likely to drop out of high school and only 3% of Texas’ foster children go on to receive a college degree. When one hears these statistics, it seems like a hopeless task to ‘do’ anything for these kids. Yet, after seeing the face of a Cental Texas child who needs a new home – people are taking action on an individual level. The positive ripple effect that begins when a child is adopted out of foster care is amazing. I am revitalized to continue to try to change the system by these individuals who have taken such momentous action towards changing the life of one child. 

see the full entry

Getting To Know Austin

by Susan Marler
December 2, 2010

Austin is cool, weird, techie, smart, music-loving, in a friendly sorta-Texas sorta-not way. Yet, each month through the I Live Here, I Give Here spotlight on a different local topic, I get to know our hometown a little better.  The Austin I now know has characteristics we don't like to talk about - some might say we ignore the facets of our city's personality we don't want to deal with.

There seems to be an unspoken worry that if we acknowledge facts like that 40% of all children in Travis County are born to mothers who did not finish high school or 1 in 5 Austin adults cannot write well enough to fill out a job application, we will lose the Austin we want to believe in.

The "ignore the problems and they will go away" approach has placed Austin at 48th out of the 50 largest US cities in % of per capita disposable income we give to charity.  But visitors to Austin always notice how remarkably kind and friendly Austinites are - so I don¹t think this ranking reflects
the true big-hearted character of our city. The real Austin is more than strong enough to own the challenges that exist here.  We need to give more financially to help provide all who live here a chance to thrive. We'll be even cooler if we do.

see the full entry

November's Spotlight On Senior Services

by Susan Marler
November 11, 2010

I Live Here, I Give Here is focusing on Senior Services for our Community Spotlight in November.  This is a topic that many people avoid, until they are confronted with issues related to aging in their own life.  I would probably be the exact same way if it had not been for a job I had at a non-profit that served Seniors.

I am so grateful that at a young age I learned about the issues Seniors face – like health care costs, transportation difficulty, isolation and abuse – through this role.  My job was focused on educating the community – so I became an expert on the government programs that strive (but are seriously failing) to meet the needs of Seniors in our country.  One of the most important lessons I can pass along is that it is never too early to begin communication about, and planning for your own - or your loved ones – aging.  Starting points for such a conversation can revolve around your vision of the ideal retirement.  What would that look like?  A hammock on the beach?  Along with the hammock you might need to have your heart medication – and it could cost you hundreds of dollars a month.   If you get a Social Security benefit of $1200 a month then what would your budget include?  When one starts these discussions early, it is much easier to avoid the hard choices and stress that often come with meeting the needs of an aging loved one. 

Join us on November 18th to learn more or see our website for videos about the non-profits that provide crucial senior services and information for caretakers. 

see the full entry

Heritage Society Of Austin

by Susan Marler
October 4, 2010

I love my job at I Live Here, I Give Here for many reasons; one of which is that I get to learn about the great non-profits in Austin and their amazing community work. The organization I have most recently become acquainted with is the Heritage Society of Austin. The Heritage Society works to preserve Austin’s history and heritage through a variety of methods. I had heard of some of these methods, like getting landmark status for a building, but wanted to learn more details because there is a building in my neighborhood that I think should be preserved from demolition.

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