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  • Impact Austin

Member Voices: Volunteering Returns the Favor, Part I

In celebration of our 20th anniversary year, Impact Austin is sharing a variety of stories from and about our members. Each story is unique to the voices we profile, but each also speaks

to one aspect of our extraordinary collective.

We're all busy people, right?. We have careers and families and community causes and personal hobbies and exercise (well...) and those household tasks we should (but perhaps don't) get to. But scores of busy people also make time to volunteer within Impact Austin. Why? What is the value in their already-busy lives? Why give time in addition to the annual check we write? We reached out to the Marketing Committee, a fun and cohesive team that always has something to say.

Helen Brauner: I enjoy being a part of the marketing team as it's a nice way to get to know a subset of Impact Austin members more intimately. We meet regularly to brainstorm, problem-solve, and develop projects, and we have fun social events that enable us to get to know one another personally. I appreciate the flexibility of deciding when I can contribute more of my time and when I need to scale back due to work demands. The women on the team are sharp, and each brings her own expertise. We learn from each other and are directed by supportive, committed leadership!

Linda Yang: Being a part of the Impact Austin Marketing Committee these last few years has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. The incredibly talented, warm-hearted women on this committee are some of the best humans I’ve ever met. While I found a creative outlet in volunteering my skills, I’ve gained indescribably more through the friendships that never would have been without Impact Austin.

Judi McCarthy: As someone new to Austin in 2016, I chose Impact Austin for the networking opportunities it offered. For me, the chance to meet other women while giving and volunteering alongside them was as important as the community impact.

When I was urged to join the Marketing Committee, I thought, "What in the world do I know about marketing?" But I was willing to offer my time and to learn. Along the way, I found this wonderful community of women! We work hard while laughing often. We check in personally to support one another through pandemic and other challenges. And we cheer each individual team member along while working as a group to pursue the organization's successes. I'd have missed all this if I hadn't given my time and taken a chance to learn something new.

Phaedra Rogers: I joined Impact Austin in November 2020 in hopes of meeting new women in my community who share my interest in serving others. Once I joined the Marketing Committee, the benefits were three-fold: I used my skills as a copywriter to help our organization, I met fabulous other marketers who I now consider friends, and I was able to serve our community. Joining a committee exponentially increases the joy of serving those in need through Impact Austin.

Sarah Figueroa: When I first joined IA, I was really just looking to stick my toe into the collective giving water. I was almost immediately swept up into the Marketing Committee as there was a need for someone to help out with the member newsletter. I hadn’t really considered pitching in at that level as I wanted to spend some time learning about the organization and going to a few meetings. But it turns out volunteering was hands-down the BEST way to get a deeper look at what IA was all about. While the time I can contribute is certainly limited, the team gladly invited me in. It has been such a pleasure to help out where I can and enjoy this wonderful group of women – both while getting things done and at the occasional social gatherings that we all need more of!

Aileen Chen: I was initially drawn to Impact Austin because of its meaningful mission and impact on the Central Texas community. What I didn’t realize until after joining was how much I’d love working with and learning from the inspiring women I’ve gotten to know, and how much IA has also positively impacted me. Being a part of IA has both fulfilled my desire to contribute to the broader Austin community, as well as granted me the perspectives and wonderful friendships with people I might not have met elsewhere. I highly recommend volunteering with IA, in whatever capacity works best for you.


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