Zones Team Offers In-Person Events with Community Partners
Contributed by the Impact Austin Zones Team
With the start of the pandemic, our Zones volunteers quickly assembled fun, virtual events that kept members engaged while sheltering in place. These have been documented on our blog. Eventually in-person, outdoor activity was added, and Zones leadership also explored and scheduled hands-on volunteer activities with Impact Austin Community Partners. Our members enjoyed having these opportunities to support nonprofits and give back to the community.
Central Texas Food Bank
In September 2020 and May 2021, Impact Austin members volunteered with the Central Texas Food Bank, as noted in earlier blogs. As one member noted, "Volunteering at CTFB has become my most consistent volunteer effort during COVID and I’ve loved it every time. This one was especially fun because I made a new friend. There’s also the fact that you can’t have too much fun with pallet wrap.... Thanks for the opportunity on all fronts!"
Austin Diaper Bank
October and November found us at the Austin Diaper Bank, a 2021 Community Partner. This nonprofit is a small but mighty organization; its three employees, board of directors and corps of volunteers manage to distribute approximately 140,000 diapers and 25,000 period supplies every month to needy families in Central Texas.
Two cozy groups of Impact Austin volunteers spent a few hours each shift helping to inventory, sort, and bundle a small mountain of donated supplies in Austin Diaper Bank's warehouse in north Austin. This was a great opportunity not only to help a worthy cause and support one of our Community Partners, but also to see firsthand how this nonprofit works. Austin Diaper Bank is well-organized, welcoming, cheerful, and efficient in what they do to serve the community!
Ecology Action of Texas
In late October, we headed outdoors for a tour and hike with Ecology Action of Texas, also a 2021 Community Partner. This nonprofit manages Circle Acres Nature Preserve, which is a 10- acre site of wetland, forest and grassland that is part of the Colorado River watershed ecosystem. Circle Acres is located next to Roy G Guerrero Park in the Montopolis neighborhood in southeast Austin and is open daily to the public.
When nineteen Impact Austin members visited Circle Acres Nature Preserve, it was a beautiful day to be outside hiking while learning about the work that this nonprofit's leaders and volunteers do to continue restoring and preserving this area. The Circle Acres area was originally a landfill and EPA Brownfield location. Although much of the landfill waste has been removed, there are still places where you can walk on old tires or see remaining metal items.
During our hike we learned about Ecology Action of Texas' research station, plant nursery, rain collection area, and outdoor education site, as well as their efforts working to maintain and enhance the springs in the nature preserve. This tour and hike was a great opportunity to learn more about the important work that one of our Community Partners is doing in enhancing the community.
As one IA member said "It was so great to see everyone and meet some new people, and Eric did a great job on the tour. What a great activity!"
In December 2021, Zones leadership will schedule early 2022 activities. Learn more about Zones and keep an eye on our Events page for Zones gatherings and other Impact Austin events. The Zones team welcomes captains to assist with planning and communications to members. Contact Zones Chair Tonya Netzley.