My Big Night Out

By , September 5, 2012

With two young kids, my husband and I don’t go on many date nights. Like a lot of young families, we are watching our budget and are usually exhausted by the end of day. We also don’t get to socialize with our friends without our kids very often. As anyone who has ever spent time with a child knows, it is really hard to have a conversation when kids are running around, spilling milk and asking zillions of questions. Sometimes I really miss my old life when I got dressed up, went downtown, had a few drinks, danced and visited with friends. While I wouldn’t trade my situation for anything, I could sure use a night out!

That’s why I am very excited I found the perfect reason (opportunity, excuse, etc.) to reclaim my old life for a night while at the same time supporting a great organization. Little Helping Hands is holding its inaugural fundraiser event, Big Night Out on September 27 over at The Rattle Inn downtown.


I can’t wait to get dressed up, meet other families that have volunteered with Little Helping Hands, listen to live music performed by Shinyribs, and try new foods. The silent auction will give me the perfect reason (opportunity, excuse, etc.) to treat myself to some things I wouldn’t normally buy. I hope the friends I tell about this event can get away, too. It’s also a great venue for a girl’s or guy’s night out.

While I know I will get a lot out of a Big Night Out, this evening is really about a worthwhile cause. Little Helping Hands teaches volunteerism to young children while also improving our community. Basically, I get to support a great organization and have a fun night out, a win-win all around. I definitely don’t have any excuses not to have a date night with my sweetie.

I invite you to follow me on Little Helping Hands’ Facebook site over the next few weeks as I get ready for my big night out and I hope to see you there!

To learn more about Big Night Out for Little Helping Hands and to purchase tickets, visit our event webpage. And, feel free to tweet about the event on twitter at #LHHBNO.

Celebrate Earth Day 2012

By , April 18, 2012

Last weekend while leading a site at Keep Austin Beautiful’s Clean Sweep, an annual event where thousands of Austinites come out to help pick up trash/litter at parks and recreational areas throughout Austin, volunteers had the option of separating recyclable items into white bags and taking them home to recycle. It wasn’t long before I ran out of white bags – many participants willing (and even requesting) to take these home to recycle themselves. Growing up when environmental stewardship was just beginning to take root, it would have taken great efforts to get folks to do this. Thankfully, this is not the case today.

April 22 is Earth Day and an opportunity to reinforce with our children the importance of caring for our environment and the community in which we live. Here are a few ideas to do together as a family in celebration of Earth Day this year:

  • Little Helping Hands is hosting several Lil’ Green Hands family volunteer opportunities over the weekend, including a newly added Goodwill GreenWorks Computer Recycling session on Saturday. Check out our Events Calendar and sign up to join us!
  • Check out the Austin Earth Day Festival on Sunday, April 22, 12 pm – 6 pm, featuring several kid-friendly activities to help develop eco-friendly young minds!
  • Recycle that unused/broken electronic equipment you’ve been storing for the past several years. FOX 7 & The Great Outdoors team up with Electronics Recycling & Trading (ERT) for a FREE Austin and San Marcos Earth Day electronic recycling event this Friday, April 20 from 8 am – 3 pm. Learn more about this event including drop off locations and list of acceptable items.
  • Participate in the third Annual Give 5% to Mother Earth campaign! Several local businesses will donate 5% of their gross sales on Saturday, April 21 to six regional non-profits committed to the betterment of our community and our environment. See list of restaurants and businesses participating in the campaign.

For those of you outside of Austin, The Earth Day Network also provides some ideas on ways to get involved. I welcome comments on other family-friendly ideas or events going on this weekend, or what you and your family have planned to celebrate this annual day in honor of Mother Nature.

Spring Break Family Fun at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

By , March 7, 2012

Spring Break is fast approaching and if you’re planning to be in town we invite you to join us for a family movie night at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s newest theater on Slaughter Lane.

In partnership with the Alamo Drafthouse, Little Helping Hands will host two screenings on Wednesday, March 14: Charlotte’s Web will begin at 6 pm and Spy Kids will begin at 6:15 pm. Proceeds from this event will be donated to Little Helping Hands. Tickets may be purchased online via the Alamo Drafthouse website, or you can purchase tickets on-site beginning March 8. For more information, please visit our event webpage.

This is a great opportunity to check out the new, family-friendly theater before its grand opening later on this month and a chance to help support our work at Little Helping Hands.

“We know that families want fun activities that both the parents and children will enjoy,” said Amy Averett, Private and Community Events Director of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, “We’re so excited to be part of the Slaughter community – even our “monster plant” decor was inspired by the nearby Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.”

Interactive events, such as sing-alongs and quote-alongs will be something Austinites should expect to see offered as well as Baby Day at Slaughter which will allow parents to enjoy a movie with their little ones.

Special thanks to Henna Chevrolet for their support and sponsorship of this event and of course to the Alamo Drafthouse for selecting our organization as the beneficiary.

“We’re excited to partner with Little Helping Hands because of the great work they do connecting kids and families with the community around them. We thought this would be a great opportunity to celebrate the work of Little Helping Hands and also raise awareness and funds in the Slaughter area for their great program,” added Averett.

This event is open to the public so grab your friends, neighbors, and family and we’ll see you at the Alamo! And, feel free to help spread the word, too!

Groupon and H-E-B Challenge Austinites to Support Family Volunteer Day – Can You Contribute?

By , November 1, 2011

As a culture, we are becoming increasingly disconnected. Busy parents are searching for ways to spend quality time with their children while exposing them to opportunities to make a difference in their communities. Little Helping Hands has inspired a huge demand for family-friendly volunteer opportunities in the Austin area. We are thrilled to let you know that the G-Team, Groupon’s charitable arm, is sponsoring a campaign beginning today, November 1st, through November 3rd to help support Little Helping Hands Kids Cooking for Charity volunteer activities.

With just a $10 donation, you can help fund two cooking activities on Family Volunteer Day this year and future Kids Cooking for Charity activities. The exciting news is that H-E-B will match all donations dollar for dollar, up to $600!

Our Kids Cooking for Charity program provides food and meals for people experiencing hunger or traumatic times AND an opportunity for young children to become engaged in their community in a meaningful way. In 2010 alone, Little Helping Hands family volunteers assembled and served nearly 3,000 meals to those in need — that’s a lot of work done by little hands! We are thankful for our contributors, who enabled us to purchase food for these activities, helping reduce the burden on our partner agencies that are facing increased demand during the economic downturn.

There’s one catch: to receive 100% of the proceeds raised through Groupon during this campaign, 30 people must donate to Little Helping Hands between November 1st and 3rd. Can you help us?

Here’s how to help:

1)      Go to:

2)      Click “Buy” and select quantity, e.g., 1 = $10, 2 = $20, etc.

3)      Complete Order

4)      Spread the word by sharing our Groupon link to your network of family and friends via email, Facebook, and/or Twitter

This will be our third year to participate in Family Volunteer Day, celebrated annually the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Scheduled this year on Nov 19, the day “kicks off” the holiday season with giving and service and is designed to demonstrate the power of families volunteering together. We have 13 activities planned that day, providing many Austin families and children with an opportunity to come out on this national day of service.

We are continuing to work hard to meet increased demand for meaningful, family volunteer opportunities that connect children with our local community. As one mom commented, “We always have such a great time! I appreciate the kids learning more about their community and understanding that we all play a role in helping others.”

Your participation in this campaign will make a difference, with both our children and Central Texans in need. Thank you for your support and helping us spread the word!