Wild Child Rocks it on Wordfree Wednesday

Wild Chld video set at The Boneyard in Austin

I think I heard Wild Child for the first time at a show in one of Austin’s clubs. I had no idea who they were when the show started…by the end, I had become a fan!

Since then, I have made it to several other shows, and they were all amazing.

But nothing was as incredible as being invited to participate in the filming of their new videos!  So off we headed to a place called The Boneyard (more about that place in another post!), and the fun began. Unfortunately, we left the good camera behind!  So please forgive us for these camera phone-quality shots. We promise to do better next time!

Wild Child video prep

Classic stage crew poseRehersalwarm up2014-02-01 17.11.042014-02-01 17.11.0020140201_17582320140201_18240420140201_182416-0012014-02-01 18.13.34We were so happy to be a part of Wild Child’s new video event!  Next time, though, we’ll remember the camera!

You can learn more about Wild Child and their upcoming performances on their Facebook page and website. Hope to see y’all at a show!

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Austin Diaper Bank helps young and old (Make a Difference Monday)

Austin Diaper Bank logoCan you imagine not being able to buy diapers for your baby? Or being a senior citizen in need of adult diapers, but with a limited income?

Diapers and other personal care needs aren’t covered by programs like Food Stamps. They’re not available at most food banks.

But if you have a baby or toddler, they’re not optional either. Lack of enough diapers to keep a baby clean can lead to a whole host of physical and behavioral problems. And now researchers are finding a link between being unable to afford diapers and a mom’s increased risk for depression. Which of course, then affects her ability to care for an uncomfortable, fussy baby — or a baby who may even be in pain with severe diaper rash and other infections. It’s becomes a downward spiral in which no one wins.

And for older people in need of incontinence protection, having adult diapers can mean the difference between going out in public at all…or becoming a recluse.

Cloth diapers might sound like an option for people with children, but the laundry costs can quickly become financially prohibitive for that, too. Especially if, like so many people in apartments, you don’t have a washer and dryer at home. (Trust me…I did the cloth diaper route! It was hard to keep up even WITH a washer and dryer!) Add to that the fact that most day care programs won’t accept a child in cloth diapers, and you have a secondary economic issue.

Thank goodness there are people stepping in to help to fill this need here in Austin. I met the ladies behind the Austin Diaper Bank at a Texas M.I.L.K. event a few months ago. I learned that the group was the idea of founder Beverly Hamilton. She read about a similar program in other cities across the country, and was touched by the impact of the programs on the lives of children and families. But when she learned that Austin had no such program, she stepped into the void. The Austin Diaper Bank was born in June of 2013.

“There are many reasons people need help with diaper costs,” the volunteers told me. “It could be a family living in poverty, a job loss, a divorce or an illness. And with seniors, it’s an on-going problem as income doesn’t keep up with higher prices.”

The program is currently run out of the director’s home, but is looking for help with renting a space so they can accept more donations, sort and repackage them, and get them out to the growing numbers of families in need.  The group has already taken in and distributed over 50,000 diapers to date. But the need keeps expanding.

So how can you help? So glad you asked! Austin Diaper Bank is always in need of diapers, volunteers to sort, package and deliver diapers and to get the word out. Check out their How YOU Can Assist ADB in 2014 page for the details. That package or two of baby, toddler or adult diapers you donate could make a big difference to a family in crisis.

Vegetarian Chili Rules on Taste of Austin Tuesday

Lone Star Vegetarian Chili CookoffIt’s this Sunday, it’s in Austin and it promises to once again take Texas chili traditions to a higher, vegan level.

What is it? It’s the 25th Annual Lone Star Vegetarian Chili Cook-off.  Yup, here in the land of ribs and brisket, you’ll find the longest running vegetarian chili cook-off in the U.S.

The annual celebration of all things vegan and spicy includes chili tasting, music, kids activities and more. Whole Foods is hosting beer sales on site, so you even can grab a cold one to wash down your favorite chili (or put out the fire on a particularly hot one!)

Teams of chili chefs come from all over Texas to compete for the title of best vegetarian chili in one of two categories. Chili masters can also take home a People’s Choice Award for the crowd’s favourite bowl of spicy goodness.

The cook-off started in 1989 as the brainchild of Shirley Wilkes-Johnson, with help from the  founders of the San Antonio Vegetarian Society, the South Texas Vegetarian Society (in Brazoria County, 60 miles south of Houston), the Austin Vegetarian Society, and the Vegetarian Society of Houston. For years, the event traveled around Texas, with cook-offs attracting vegetarians and open-minded omnivores from all over the Lone Star State. Finally, the annual cookoff settled in Austin, where it has grown and flourished, attracting up to a 1,000 hungry chili-lovers for the one-day event.

A quarter of a century after its founding, the cook-off is still going strong. And this year’s event promises to be one of the best. The new location in the green space adjacent to the Whole Foods on West William Cannon in South Austin offers easy access, free parking and lots of space for the cook-off, vendors, the kids’ area and the live music stage.  Admission to the event is $10 for adults or teens, $7 for children age 6-12, seniors, veterans and college students (with current college ID), and includes lots of delicious chili.

They’re also offering Family Packs for $25, good for a family of up to four (one of which must be a child age 12 or under).

If you’d like to help this all-volunteer event to be an even bigger success, you can volunteer and earn free admission and other goodies. The volunteer deadline is Friday, Nov. 8th, so be sure to sign up to lend your support to this Texas tradition.

(And yes, I do know this “Taste of Austin Tuesday” didn’t show up until Wednesday. Just blame it on The Doctor….time can be slippery sometimes!)

Gobble, Gobble, Give on Make a Difference Monday

gobble gobble give austinWelcome to the first day of our new “Make a Difference Monday” feature and our first guest post!

Today we’re featuring Gobble, Gobble, Give. 

Gobble, Gobble, Give began fourteen years ago in Los Angeles when one man, Barry Walker, saw a need and chose to do something. Although he had little to give, he chose to share what he had with those that had even less. The first year, he fed 28 people.

Each year, with the help of friends, the efforts were multiplied. Since then, the organization has spread to San Francisco, Las Vegas, New York City, Santa Monica, and here in Austin. Last year they fed 5,500 people. Check out this video of Gobble Gobble Give to see a piece of the impact.

This year, on Thanksgiving morning, at 10:00 am, people from around Austin will bring a Thanksgiving dish and gather at Go Greene Auto at 2617 South First.

Some will assemble the meals from all that has been brought, and others will be in charge of distribution. They will venture out into the community and share a hot meal with those that are less fortunate. Armed with toiletries, blankets, and a smile we will try to make someone’s morning a bit brighter. It is that simple.

For many of us, Thanksgiving morning can be a bit hectic or you might have out of town plans. The good news is that you can still help.

Financial donations are accepted through the Gobble Gobble Give main website and will help us pay for things like paper plates, buy turkeys and provide other necessities for our fellow Austin residents in need. Every dollar helps, so please give whatever you can.

Or if you’d like to donate blankets, toiletries, to-go containers, or food ahead of time, please contact us on the Facebook page, Gobble Gobble Give Austin or email Alissa Leenher.

Gobble, Gobble Give is a Gobble Gobble Give is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charity. Donations are 100% tax-deductible. 

Thank you Alissa!