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the culture of community

Written by Lauren Ko, Landscape Designer


A few dwgers at It’s My Park Day in 2016

Service with the purpose of giving back is one of my core values. This value was instilled in me at young age starting with volunteering and was fostered when I went to college at Virginia Tech. Their motto of “Ut Prosim” which translates to “That I May Serve” resonated with me and prompted me to became involved with multiple volunteer organizations. Service is something I continually strive for here in Austin.

It is my belief that any where you live it is important to give back to your community. This after all, is where you live, work, and play. There are so many things in motion that make the city where you chose to reside the place you are proud of and love. Giving back is a way of showing appreciation and gratitude toward your city. Whether it’s time or money that you are contributing both are extremely powerful and beneficial. It’s about actively making a difference.

One of the easiest ways to give back is through volunteering. There are so many volunteer opportunities here in Austin to be involved with from working with kids, to walking dogs, to planting trees, and anywhere in between. Just to name a few that our staff members have been a part of are: Austin Parks Foundation, Austin Pets Alive, SMPS, Caritas, Capital Area Food Bank, ACE Mentor Program, Downtown Austin Alliance, Bake a Wish, I Live Here I Give Here, Art Alliance Austin, among others.

By volunteering our connection to the place where we live is strengthened and we become stewards of the city through protecting, maintaining, and improving our surrounding community which is beneficial for all. Volunteering has many positive aspects not only for the community but the individual as well. Working together for a greater cause or common purpose gives people a sense of pride and accomplishment. It is a way to pay it forward and help out where you can. There’s opportunity for networking and camaraderie amongst participants and a chance to learn something new. It is a way to spread kindness and compassion and it can also be a humbling experience. Even the smallest action can have a huge impact such as brightening someone’s day or creating a cleaner environment.

Most importantly, whatever way you choose to give back- through volunteering or donations know that you are making a difference and building hope for a better future.

Here is a link to volunteer opportunites in Austin: