We live here, we give here: supporting local charities

It’s a wonderful time of year, when we celebrate the holidays with family and friends, and also think of ways we can help one another.

At Red Velvet Events, we give back to the community in a variety of ways. Recently, the RVE staff volunteered at Blue Santa, helping wrap and sort gifts.

One of the nonprofits we especially like to support is The University of Texas Elementary School. Let me share a true story.

New beginnings

At the Fourth Annual Fundraising Luncheon for The University of Texas Elementary School, held on November 13, a high school student shared his moving story of how the school changed his life, bravely speaking to a room with hundreds of people as his proud mother looked on.

He had been struggling in a local public school when his mother enrolled him in a lottery to attend UT Elementary as a fifth grader. They were thrilled when he was accepted. The attractive school, the uniforms, the attentive teachers and exciting programs – it was like a dream come true.

Then his teachers discovered that his math and reading skills were below where they needed to be. He couldn’t attend 5th grade there – but they would take him as a fourth-grader. He was stunned to learn this news. He remembers walking home and his mother holding him tight as he cried.

He decided to say yes to UT Elementary, even though it meant going down one grade. Devoted teachers, a supportive family, a newfound desire to prove himself – and many, many hours of hard work — led to success.

He now takes AP courses at his high school and plans to go to college, perhaps at the University of Texas, where his dreams first began to come true.

At UT Elementary, 70 percent of the children qualify for free or reduced lunch. Teachers and staff work hard to prepare each of the students for college.

“My husband and I are very fortunate to be where we are today and have the means to be able to share our good fortune with UT Elementary School. We strongly believe that everyone deserves a chance at obtaining the highest level of education available, regardless of the situation you were born into,” said Cindy Lo, the founder of RVE, sharing her thoughts on why she and her husband support UT Elementary School.

RVE provides event-planning services to a handful of chosen causes each year, primarily ones located in Austin which serve children. Unfortunately, we can’t provide free services to every non-profit that asks (as a small business, it’s important to keep ourselves available for our paying clients) but we do love to support and help others as much as we can.

Find a cause

Austin and Central Texas are filled with worthy non-profits who help thousands of people each day, in a wide variety of areas, providing everything from food and shelter to classes and child care. Each month, the RVE staff volunteers at a different non-profit, which has been very rewarding for our employees. We encourage you and your co-workers to find a cause that fits your passion, too.

Volunteering is “one of the best things you can do to learn about your local community,” Cindy said. “Attending local nonprofit charity events is a great way to learn about the different organizations.”

A great site to check out is I Live Here, I Give Here, which has a lot of information about nonprofits in the Greater Austin/Central Texas area: http://www.ilivehereigivehere.org/

Donations

RVE assists local public non-profit organizations through in-kind donations of services and custom gift baskets. We have established guidelines to follow when considering eligible organizations due to the frequency of such requests. Please also note that RVE favors organizations that advocate in the interests of children and education, and that are focused on the Greater Austin area. (Read more about our donation policy at http://www.redvelvetevents.com/explore-rve/donation-policy/

We hope you have a marvelous holiday season, and a Happy New Year!