Susan and Don Cox founded The Christi Center in 1987 in memory of their daughter, who had recently died. Through their organization, they aim to help people adjust to life after the death of loved ones with a variety of support groups and community partnerships. The Christi Center runs 21 monthly groups to help people deal with the loss of children, spouses, and family members. Special bimonthly groups cater to children and teens, and school-based groups gather at local high schools for youth to participate in 10-week grief groups with their peers. In addition to providing grief support, The Christi Center also operates substance-abuse-recovery services for patients in conjunction with Austin Recovery.
Originally a home-based childcare center for medically fragile infants and toddlers, Sammy’s House expanded to become a more comprehensive, centrally located center after realizing the need for this type of care in central Texas. Today, the foundation of the operations consists of a child-development program, a respite-care program, and a therapeutic-equipment loaning program. Each day, groups of families and professionals work together to design and lead day programs that combine therapy, education, and care for children with special needs, along with afterschool and weekend programs for the children and their siblings. Day programs maintain low child-to-staff ratios, ensuring that each child receives special care and attention while following a play-based curriculum.
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Affiliated with a national association that reaches more 50,000 members across the country, the National Federation of the Blind of Texas supports people who are blind by providing resources to help them improve their quality of life; combat legal, economic, and social discrimination; and achieve their goals. The organization also spearheads research on blindness and promotes relevant new technology, such as the digital talking newspaper.
The Urban Roots program places active youth ages 14 to 17 in the role of paid "farm interns," in which they are responsible for the bounty of a 3.5-acre farm in East Austin. Sixty percent of the farm interns' sustainably grown harvests is sold at farmers' markets and farm stands—with all proceeds reinvested into the program—and the remaining 40% is donated to local hunger-relief programs. Though produce and prices vary depending on the season and other market prices, green-thumbed growers typically have fresh carrots ($3.50/bundle), radishes ($2.50), collard greens ($3/bundle), okra ($4/pound), spinach ($8/pound), basil/dill ($3/bundle), and much more.
Any Lab Test Now is a health-care facility that conducts thorough lab and medical tests oriented around genetics and nutrition. During B12 shots, certified lab technicians inject a spoonful of vitamins that can boost memory, energy levels, and mood as well, as increase metabolism for more effective workouts and attempts to outrun small rabbits. A blood-pressure screening may test vascular pipelines for adequate elasticity or detect potential health issues before they arise. Those in need of comprehensive looking-into can opt for a basic checkup, in which a thorough blood examination reveals the body’s most critical goings-on, from organ function, to levels of cholesterol, triglyceride, and funk. A urinalysis reveals metabolic problems, and a thyroid-stimulating hormone helps assess current thyroid health.
Theresa Bond Zelazny founded the Mobile Art Program (MAP) after seeing how the creation of artwork helped her mother reduce stress and anxiety during a six-month battle with colon cancer. Today, MAP works toward empowering seniors and people with disabilities through artistic expression, helping them cope with their situations, regain a sense of control in their lives, and develop interpersonal relationships. Instructors drive a VW station wagon to nine facilities throughout underserved areas of Austin every month and conduct art classes where participants learn about the colors, compositions, and brush strokes employed by artists such as Frida Kahlo and Vincent van Gogh and model their own works off of these techniques. Instructors bring all of the supplies necessary for each project, giving the participants experience with a variety of mediums. By creating art in group settings, seniors can simultaneously gain new skills, build communities of friends, and bolster their self-esteem. At least once a year, the organization also holds a mini exhibit in each assisted-living facility, where residents vote on their favorite pieces and everyone receives prizes.