Williamson-Burnet County Opportunities administers a wide range of economic-opportunity and social-services programs for both counties, including Meals on Wheels, Head Start, and Affordable Housing.
The Meals on Wheels program delivers hot meals five days a week to homebound residents over the age of 60, helping them receive proper nutrition and live independently for as long as possible. In addition to delivering hot noontime meals, volunteers visit with the clients, providing them with companionship and friendly check-ins.
AGE of Central Texas confronts the challenges of aging to improve the quality of life for seniors. It sponsors a variety of programs, including Adult Day Centers, support resources for caregivers, and computer classes for seniors. For clients facing memory loss, the organization runs an early-intervention program to help them cope with the challenges dementia will bring. The organization also distributes health equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, and shower chairs to enhance mobility for people of all ages.
In one year, Without Regrets Foundation co-founders Tara Ballard and Ché Heinroth knew three adults who passed away and left behind young children. One of these parents, Scott, was diagnosed with cancer in October 2010 and died the following April. He wanted to take his son to Yankee Stadium before passing away, but was unable to make his dream come true. Because of this story and many others like it, Ballard and Heinroth decided to do all they could to give families an opportunity to create memories from one last experience.
Before starting Without Regrets, both cofounders worked with a variety of family charities including March of Dimes and The Leukemia Society. They meet with families who have at least one parent facing a terminal illness and help them pick a good experience for them to share with their children. With approval from the parent's physician, the group then funds the event or trip, leaving the kids with lifelong memories to cherish.
While standing on the balcony of a hotel in London, Lady Bird Johnson and Ann Butler, the wife of Austin’s mayor, admired the green trail that follows the Thames. The scene inspired them to hatch a plan to beautify their own waterways. Over the next three decades, in partnership with local garden clubs, they planted trees and flowers along the polluted shores of Lady Bird Lake, undoing centuries of damage from the flooding of the Colorado River. Now the trail receives 1.5 million visitors each year and creates an oasis among Austin's skyscrapers and streets. The Trail Foundation implements improvements to the trail’s infrastructure and environment while honoring the vision of its founders. The foundation has built tree groves, landscape lighting, and a bathroom that reduces overall maintenance costs and blends into the natural environment without the use of an invisibility cloak.
The Kids Cooking for Charity program provides food for people experiencing hunger and an opportunity for young children to engage in a volunteer activity. In 2010, more than 1,600 children and their families assembled and served nearly 3,000 meals to those in need. Children as young as 3 years old can help build sandwiches for homeless residents at Caritas or prepare meals for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House. In order to coordinate the event, LHH needs funding assistance to cover the costs of food for children and their families to prepare.