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.
Visitors to Austin Free-Net’s computer labs can bolster typing skills, build a resume to submit to potential employers, and embark on the online-job-application process. However, in order to maintain the health of the labs’ systems, its computers run a program that wipes hard drives after each client completes a session, preventing them from saving their work. Austin Free-Net would like to equip those who complete a computer course—such as basic skills or Word basics—with a 1-gigabyte flash drive. The drive contains enough storage space for users to save numerous documents and its portability will allow users to carry their information anywhere they go.
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.
With its pitch-black dinner events, The Austin Blind Cafe provides a work opportunity and platform to express experiences for Austinites who are blind; it also provides an opportunity for guests to experience an evening without sight. St. Martin's Lutheran Church will throw open its doors for the event, held August 18–20, leading participants into its facility under complete darkness. After presenting a family style, three-course meal, the blind wait staff will engage in a question-and-answer session about blindness, discussing spatial awareness and sensory deprivation. A dark-chocolate dessert will conclude the evening, followed by a live performance of original music from Rosh & One Eye Glass Broken, which weaves viola, cello, guitar, and voice into an enchanting aural experience.
Single Jingles advocates for men to conduct self-examinations once a month to discover signs of testicular cancer and prevent long-term harm, through materials including shower cards, educational brochures, and on the organization's website. Testicular self-exam shower cards hang in the shower and remind men to perform the simple procedure once a month. Single Jingles would like to distribute 1,600 educational shower cards to central Texas health centers, but the organization requires additional funding to accomplish this goal.