Kids Crafting for a Cause

selling crafts
We recently witnessed a very special act of kindness by a young girl named Destinee. Destinee gets together with her friends every couple of months to do arts and crafts, and she decided she wanted to use her talents to help others. She and her friends decided to begin selling their crafts to raise money to donate to local charities. For their first donation, they chose The Salvation Army.

Destinee decided she wanted to help homeless children for her first donation. With the help of her grandmother, she searched the internet to see how she could do this. Together they found The Salvation Army Austin’s #InvisibleAustin website and campaign. They read about the growing number of women and children in our city experiencing homelessness. Destinee knew she wanted to support this important cause.


Destinee and her friends gathered their crafts and sold them outside of Brookshire Brothers in Rockdale, Texas, 60 miles east of Austin. They raised and donated a total of $410!

Destinee came with her grandmother and great-grandmother to the Austin Shelter for Women and Children to give her donation – a box full of cash! She toured the facility and had a chance to see how her generous gift was helping others.

newspaper clipping

We are so thankful to Destinee and to her family and her friends. It warms our hearts to see children helping other children. Destinee’s act of kindness is inspiring, and we are blessed to be the first charity Destinee and her friends are supporting. We look forward to many more inspiring acts of kindness in the New Year.

Thank You


The Salvation Army Austin manages many programs along with two shelters to serve families in need in our community. None of this would be possible without the generosity and support of our donors, sponsors and volunteers. We are so grateful and thank you for all you do to help us continue servicing our community.

This year we hosted our second annual Rock the Red Kettle ATX concert. Much went into the planning and preparation for this concert which was headlined by Cory Morrow and his friends. This successful night was possible because of their support and support from our sponsors Legacy Mutual Mortgage, Carson Vaughn, GarzaBury, Riverside Resources, Andrew Priest, Erik Maund, Charles Maund Toyota and many, many more. We had a great response from volunteers who braved the cold with us. The Texas Spirits helped with setup for the concert. The Texas Cowboys came dressed and brought Smokey the Cannon. The staff from AMLI luxury apartments and The Junior League helped with our silent auction.

AMLI staff volunteering at the silent auction

AMLI staff volunteering at the silent auction

Cory Morrow’s help continued as he invited local musicians to come out and rock our red kettles. To our delight, there was a huge response. McCallum High School orchestra and Ring 4 Him came out to play and the 6th grade girls at Hyde Park school came out to sing. Walt and Tina Wilkins sang tunes at the Lakeline Mall while Jarrod Johnson, Drew Fish and Horseshoes and Hand Grenades rocked our kettle at The Domain. We had a big line up of artists at our Barton Creek Mall kettle featuring Dave Fenley, James Soto Band, Fletch Wiley, Los Vaqueros and so many more.

Ring 4 Him

Ring 4 Him

Ben Kazda local bartender at The Dig Pub took it upon himself to designate a night where he and his fellow staff would donate their tips on a particular night to provide gifts for the teen in shelter. The Dig Pub also donated 15% of its sales to the cause as well.  Last Monday, they raised a total of $6,786.17 in one night! We are thankful to Ben and the staff at Dig Pub. They recognize that our Angel Tree program provides children up to the age of 12, who are in need, with Christmas gifts. They wanted to make sure the teens had a special Christmas as well. We thank you for thinking of others and for support our teens in shelter.

Ben Kazda

Ben Kazda

Our Angel Tree program provides toys to thousands of children in need in our community, who would otherwise not have a special Christmas. Our hearts were filled with joy to see so many volunteers help at the Christmas Cheer Warehouse and to see many donations pour in for the children. We are thankful to Majic 95.5 who hosted a radio-thon Friday, December 11th to support the Angel Tree program and any forgotten angels. The program is possible because of the gift and monetary donations made by thousands of people throughout our community.


Little Guys Movers donated their time to pick up and transport toy donations to our warehouse.

This year Bastrop County experienced wildfires. Our Williamson County Emergency Disaster Service (EDS) canteen and volunteers were deployed. Our volunteers provided meals and hydration to firefighters and first responders. Our Williamson County volunteers not only donated their time, but donated their gas money as well. Most drove from Georgetown to Bastrop each day to help. Without much of a break, they came out to our Shoe-In at Celebration Church and helped fit children in need with a new pair of socks and shoes. Earlier in the year Texas experienced catastrophic floods and our volunteers were there to help. One of our volunteers gave a pair of shoes to a young woman who lost everything in the floods. Our EDS canteen and team is run 100% by volunteers. Our hearts are filled with gratitude to know people like our EDS volunteers who truly care about others.


Williamson County EDS volunteers service at Bastrop fires.

We witnessed many more acts of generosity from the people in our community and we would like to thank you all for everything you have done to help us serve the families and individuals in our community who are suffering. Because of your support, we are able to help them see a brighter tomorrow. Thank you again and God bless.

Local Bartender Donates Tips to Provide Christmas Gifts for Teens in Shelter

Ben Kazda is a bartender at Dig Pub and founder and owner of Hold Up vintage clothing. He, along with Dig Pub owners, fellow waiters and staff donated all of their tips on Monday to buy gift cards for teens living at the Austin Shelter for Women and Children.

Ben has been doing this for several years. He decided one year to donate all of his tips one evening.

Last year this effort raised $5,200 so that the shelters could get gift cards to the teens’ favorite stores like Aeropostale, Game Stop and Old Navy. It was very cool for the teens, who have an especially hard time living in shelter. Last night, Ben and The Dig Pub raised $6,786.17!

Dig Pub also donated 15% of all sales on Monday to the cause. The Salvation Army Angel Tree Program provides gifts for children 12 and under. Ben is making sure those over 12 have gifts as well.

Ben Kazda shared, “I have been doing this for quite a few years now. It started when I realized that I personally could help one person, or I could multiply my efforts by giving all my patrons a chance to help out. Last year was the biggest year I have ever had – raising $5,200. This year with the help of other bartenders and waitresses joining me in my efforts, my goal is to raise more than we raised last year for these teenagers who would otherwise not receive Christmas gifts.”

“It is so great when people in the community can really zero in on a way they can make an impact.  This was a definite need for our shelter, and Ben’s work over the last few years has transformed the holidays for these teens.” – Stacy Schwarz, Assistant Social Services Director for The Salvation Army Austin.

Ben knows that for the teens living in Salvation Army shelters, it is especially hard. They want to be normal and have gifts like other kids their age. A gift card to their favorite store gives them the opportunity to buy something they like during a very difficult time for them and their family. Ben is a true Austinite who wants to give back to his community and make a difference. Ben was also our volunteer-of-the-month in 2014.

We are so thankful to Ben and Dig Pub for their generosity to the teens in our community.

Dig Pub is located in Cedar Park. You can visit their website or find them on Facebook.


Rock the Red Kettle ATX