Website helps raise awareness for local nonprofit organizations

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Lindsay Henderson, an adoption counselor at Austin Pets Alive!, takes a dog out of its cage Monday morning. Austin Pets Alive! is one of five organizations featured during Love Austin Week, which was created by Snoball.com to make donating via social networking sites easy.

Photo Credit: Shannon Kintner | Daily Texan Staff

Austin is showing some love for nonprofit organizations this week as part of the first Love Austin Week created by Snoball.com, starting Monday with dog treat sales for the Austin Pets Alive! organization.

Snoball is an Austin-based, nationwide company with an online platform to help more than 1.7 million nonprofit organizations and charities. Love Austin Week was created with the work of nonprofits and charities in mind by Snoball and will feature an organization each day this week. The website has organized events for each featured nonprofit organization all week.

The website’s goal is to make donating easy through social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, where people can join in and “snowball” into a larger effort to help those organizations, said Don Vanderslice, community director for Snoball.

“The idea is giving socially to a charity so the charity is able to focus its energy on the work they feel compelled to do or the causes they feel passionate about, instead of using their time to raise money,” Vanderslice said.

Monday’s Austin Pets Alive! donation events included selling doggie biscuits at several coffee shops and restaurants around the city. All proceeds went directly to the animal group, Vanderslice said. 

Three locations in the city will continue to sell doggie biscuits throughout Love Austin Week ­— Austin Java, Uncle Billy’s and Ski Shores Café.

In the morning, multiple adoption centers were set up in downtown’s Second Street district in order to promote APA! and its mission.

Love Austin Week will continue promoting organizations today with the Trail Foundation that beautifies the running trail around Lady Bird Lake for Austinites. The event will be a social run on the Lady Bird Lake trail where participating runners will go along the 1-mile or 3-mile route, Vanderslice said.

“We just want to raise awareness for the Trail Foundation and the work they do,” he said. “There will also be health and wellness nonprofits present that will be getting the word out about what they do.”

Vanderslice said the whole purpose of Love Austin Week is to focus on promoting Austin-based nonprofit organizations.

“We believe in the work of nonprofits and charities and the work they do is important and focused on changing their corners of the world,” Vanderslice said. “This is a real practical way for us to help highlight the work of particular non-profits in our city and also to actually help them out in some of their causes.”

Austin Pets Alive! spokeswoman Melissa Miller said the organization is thrilled to be a part of Love Austin Week because it helps increase the volunteer basis of many nonprofits in Austin that are doing great work.

“As a private, nonprofit organization, we rely on the assistance of caring and hardworking volunteers in all of our programs,” Miller said. “Volunteers who work directly with animals can increase an animal’s chances of adoption by providing additional human contact and volunteers also help us inform the community of the aims and objects of Austin Pets Alive!.”

The Longhorn Pets Alive! group holds events and fund raisers on campus for the city-wide organization, said Longhorn Pets Alive! president Corina Trevino.

“When I helped found the organization we believed UT was an untapped resource of volunteers for such an amazing place like Austin Pets Alive!,” Trevino said.

Printed on, Tuesday February 14, 2012 as: Website, campus group to help raise awareness for nonprofits