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Season for Caring: How we’ve shifted in a pandemic

Nicole Villalpando
A'Zaria Milam-Barfield, 2, talks wonders to Carissa Crabtree of Any Baby Can.

This Giving Tuesday, we’re asking you to again choose Statesman Season for Caring as one of the nonprofits on your donation list.

Each year the Statesman chooses 12 families nominated by 12 different local nonprofit organizations to share their stories with our readers. Since 1999, the program has raised $13.7 million, which the nonprofit organizations have used to help thousands of families with basic needs such as food, rent, utilities, medications and transportation.

The best way to give to Season for Caring is through a monetary donation, especially now through Christmas during the $250,000 Sheth family matching grant period. You can give directly at or by cutting out a donation coupon that is printed in the paper each day and sending in a check or mailing it to Austin Community Foundation, c/o Statesman Season for Caring, 4315 Guadalupe St., Suite 300, Austin, TX, 78751. Make checks payable to “Statesman Season for Caring.”

When it comes to families’ wish list items, we have changed many of the ways we do things to be as contactless as possible.

Each family has a wish list of items that accompanies its story. On the online version of each family’s story, you’ll find a link to that family’s gift registry. You can click on an item and have it sent directly to the sponsoring agency.

This year, we’re also asking for more gift cards, which can be mailed directly to a family’s agency.

Instead of asking for gently used furniture, this year we have teamed up with Austin’s Couch Potatoes in partnership with Furniture Mall of Texas, which are donating new furniture to some families as well as providing furniture at-cost to all the families. The agencies will use Season for Caring monetary donations for those at-cost fees. All the families are receiving new beds from Factory Mattress.

Like every year, Season for Caring families have many in-kind items they need, such as cars and appliances, and services such as remodeling and legal assistance.

For more information on how to give, email or call 512-445-3590.

Here are this year’s families and the links to their stories where you can find their online wish list and the address to send gift cards:

Gunther Aguado: New start after homelessness, nominated by Caritas of Austin

Nelly Aguilar: After husband deported, mom trying to be strong for children, nominated by SAFE Alliance

LaChantia Anderson: Mom teaching herself coding while escaping homelessness, nominated by Salvation Army Austin

Albert Byishimo: Father from Congo teaching his children to help others, nominated by Interfaith Action of Central Texas

Aaron Kemkaran: Work for musician, studio owner evaporated in pandemic; nominated by HAAM

Renee Milam: Medical needs mount for mom, four kids, nominated by Any Baby Can

Cline and Velma Meredith: Grandparents struggling after cancer, job loss, nominated by Wonders & Worries

Jessica Molina: Teacher, mom of 4 mourning husband, nominated by Hospice Austin

Deogratias Niyongabo: From advocate in Africa to University of Texas janitor as refugee, nominated by Foundation Communities

Monica and James Roussett: From teen parents to struggling to get ahead, nominated by Boys & Girls Clubs of the Austin Area

Philip Sharp: Senior with cancer chooses between medicine and food, nominated by Family Eldercare

Nelson Toala: Stroke, pandemic changed life for Driskill Hotel cook, nominated by Meals on Wheels Central Texas

Thank you for giving!