United Way for Greater Austin celebrates 90th Anniversary

AUSTIN (KXAN) – United Way for Greater Austin kicked off its 90-day celebration on Tuesday for it’s 90th birthday.  The nonprofit works with many groups around Austin to help better the community and help those fighting economic struggles.

“United Way for greater Austin has done so much for this community and with this community when you look back in history all the minutes from 1924 there are the names of some of the founding fathers and mothers that were in the greater Austin area and their relatives and relations are still here today,” said Debbie Bresette, president of  United Way for Greater Austin. “Some of the that foundation of building philanthropy caring so deeply for your community that you want to give back and invest in a way that makes really a true change in people’s lives.”

UWATX launched a digital timeline on it’s website showing its growth over the past nine decades.

The city of Austin will proclaim April 17, 2014 as “United Way for Greater Austin Day.”

Another big part of the celebration will be the unveiling of a publication highlighting some of the people the nonprofit serves. They’ll have a zine, or a small magazine, opening showcasing the publication of Struggle: The Other Faces of the Texas Economic Miracle.  The publication is made up of 26 portraits of people in Austin struggling with poverty. Matt Rainwaters, an award-winning photographer based in Austin, shot the pictures and said he wants people to see that poverty doesn’t have a singular face, that it’s something really relatable.

“United Way for Great Austin is doing outreach inside the community and when you do work locally it doesn’t just make your life better, it strengthens the community,” said Rainwaters.

“It brings up everybody else, it’s kind of like a rising tide lifts all ships, and that’s what I’m really excited about with United Way for Greater Austin.”

United Way for Greater Austin has had a lot of attention lately because if its 2-1-1 call center which helps people during disasters and with social issues.

On Monday Bresette said they were extremely busy with people calling in to get help to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act before the 11 p.m. deadline.

Last week, Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, visited the call center and United Way for Greater Austin as part of her Texas tour in a final push to sign people up for health care.

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