Giving Back to Help Make Our Community Stronger

We here at the Robert J Fischer Team and RJF Team Cares have partnered with Emerald Lawns (and are always looking for other corporate partners and sponsors) to bless others while creating awareness and a safe opportunity for the community to give back as well. We want to be a force of good in the world, serve others and bring the community together to help those in need. We are proud to present you with our third RJF Team Cares Community Voting Initiative to help out Central Texas charities.

The five charities below fight to meet the human needs of Central Texas, and we need you to vote for the charity that you want to receive the most donation funds from RJF Team Cares. This month we’ll be giving away a minimum of $8,000 divided between the five nominees. The donations will be presented to each of the five groups in early June. If you’re interested in donating directly to any of the five charities to support them outside the RJF Team Cares donation, you can do so through the Donation Form at the bottom of this page.

Here are the charities eligible for the May 2017 RJF Team Cares Community initiative. Voting will be open until midnight Central Time on May 31. Vote for your favorite below the nominees’ stories.

Ascend Outdoor - Click Here to Read More

Here at Acsend Outdoor Adventures, we serve people by taking them out of their comfort zone and away from technology so that they can grow spiritually and mentally. We take groups backpacking in the mountains, rock climbing, repelling, canoeing, camping, caving and fishing.

We work with youth ministries, at-risk and inner-city kids, and refugees. Many of them have never been in the outdoors. We also work with college age student internship and leadership programs. 

I believe God has called me to do this. I didn’t grow up with a dad, matter of fact, I never knew who my dad was. God has put some great men in my life to show me what it looks like to be a good dad, a good husband and how to serve other people. At Acsend I get to use these qualities and pass them along. I get to help the kids we work with see that there are good men in this world. I get to mentor the college-age students into being good Christian young adults. I get to help men see it’s OK not to be just another nice guy in this world, but to be adventurous, to be a protector for your family, and to be in love with God. 

We are a nonprofit organization and the money we receive in donations helps us to buy equipment, offset travel expenses, and purchase food so that we can keep the cost of the trips very low. So that it is not so much about how much it costs, but how many people we can witness to through the experience of the outdoors, God’s creation.

The impact of getting this donation will help us reach our goals we have set for this next year. We had the opportunity to serve nearly 800 youth this past year and our goal is to double that this year.  Thanks for your help to do that. 

Again thank you so much for this opportunity. 

Bikers Against Child Abuse - Click Here to Read More

How B.A.C.A. Works

B.A.C.A. International, Inc. (B.A.C.A.) is organized with a central contact person to receive calls from referring agencies and individuals. A recognized, authorized agency with which the child has had contact determines that the child is still frightened by his or her environment. The agency representative contacts B.A.C.A., or refers the individual to contact B.A.C.A. and the name and address of the child is given to our B.A.C.A./Child Liaison. The Liaison verifies that the case has been reported and the authorities have been contacted, and the case in being processed within the system. The Liaison contacts the family and an initial ride is organized to meet the child at their home or in some other location where the child will feel comfortable. The B.A.C.A. chapter rides to meet the child and he/she is given a vest with a B.A.C.A. patch sewn on the back. The child is free to wear the vest or not, and we support their decision. The child is also given bumper stickers, and other gifts that are generally donated by the public. These initial visits generally last about a half an hour.

Following this initial contact, the child is given the name and number of two B.A.C.A. Members residing geographically closest to them, who then become the child’s primary contacts. Prior to becoming the primary contacts for the child, the bikers are cleared for participation by passing an extensive background check, have ridden with the Chapter for at least a year, and have received special instructions from the Licensed Mental Health Professional. Anytime the child feels scared and feels the need for the presence of his new B.A.C.A. family, the child may call upon these bikers to go to the child’s house and provide the necessary reassurance to feel safe and protected. B.A.C.A. Members and supporters also support the children by: providing escorts for them if they feel scared in their neighborhoods; riding by their homes on a regular basis; supporting the children at court and parole hearings; attending their interviews, and; staying with the children if they are alone and frightened. The B.A.C.A. Members never go to the child’s house alone and never without the knowledge or permission of the parents. Our Mission is not to be permanently engaged as the childs power. Our Mission is to help the children and their families learn how powerful they can be. Our presence will be available as long as the child needs us. B.A.C.A. also holds other functions for the children such as Bar-B-Ques, and parties.

I am submitting this for our local Williamson County Chapter (Sam Bass). All funds donated will be used to help abused children in our county.

B.A.C.A. Mission Statement

Bikers Against Child Abuse, Inc. (B.A.C.A.) exists with the intent to create a safer environment for abused children. We exist as a body of Bikers to empower children to not feel afraid of the world in which they live. We stand ready to lend support to our wounded friends by involving them with an established, united organization. We work in conjunction with local and state officials who are already in place to protect children. We desire to send a clear message to all involved with the abused child that this child is part of our organization, and that we are prepared to lend our physical and emotional support to them by affiliation, and our physical presence. We stand at the ready to shield these children from further abuse. We do not condone the use of violence or physical force in any manner, however, if circumstances arise such that we are the only obstacle preventing a child from further abuse, we stand ready to be that obstacle.

Elevate Kids - Click Here to Read More

Elevate Kids (501c3)

About the founders:

Chris and Jennifer Hebel have a passion to serve foster kids, young adults, and those who will age out of the foster care system without having secured a forever home. As adoptive parents and former foster parents, they know first-hand the challenges foster children face as well as how hard it is for their biological families or next of kin to adequately provide for them. After years of fostering and mentoring children in their home, it was time for them to take their mission outside the walls of their house.

Background:

A child lacking a bed can be the tipping point of being placed with kinship versus complete strangers. Many fostering families often lack extra beds in time for an urgent placement.  Furthermore, children who age out of the system find themselves needing to find independent housing and rarely have any furniture or bed of their own. With this knowledge and a clear family mission of serving foster children, their biological families, and the fostering families, a unique 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Elevate Kids, was launched leveraging their family’s personal and professional experience and Chris’ adept wood-working skills.

Elevate Kids Mission:

Our Mission is to provide handmade beds, new bedding, and other resources to families and young adults involved with Child Protective Services (CPS).

Elevate Kids Vision:

We envision every child prior to, during, and after foster care having at the minimum, their very own bed to sleep in.

Various Ways Elevate Kids Serves the Community–

Building Beds:

Elevate Kids provides handcrafted beds to children who do not have one to call their own. Volunteers enjoy building beds as a way to use their skills to serve children in the community. The beds come complete with a brand new mattress, linens, and pillow.

Start-up Packages:

Something unique that Elevate Kids provides are “”start-up packages”” for foster family parents/individuals in the foster care licensing process. The package includes beds that can be used in various configurations along with other needed items like cribs, playpens, etc. These can be matched up to the specific need of the family and can be readily available when needed. (Families usually have to buy these things out-of-pocket long before they receive a state subsidy and can lead to unwanted stress or delayed placement.)

Serve opportunities for others in community:

Elevate Kids provides a unique opportunity for children and adults in our community to serve these children by volunteering to assist in the bed-creation process. Volunteers can learn safety and basic carpentry skills while serving.

Sawdust Therapy: This is an exciting new idea for therapy. Jennifer Hebel will soon be a licensed counselor and will be offering “”sawdust therapy”” sessions as an alternative therapeutic outlet for teens to learn woodworking skills and apply their imagination to a creative process. This is a good way for a child who might not be interested in the traditional therapy options available.

Need for funds:

Donated funds would primarily be used for building materials, mattresses, and bedding. They are a young nonprofit and could benefit from both donations and awareness. Thank you for your consideration of this unique and worthy cause!

Hope House of Austin - Click Here to Read More

Hope House of Austin has been providing long term care for severely disabled youth and adults for over 50 years. My wife and I visited this place 10 years ago and it really touched our hearts. The 32 residents at Hope House are treated like a family and many have been there since the home opened. The staff makes it a family and most have been there over 35-40 years! Unlike institutions the residents can stay as long as they need to. There is a wait list and the home struggles to meet operational needs. They deserve more support and a stable place to be. These are some of them most severe cases. They cannot talk and some cannot walk. They have a video and more details on the website at: www,hopehouseaustin.org .Anything you can do to help them would be fantastic! Thank you.

Therapy Pet Pals of Texas - Click Here to Read More

Therapy Pet Pals of Texas, Inc. provides pet therapy to elderly and ill patients and residents in health care facilities, and has served in the Austin/Central Texas area for over 33 years. We hold four Qualifying and Training Class for new volunteers each year and currently have nearly 200 volunteers serving in 90 health care facilities. Our volunteers and their calm, obedient dogs visit their assigned facilities twice per month, making lasting bonds with the people they serve. Most TPPT volunteers serve nursing homes residents, who are one of the most forgotten segments of our society. Depression runs rampant as the elderly feel isolated; “out of sight, out of mind” is how many describe their lives. Pet Pal Teams provide a ray of sunshine by greeting the residents with a “smile and a tail wag” and sharing their pet’s unconditional love. In 2016 our Pet Pals and their dogs and cats totaled over 11,000 hours of service bringing smiles and laughter to over 114,000 elderly patients.

If you’d like to donate to one of these charities directly to bless them with additional support, use the donation form at the bottom of the page after you vote in the form below.

Vote Here!

Which Nominee Do You Want to Receive the Largest Donation?

You can also donate directly to one of the five nominees by using the form below. All donations are accepted through Paypal. Please make sure to designate which charity you’d like to give your donation to in the form below or choose the General RJF Team Cares fund for the donation to be split across all five charities based on their place after the completion of the May voting period. RJF Team Cares will make sure each additional donation is given directly to the designated charity in full at the end of the voting period.

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