giving back to the community

Every week, Meditation Bob comes to the office to lead our team in a group meditation. This moment of stillness in the usual chaos of the workplace is priceless, but Bob won’t accept payment. Instead, he suggested that we donate to the Cherokee Home for Children—a home for abused, neglected or abandoned kids. This struck a chord with me. Charitable giving has always been a personal priority, but I never considered making charity a part of my business model. I decided it was time to fix that. In February we launched Ascendant Cares, an office-wide volunteer program that plans quarterly donation drives and semi-annual volunteer programs focusing on children’s needs and community building. While financial aid and material contributions are always in demand, we recognize that our time is often our most vital gift to those in need. More than simply raising money for a good cause, volunteer programs allow us to build relationships with both our Ascendant teammates and the Austin community. Check out a few of the amazing non-profits that have won our time, dollars and hearts this year:

LifeWorks

Every year, LifeWorks provides a pathway to self-sufficiency for more than 4,000 youth and families, many of whom are facing life’s most difficult challenges, including homelessness, trauma and abuse.

The Central Texas Food Bank

The Central Texas Food Bank is the largest hunger-relief charity in Central Texas. They work with food donors across the country, financial supporters and volunteers to fill unmet needs in Central Texas.

Dell Children’s Hospital

Dell Children’s Hospital is dedicated to the care of children and adolescents throughout 46 counties in Texas. Their mission is that no child should be refused healthcare regardless of their family’s financial circumstances.

Austin Humane Society

As the largest no-kill, nonprofit pet and adoption center in Austin, the Austin Humane Society is dedicated to saving Austin’s homeless cats and dogs, educating our community about responsible pet ownership and reducing pet over-population.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Texas

The Ronald McDonald House and Family Rooms are a comforting “home-away-from-home” that keeps families close to their hospitalized children.

Jeremiah Program

Jeremiah Program offers one of the nation’s most successful strategies for transforming families from poverty to prosperity two generations at a time. Jeremiah prepares determined single mothers to excel in the workforce, readies their children to succeed in school and reduces generational dependence on public assistance.

Last but not least, I recognize that every Ascendant employee has his or her own unique calling to community service, so I want to make space for every mission. Each member of our team now receives an extra eight hours of paid time off per year to devote to a charity of their choosing. Individual service projects provide focused care to charities that we don’t have the bandwidth to support as a team, while they offer the one-on-one attention that individuals need. Austin has given my company so much, and we are honored to give back in any way we can.