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Community Giving Back teaches youth to give back

Posted: Friday, Mar 11th, 2011

Community Giving Back started when Kim Austin’s son, Zack, was nominated for a leadership camp soon after the Austin family moved to Atascadero from Texas in 2007.

“I was very excited,” Austin said. “It was very expensive, so we raised the funds.”

Right before Zack went to camp, Austin asked what other kids from Atascadero were going. She was told that no other kids could go because they did not have the money for it.

“Basically, at that point it frustrated me because the other kids weren’t able to go to leadership camp — we need leaders,” Austin said.

In June 2009, Community Giving Back officially became a nonprofit with bylaws. In December 2010, Community Giving Back went under The Link’s umbrella.

“Mostly, we work as the fiscal agents,” said Betian Webb of The Link. “We’re doing that with several organizations whose missions fit our mission.”

By being under The Link’s umbrella, donations made to Community Giving Back are tax deductible and The Link takes care of the nonprofit’s accounting. The nonprofit takes donations from individuals and businesses for scholarships for youth to attend a camp of his or her choice. Youth are able to apply for scholarships, in order to get the money; they earn $10 per hour of volunteering that they do.

“The kids are serving the community and we are helping the kids,” Austin said.

She said they can volunteer for any nonprofit and can attend any camp.

“Our goal is to teach them to learn to love giving back,” Austin said.

Community Giving Back takes photos of community and sporting events throughout the community and then attendees are able to download Internet photos from the nonprofit’s website,

One way Community Giving Back makes money for scholarships is through selling advertising on its website.

“Because a lot of people go to the site,” Austin said.

To facilitate the organization’s photography side, Austin is looking for more volunteer photographers and for someone to manage the photographers.

On March 15, the nonprofit will receive 15 percent of sales at Chili’s, 2001 Theater Drive, Paso Robles, between 4 and 10 p.m. In order for the nonprofit to get the percentage, the flier, which can be obtained by calling Austin at 464-9229, must be presented at the time of the purchase. The nonprofit’s board has five board members, but Austin said she is looking to build the board. Barbie Butz serves as an advisor.

In 2010, Austin said two boys were sent to camp and she is expecting to send six to eight kids this year.

“The biggest focus right now is getting the money [to finance the scholarships,” Austin said.

She said each scholarship could range between $400 and $2,000.

“Kids can given extra hours to another [youth] that is not physically or mentally capable,” Austin said.

For more information on Community Giving Back, go to or call 464-9229.

For the complete article see the 03-11-2011 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 03-11-2011 paper.

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