2017 Non-Profit of the Year
This Westie is awarded to a non-profit organization that has recognized a need within our community and who through community responsibility, innovation, growth, sound business practices and community partnerships has served our community with vision and integrity.
2017 Winner: Mobile Loaves & Fishes
The mission of Mobile Loaves & Fishes is to provide food and clothing, to cultivate community and to promote dignity to our homeless brothers and sisters in need. Our vision is to empower the community into a lifestyle of service with the homeless.
Mobile Loaves & Fishes was founded nearly 20 years ago at St. John Neumann Church in Westlake, and thousands of individuals, families, corporate groups, students, scout groups and faith communities have served the homeless through the Truck Program located there. Westlake High School stated more volunteer hours are logged by students serving at MLF than any other area nonprofit.
The Community First! Village opened in 2015 and was created through the collaborative efforts of thousands of loyal volunteers and donors throughout Central Texas. The breadth and depth of community involvement is beyond anything our city has seen and it is difficult to quantify the many ways the Westlake community has supported this effort. These include:
- Westlake area faith-communities sponsoring homes and hosting events
- 25 Custom and Commercial Builders
- 20 Corporations
- 17 Family foundations
- Civic and school groups
- 30+ ongoing Eagle Scout projects
- Over 14,000 individual donors
The Westlake Chamber of Commerce and Westlake Student Council celebrated a House Blessing this year for the home they sponsored together in the Village.
The students at Forest Trail Elementary led by longtime PE teacher Jane Lewis, also raised over $20,000 to sponsor a micro-home and help move a friend off the streets. Students, families and teachers all gathered in the community gardens to celebrate a House Blessing. The school focused on challenges faced by the homeless throughout the school year and further built awareness throughout the community.
On Saturday, November 12, Emily, a long-time fixture at the corner of Bee Caves and 360, packed up and moved out to Community First! Village. The Westlake community has supported Emily for many years through money, gifts and conversation. These friends supported her emotionally through the process of making a change and eventually moving. She just celebrated her first year in the village with many Westlake area friends attending her party!
We believe the fundamental cause of homelessness is a profound, catastrophic loss of family. The staff and those we serve at Mobile Loaves & Fishes is so grateful for all the ways the Westlake Community has supported our mission and contributed gifts, talents and love to the currently and formerly chronically homeless in Austin, TX.
2017 Finalists: Common Threads, Foster Angels of Central Texas
- Area Info