How to #AmplifyAVANCE!

Amplify (1)

Thank you for joining our campaign to Amplify AVANCE! Together, we’ll raise $30,000 to change everything for very young, low-income children and their parents. Spread the word with your friends, family, and community about AVANCE-Austin’s work and make 2017 the best Amplify year ever!

Creating your Fundraising Profile
Step 1:

  • Visit our Amplify Austin page:
  • Click on “Create a fundraising campaign” button on right side.
  • You’ll need to create a log-in with your email and create a password.

Step 2: Create your profile

  • Organization: This should say “AVANCE-Austin”. If not, you can enter that.
  • Fundraiser title: This can be something like “Unlock America’s Potential”—whatever is meaningful to you.
  • Your fundraiser summary: This is your opportunity to share what is meaningful for you and why you support
  • AVANCE-Austin. What makes this organization special to you? It can be as serious or fun as you want!
  • URL link: this can be your fundraiser title, but you can also just use your name. An example:
  • Add a photo: It can be an AVANCE photo (there are plenty on Facebook) or a picture of you.
  • Your personal appeal: Short summary sentence that will go with your photo. For example, “5 donations of $20 will meet my goal! Will you help?”
  • Fundraiser goal: Set a realistic goal, make a plan and do your best! We suggest a minimum of $100 for your personal goal. (If you asked 10 friends to donate just $10 each, or 5 friends to donate $20 each, you’d meet your goal in no time!)

Step 3: Submit for Approval

  • Click “Submit Fundraiser for Approval”
  • The AVANCE team will approve your profile as soon we can so that you can start sharing your page!

Deadline to submit your individual fundraising profile for approval is March 1 at 5:00 pm.

Donors may begin prescheduling gifts through your page as soon as your profile is submitted and approved. Scheduled donations count towards 2017 Amplify Austin Day goals and will not be charged until Amplify Austin Day (March 2).

Promoting your Fundraising Campaign

  • The first step towards your goal is to share it with your network. Use tools you already use to communicate with your friends and family. Social media, emails and phone calls or text messages are all great ways to raise awareness and funds.
  • Before posting on social media, give your fundraiser a little momentum by reaching out to friends and family directly via email, text message, or phone call. A personal message asking for their support will go a long way. Make sure to:
    • Include a link to your personal fundraiser page.
    • Offer a quick explanation of AVANCE-Austin does:
      • AVANCE-Austin’s innovative dual generation approach is closing the gap and unlocking potential for children from low-income, Spanish-speaking families. Each year, AVANCE provides 25,000 hours of instruction and over 1,000 home visits to 300 parents and children.

Here’s a sample message:

Hey John, 

Tomorrow is Amplify Austin. In case you aren’t familiar with it, Amplify Austin is a city-wide 24-hour online giving campaign for local non-profits. I’m excited to support AVANCE-Austin this year and hope you’ll join me. The money raised will directly benefit very young, low-income children and their parents by providing FREE dual-generation parent and early childhood education and family support services.

I’m trying to raise $100 in 24 hours from 6pm Thursday, March 2 to 6pm, Friday, March 3. If I can get 5 people to each donate $20 or more, I’m there. It’s important for me to help change everything for young Hispanic children and their families. I hope you’ll support me and these children by making a gift to my fundraising page below. If you know you’ll be unavailable on Amplify Austin Day, you can also pre-schedule your gift and it will count towards my goal. Thanks in advance! Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, and thanks for reading!

  • Once you’ve done your first round of personal outreach, social media is a great next step to keep everyone updated on your progress and impact. Promote on your own social media channels, with a link to your personal fundraising page to make it easy for your friends to donate
  • Want to go the extra mile? Make a donation to your own fundraiser to set the example and kick off your fundraising efforts!

Social Media

Follow #AmplifyAVANCE and let’s get trending across all platforms!

Facebook: @AvanceAustin 

“Like” us and share our Amplify posts. Or create your own content using hashtags: #AmpilfyATX and #AmplifyAVANCE.

Sample Post:
I’m proud to support @AvanceAustin this year through #AmplifyATX. Visit to learn more and help support young Hispanic children and families in Austin. 

Twitter: @AVANCEAustin

Again, save yourself time and retweet us. Consider adding a personal message to encourage your friends to give.  Make sure to use the #AmplifyATX or #AmplifyAVANCE in all your tweets!

Sample post:
Excited to support @AVANCEAustin this year during #AmplifyATX! Preschedule your gift to give back to Austin TODAY [include your campaign link]

Just a few hours left to #AmplifyATX! Help @AVANCEAustin reach their goal of $30K before 6pm [include your campaign link]

24 hours to give back to @AVANCEAustin during #AmplifyATX! Your gift will change everything for Hispanic families [include your campaign link]

Help me reach my goal to #AmplifyAVANCE! I need just 5 friends to give $20 each before 6pm today. Can you help? [include your campaign link]

Tip: Use a URL shortener like or for your campaign link if you need more character space.

Instagram: AVANCE-Austin is not on Instagram yet, but if you have an account, please feel free to spread the word through photos, and don’t forget to tag @ilh_igh and use the hashtags #AmplifyAustin #AmplifyAVANCE

For questions, contact Melinda Gonzales Boe

Volunteer at AVANCE-Austin’s Holiday Party


Calling all volunteers! AVANCE-Austin’s annual Holiday Party is upon us!

When: Friday, December 16, 2016

What is the Holiday Party?

Every year, the families of our program, AVANCE staff and supporters get together to connect over a joyous holiday meal. The party is a way to celebrate our community’s most deserved families with music and games. Volunteers are a huge part of what makes the event successful, so we invite you to help spread the holiday cheer!

What you’ll be doing

  • Decorating and set up (Dec. 16, 8:00am – 10:30am)
  • Greeting families (Dec. 16, 10:30am – 2pm)
  • Serving food (Dec. 16, 12pm – 1:30pm)
  • Assisting with game and craft stations (Dec. 16, 10:30am – 2pm)
  • Clean up (Dec 16, 1:30pm – 2:30pm)


*AISD Performing Arts Center – 1500 Barbara Jordan Blvd, Austin, TX 78723

Free parking is provided.

*Please note change in location. We are not meeting at the Allan Center.


  • Ability to speak Spanish a plus, although not necessary


  • Delicious meal provided
  • A chance to serve Austin’s most deserved families and be a part of the celebration
  • Event-planning experience

Fill out the volunteer form here and we will contact you shortly!

If you have questions, please contact Anurita Mittra.

Please also consider contributing to our Holiday Wish List to help make our party special!

Help Us Make the Holidays Happy & Bright!


Each December families enrolled in the Parent-Child Education program, staff, and AVANCE-Austin supporters come together for an afternoon of fun to celebrate the holiday season. The highlight of the annual holiday party is always the joy on the children’s faces when they sit on Santa’s lap. The vast majority of families in our program are low-income, and while the parents are giving their child the gift of educational opportunity, they may lack the resources necessary to afford much else that Christmas. Every year, we rely on the generosity of AVANCE supporters to help make the holiday party special for our families.



This year’s Holiday Party is on December 16th and we are asking for your help to provide the following for our party:

·Beverage (Water/ice tea or lemonade) for our families

·Pan Dulce or sweet breads

·Sorting and nesting toys

·Push and pull toys

·Modeling clay


·Hardback books with rounded edges

·Soft balls

·Musical toys

·Pop-up toys

·Stacking rings

·Shape sorters

·Simple puzzles

For more information and to donate items, please contact Anurita Mittra.

Volunteers are also needed to help set up and run activities!


9th Annual Luncheon raised $127K!

View the photos from the Luncheon and VIP Meet & Greet Cocktail Reception. (All photos taken by Victor Ovalle for AVANCE-Austin.)

Over 335 supporters attended the AVANCE-Austin 9th Annual Luncheon last Wednesday, October 19 to change everything for low-income children and their parents.


John Quinones dazzles the guests.

In fact, we had a record-breaking year, raising over $127,000 that will change the lives of hundreds of children.

Thanks to our co-presenting sponsors, H-E-B and Seton Ascension, Emmy-award winning television journalist and author, John Quiñones, shared his remarkable story about his journey as the child of a migrant farm working family to becoming one of the most recognized faces in broadcast news today.


Long-time AVANCE supporter Beth Misner of BNI captured her thoughts about the luncheon and AVANCE’s mission. Click on the image to watch her testimonial!

Continue reading

John Quiñones: AVANCE makes life better for children

First published on Sunday, October 9, 2016
Austin American Statesman – Opinion

By John Quiñones

My father, Bruno, worked as a janitor in San Antonio. He had no education and spoke only Spanish. So when I was 13 and my dad was laid off, his only option was to pack up his family and join a migrant workers caravan.

My parents, sisters and I picked cherries in Michigan and tomatoes in Ohio. The hours were brutal, the pay next to nothing. I was a fifth-generation Texas child, descended from a long line of hardworking, Spanish-only-speaking families, and I was destined to repeat my father’s life.

Until I received two gifts.

Continue reading

6 ways to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month


Now that it’s Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15), it’s time to celebrate! President Lyndon B. Johnson signed this 30-day period into law in 1968 and since then, communities throughout the U.S. have been celebrating in various ways. National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the independence of 5 Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Mexico. Here at AVANCE, we happen to have families and teachers from each of those countries. Continue reading

Marie Felan Continues as Executive Director

We are so thrilled to announce that Marie Felan will be continuing as Executive  Director of AVANCE-Austin. As you may be aware, AVANCE National Headquarters invited Marie to join the National team in San Antonio, and she gave this serious consideration in her determination to help AVANCE succeed across the United States.
Ultimately, however, Marie felt she needed to continue to direct the amazing progress we have made here in Austin. She felt she could not walk away from stewarding the crucial growth she has helped to bring about in her under two-year tenure to date. After all, AVANCE-Austin:
  • Had the largest graduating class of children and parents this program year and expect growth in our upcoming new program year starting in September.
  • Secured a permanent facility and expanded our early childhood classrooms from 2 to 4 classes and added high quality home education programming.
  • Strengthened our core by expanding our Board of Directors to 16 dedicated, professionals who are committed to an ambitious three-year strategic plan that will see AVANCE double its capacity by 2020.

Continue reading

2015-2016 Achievements

2015-2016 was a successful year at our new permanent home at the Allan Early Childhood and STEM Center! We are very proud of the nearly 400 individuals we served this year, and grateful for our donors and supporters who made all the success possible.

Take a look at more accomplishments by clicking here.

Infant Teacher Miss Martha and a new AVANCE graduate

Continue reading

Guest blog: HEB Turkey Wrap recipe

How a Turkey Wrap Changed Everything
as told by Jose Garza

Hooray! I no longer have to resort to the hiding-veggies-in-the-mac-and-cheese trick.

Hooray! I no longer have to resort to the hiding-veggies-in-the-mac-and-cheese trick.

When my mother-and-law learned about the HEB Read3 program 6 weeks ago at AVANCE-Austin, she took my 4-year-old daughter, Emma with her every week. The two of them would come home with stories about the free books they received and how they learned to make delicious meals using…only healthy ingredients. When Emma told me about the Honey Pecan Turkey Wrap with spinach she had made with her grandma, I thought to myself, “My 4-year-old and vegetables were in the same room?” Surely, this was a dream. Usually I have to hide vegetables in my children’s mac and cheese, much to their dismay. Continue reading

Sharing the Joy of Reading

share the joy of reading heb3

Since the beginning of summer, families have joined AVANCE-Austin for our H-E-B Read3 Program. During 6 weeks, families are learning about early literacy and nutrition through a series of fun and educational workshops. At the end of the program in late July, H-E-B Read3 will give the families enough books to build a library!  Continue reading