As the holiday season approaches, we at Keep Austin Beautiful extend our warmest greetings to you and your loved ones. Before we bid farewell to 2023, we want to thank you for your unwavering support of our volunteer programs and educational initiatives.
The year 2023 has been one of our most impressive yet. The Keep Austin Beautiful team has mobilized 9,228 volunteers across our programs. These dedicated individuals have collectively contributed 22,127 hours of community service, removed 70 tons of litter and recycling, and cleaned a remarkable 314 miles of public spaces. In monetary terms, these efforts equate to a massive $584,817 in cost savings for our city.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to eradicating litter, protecting Lady Bird Lake, preserving local creeks, and ensuring that all Greater Austinites have access to clean, safe, and beautiful green spaces. However, we need your support to keep cultivating a culture of community service, creating new opportunities for neighbors to connect with nature and each other, and nurturing the next generation of environmental leaders.
Looking ahead to 2024, we anticipate significant challenges in delivering our programs and services to the community. Due to the high cost of living in Austin, the commitment to providing competitive salaries and comprehensive health benefits for our dedicated team is now more crucial than ever. In addition, the costs of securing essential resources such as litter grabbers, trash bags, and educational materials for our volunteers and students have surged by as much as 30 percent in some instances over the past several months. Upgrading our outdated technology, essential for the efficient operation of our programs, is also a pressing need.
To ensure that Keep Austin Beautiful can continue to support community service and school projects, we invite you to join The Beautify Club. By becoming a part of this community of supporters, you will provide us with the essential resources to continue engaging thousands of children and adults in meaningful and impactful community service. Can you assist us with a donation to fuel another 38 years of enhancing green spaces, cleaning waterways, and minimizing waste?
With your generous support, we can mobilize thousands of volunteers to enhance neighborhoods and public spaces throughout Greater Austin, making them enjoyable for all.
Once again, we thank you for your ongoing partnership and unwavering commitment to beautifying our incredible city.
Rodney E. Ahart