COVID-19 Live Updates: Austin Nonprofits Seek Donations On Giving Tuesday

KUT Staff

We’ll be updating this story throughout the day Tuesday with the latest local news on the coronavirus pandemic. If you’d like to go through a roundup of COVID-19 news from Monday, read it here. If you have a news tip or question, email us at

Update at 5:25 a.m. — Nonprofits seek donations on Giving Tuesday

Hundreds of local nonprofits are asking for donations today as part of Giving Tuesday. We’ve grown accustomed to Giving Tuesday around the holidays, but organizers are hoping the pandemic will spur the generosity of those around the world to help where you can, if you can. 

Here in Austin, I Live Here I Give Here is corralling donations for more than 750 nonprofits who partner with them through their annual Amplify campaign. 

Kathy Smith-Willman is the group’s Board Chair. She said nonprofits have had a double hit of lower donations and a bigger need for their services during the crisis. 

“It’s very different right now,” she said. “Our nonprofits have had to really pivot, a lot of them, what they’re doing in this time of COVID-19 and one of the things that they tell us what they need is flexible, immediate funding.”

That’s critical, because many nonprofits are funded by grants that have milestones or restrictions on what they can do with the funds. The worldwide effort, Giving Tuesday Now, lasts all day today. 

— Jimmy Maas

Catch up on what happened yesterday

Austin, Travis County encourage wearing masks and minimizing social contact as businesses reopen 

Austin and Travis County leaders re-emphasized Monday that the local “Stay Home, Work Safe” orders are still in effect. 

Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott let his statewide stay-at-home order expire and issued a new order that allows restaurants, retail stores, movie theaters and malls to reopen Friday with certain capacity limits and health protocols. 

Austin and Travis County say their local actions are consistent with Abbott’s new order, which requires people to “minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household.” Previously, the exception to that rule was to access essential services, but now the exception includes accessing the newly reopened businesses, according to a press release from the city and county.

The local orders expire May 8, but officials plan to extend them later this week with some modifications that comply with Abbott’s order, according to the release.

Austin and Travis County will still require people to use face coverings in public, they said, but under the state rules they cannot enforce the requirement through civil or criminal penalties.

“The real penalty for not wearing a face covering in Austin is that more people will get sick and some of them will die,” Mayor Steve Adler said.

Other local coronavirus news from Monday:

If you need help paying your monthly rent, you can apply for the City of Austin’s $1.2 million fund for one-time emergency rental assistance starting Monday at 9 a.m. through 11:59 p.m. Wednesday. The Leander Independent School District has moved its 2020 high school graduations to July 9 through July 11. The district says it will choose from among three potential commencement scenarios based on logistics and guidance from public health officials. If you or someone you know is struggling to provide food for a pet, the Austin Humane Society is holding a Pet Food Pantry event Tuesday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at 124 W. Anderson Lane.

What’s happening statewide? Check out special coverage from KERA for North Texas, Houston Public Media, Texas Public Radio in San Antonio and Marfa Public Radio.

If you find this reporting valuable, please consider making a donation to support it. Your gift pays for everything you find on Thanks for donating today.

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