Quarterly Donations Recap (October – December)

Thanks to our clients, we were able to donate a total of $16,872.69 this quarter, bringing our total donations since our founding to $297,656.50!

Here’s a look at all the donations we’ve made on behalf of our clients this quarter.


  • $1,165.69 donated to CASA of Travis County on behalf of Shelli Schilke.
  • $1,485.00 donated to the Congress for the New Urbanism – Central Texas Chapter on behalf of Diane Miller.
  • $3,092.00 donated to Student Charities on behalf of Chris Scherwin and Charles Gardinier.
  • $885.00 donated to H.A.N.D. on behalf of Seth Sather.
  • $827.00 donated to Love-A-Bull on behalf of Meghan and David Wells.
  • $1,375.00 donated to Manos de Cristo on behalf of Jim and Joan Johnson.
  • $1,375.00 donated to Meals on Wheels and More on behalf of Jim and Joan Johnson.
  • $1,375.00 donated to Wounded Warrior Project on behalf of Jim and Joan Johnson.
  • $885.00 donated to Planned Parenthood on behalf of Diana Wagner.
  • $1,463.00 donated to Planned Parenthood on behalf of Hugh and Julie McGowan.
  • $1,375.00 donated to Presbyterian Children’s Home on behalf of Jim and Joan Johnson.
  • $1,570.00 Donated to Open Door Preschools on Behalf of Ashley and Scott Phillips.


Guest blog by  Meghan Wells, Co-Founder, Love-A-Bull.

Once in awhile, if you’re lucky, you meet someone who wants to make the world a better place by working everyday to help others.  And then, these people inspire you to do the same.  I learned of Laurie Loew and Give Realty several years ago, when Laurie’s clients, Ethan and Emilie Sonne, chose Love-A-Bull to be the beneficiary of Give Realty’s commission program to help nonprofits.  As Love-A-Bull is so dependent on its donations to continue funding its basic services and programs, I knew the tremendous value that this contribution would make in the lives of the pitties and owners who we serve.

Pittie Pride Parade photoBy working to provide education, advocacy and rescue programs, Love-A-Bull strives to improve the lives and image of “pit bull” type dogs and their guardians.  Since 2008, our 100% volunteer-run organization has provided free training classes to several hundred individuals and families, started one of the nation’s first all-pittie therapy dog programs, rescued and rehomed pitties from the streets, shelters, and abuse/neglect situations, fought for equal treatment and against breed discriminatory legislation for dogs in our own community and nationwide, hosted one of the country’s largest annual “Pittie Pride” festivals featuring celebrities who help spread awareness of our shared desire to make life better for pittie dogs and their families, and worked with countless individuals in need of our assistance.  Love-A-Bull wants everyone to realize that all block-headed dogs who get lumped into the “pit bull” label are worthy of being loved and viewed as the faithful four-legged family members that thousands of responsible guardians hold dear.  My own (now, nearly 12-year old) rescue dog, May, was the first one to prove that message to me – and soon after I adopted her, Love-A-Bull took shape.

Remembering the support that the organization had received from Give Realty in that past, I naturally sought Laurie’s help when my fiancé, David, and I were in the midst of combining our households (selling our individual homes and buying a new house together).  She was the perfect combination of listener, field expert, advocate, and cheerleader for our house selling and buying process.  If you’ve been on that real estate roller coaster (especially the crazy one here in Austin), you know how important a realtor with those qualities can be!  But, what was even more satisfying than signing that last closing document was the knowledge that with our own homestead journey complete, we would be helping Love-A-Bull continue its journey to grow and expand through Give Realty’s donation.

Donation Give RealtyIn the past several years, Give Realty has given close to $8000 to Love-A-Bull, through commissions and contests.  That large chunk of change helps funds critical veterinary treatment for Adopt-A-Bulls with medical needs, supplies and resources for our community outreach efforts (tent events, spay/neuter assistance, housing resources, etc.), training class gear, and a whole slew of other organizational needs.   And we couldn’t do it without the help of community partners like Give Realty and Laurie Loew, who truly care about the causes they support and the ways in which their donation is improving life in the long-term for so many.  It is not exaggerating to say that that many human and canine lives were permanently changed for the better through this generous gift.

Thank you for the donation and the inspiration, Laurie!  Love-A-Bull is grateful for your giving, and we hope to keep this wonderful relationship going (and giving) strong for years to come.

May and Meghan (photo by Jennifer Hayes)Meghan Wells became interested in advocacy when she adopted her rescue dog, May in 2005. She joined a local Pit Bull Meetup group to meet other pit bull owners who took a monthly “fun walk” around downtown. Upon learning more about proposed breed-specific legislation and finding that many policymakers and reporters had very little accurate information about pit bulls, she got more involved in trying to effect change. Meghan joined forces with Lydia Zaidman, another active Meetup member, to transform the group into a vehicle to change minds and fight negative stereotypes. In 2008, they founded Love-A-Bull, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

As a founding board member of the 100% volunteer-run organization, she maintains a leadership role with education and outreach efforts, including conference workshops, community resource fairs, interviews and research projects, and partnerships to spread awareness of Love-A-Bull’s mission and goals. Meghan and May are proud to have participated in Love-A-Bull’s free training program, and May is a Canine Good Citizen. When she’s not working on behalf of Love-A-Bull, she spends most of her time advocating for artists with the City of Austin’s Art in Public Places Program, enjoying the new house with her husband David and May’s “sister,” Zeta, and continuing to find new things to love about Austin.

September’s Missed Opportunity for Giving

MissedOpportunitySeptember2013Every month on our Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter accounts, we share the missed opportunity for giving – the amount that could have been donated to the community if every Realtor® in the Austin area donated 25% of their commission the way that Give Realty’s agents do.

Given the total sales volume of $718,190,762.00 in the Austin MLS in September, the missed opportunity for giving last month was $10,772,861.43.

This money could have paid for 100% of the 2012 expenses of some of our favorite community nonprofts, including Austin Humane Society, CASA of Travis County, Meals on Wheels and More, SafePlace or Saint Louise House.

Talk about a missed opportunity…

Look for the “missed opportunity” every month on our Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter accounts.

$1,125.00 Donated to the Austin Humane Society on Behalf of Chris and Hilary McGowan

McGowan Humane Society Donation

$1,124.25 donated to the Austin Humane Society on behalf of Chris and Hilary McGowan.

As the largest no-kill, nonprofit pet adoption center in Austin, the Austin Humane Society is dedicated to:

  • saving Austin’s homeless cats and dogs
  • educating our community about responsible pet ownership
  • reducing pet over population

$2,511.75 Donated to Pug Rescue of Austin on Behalf of Chris and Wendy Thompson

Thompson Pug Rescue Web Photo

$2,511.75 donated to Pug Rescue of Austin on behalf of Chris and Wendy Thompson.

Pug Rescue of Austin is dedicated to the rescue and placement of abused, neglected and unwanted pugs. They promote responsible pug ownership through public education about the unique needs of pugs and a mandatory spay/neuter policy.


$1,470.00 Donated to Fisher House Inc. on Behalf of Audra and Luis Iturbe

Iturbe Fisher House Donation

$1,470.00 donated to Fisher House Incorporated on behalf of Audra and Luis Iturbe.

Fisher House is a home-away-from-home for the families of seriously ill or injured patients receiving treatment at Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, San Antonio Military Medical Center or other medical facilities in the San Antonio Area at no cost.

$644.26 Donated to the Institute for Justice on Behalf of Jim Parker and Julie Rennecker


$644.26 Donated to the Institute for Justice on Behalf of  Jim Parker and Julie Rennecker.

The Institute for Justice is a civil liberties law firm.

$644.25 was also donated to the Center for Individual Rights on behalf of  Jim Parker and Julie Rennecker.

$3350.00 Donated to Multiple Organizations on Behalf of Tim and Erika Coffey


Tim and Erika donated $3350 to multiple organizations and this photo represents one of their donations – to GirlStart! Donations were also made to Helping Hand Home for Children, Operation Smiles and the Austin Children Museum. Best of all Erika’s employer – Applied Materials – matched $2000 of the donation, for a total impact of $5550!

$1,050.00 Donated to Inside Books Project on Behalf of Javier and Joanna Gonzalez

Gonzalez Inside Books Project photo$1,050.00 Donated to Inside Books Project on Behalf of Javier and Joanna Gonzalez.

Inside Books Project is an Austin-based all-volunteer nonprofit organization that sends free books and educational materials to prisoners in Texas. Inside Books is the only books-to-prisoners program in Texas, where over 140,000 people are incarcerated. They work to promote reading, literacy and education among incarcerated individuals and to educate the general public on issues of incarceration. They get about 800 requests for books per month and operate on a $33k annual budget.

With this donation, Inside Books Project will be able to mail ALL their backlogged book requests.