Each December, it is tradition for Apogee Results employees to volunteer their time to Coats for Kids in Austin, TX. The annual community project, now in its 26th year, collects and distributes coats to eligible children in Central Texas. Every year, the Junior League of Austin, Jack Brown Cleaners, KASE 101, and KVUE partner to bring the community together to ensure that the children of Central Texas stay warm (if that ever happens this year!).
Last year, with the help of sponsors and 2,600 community volunteers, Coats for Kids distributed approximately 33,500 new and gently used coats to young people in Central Texas.
Donations come in from individuals, businesses and groups, and may be in the form of new coats, used coats or monetary donations. Watch the KVUE Austin news clip for more information or to learn how you can contribute or for more information, visit Coats For Kids.
Apogee Results team representatives enjoyed an invigorating time at the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas yesterday (9/20/2012). Apogee Results joined volunteers from Dell and Razorfish at the distribution hub for central Texas. The Capital Area Food Bank of Texas serves 21 counties in central Texas.
If you’re interested in volunteering at the food bank, find out more information here:
It’s customary for the Apogee family to hold a volunteer event every quarter, and this quarter I was extra excited to learn that we would be going to Austin Pets Alive! Austin Pets Alive! is a non-profit organization that strives to make Austin, Texas a no-kill city. They rescue pets who are about to be killed so that they might have another chance at finding a “forever home.”
Austin Pets Alive! is so successful in its endeavors that they secured a new location at Town Lake Animal Center at 1156 W. Cesar Chavez. Most of the animals have been moved, but there’s still a lot of work to be done at the new location.
Our job as volunteers was to beautify the dog kennels so that they will be ready for their canine inhabitants. After the kennels were swept, washed, and dried, we painted them off-white so that they might look newer and more appealing to visitors (and dogs!). It was a lot of fun, and very rewarding to see our work completed. Apogee helped finish an entire section of kennels. Afterwards, we circled the shelter for a quick tour of the place. It’s much more spacious, and it’s now the location for their Adoption Center, Behavioral Center, and Medical Center.
There is still a lot more work to be done, so if you’re in Austin and interested in volunteering, visit their page: Volunteering with APA.
If you decide to volunteer, be sure to wear closed toed shoes and old clothes that you don’t mind losing, because they will get dirty—trust me! I also suggest bringing plenty of water and cool clothes that breathe. It’s practically summertime here in Austin, Texas and the heat is on.
Special thanks to Austin Pets Alive! for hosting our quarterly volunteer event!
We were incredibly lucky to have two of our submitted panels chosen for SXSWi 2012, and as the mega conference of all mega conferences draws near, the excitement is definitely building. If you’re going to SXSWi, please feel free to join us in our sessions or at our booth–we would love to see you! (more…)
Each quarter at Apogee Results we choose a volunteer project. Traditionally, the fourth quarter is always reserved for Coats For Kids. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Coats for Kids is an annual community project that collects and distributes warm winter coats to eligible children and teenagers in Central Texas. Each year, KVUE, The Junior League of Austin, Jack Brown Cleaners, and KASE 101 partner to bring the community together to ensure that the children of Central Texas stay warm. Last year Coats for Kids distributed 35,157 new and gently used coats. Donations come in from individuals, businesses and groups, and may be in the form of new coats, used coats or monetary donations.
Apogee had a hand in those 35,157 coats last year and we are excited to hear how many Central Texas children are going to be warm this winter thanks to this amazing program.
Having some fun
On Saturday, December 10th, 2011 from 8:00am to 3:00pm coats were distributed at the Palmer Events Center (900 Barton Spring Road) in Austin, TX. In preparation for the event, Apogeeans spent their time sorting and hanging large boxes of coats. There are some pictures below (some of us having fun), feel free to visit our Facebook page for more photos from our other volunteer events and team building activities.
On Monday, October 24, I waited very impatiently for the powers that be over at South by Southwest (SXSW) to announce the first round (and majority) of speakers for next year’s interactive shindig downtown. Apparently I wasn’t the only one, as a quick Twitter search showed that dozens if not hundreds of people were anxiously awaiting the same announcement. And then, around 3 o’clock that afternoon, the announcement came.
And I promptly freaked out and worried at least a few of my coworkers, one of whom anxiously came to my office and asked me if someone was dying.
No, not dying, just really, really freaking excited: my panel had been chosen! (Along with Anthony Bourdain!)
I’ve never even been to South by Southwest before. Always wanted to go, just have never had the opportunity or extra cash to do so. Luckily, though, I work for a super cool company that encourages its employees to put themselves out there, to come up with great ideas and to engage with the community. So while my topic is probably the one that’s the furthest away from what we do as an online marketing agency (and yet is an essential part of online marketing), I’m still excited and grateful and fully prepared to bring it. Whatever “it” might be.
The panel, titled “Flash Is the F Bomb” (admittedly, I tried to change it do “Flash: F Bomb or Da Bomb?” and for some reason it didn’t save), takes a good look at accessibility issues surrounding Flash. Accessibility is something I’m passionate about, having a blind fiance and all. I’ve seen and heard how his screen reader doesn’t like Flash, and how it keeps him from accessing some of the coolest, most informative parts of the web. Why designers choose to code solely in Flash is beyond me–you’re leaving out a good chunk of your potential audience by doing so.
Accessibility, however, isn’t just tied to those who have to use screen readers in order to read a website. Accessibility applies to EVERYONE–sighted, blind, deaf, doesn’t matter–because if your website is inaccessible from a functionality standpoint you’re losing audience. And that audience could turn into leads who could then turn into customers/clients. Some people have Flash disabled, or are on work computers that haven’t had a Flash update since 2006. Maybe they’re using an old browser. The potential for audience loss is great, and in today’s economy nobody can afford to waste their online marketing dollars.
Before I step on to my accessibility soapbox, though, I would truly like to thank each and every single person who voted for this panel. I hope to make this session fun and engaging and thought-provoking (not just Flash-bashing, which is honestly too easy to do), and to help people to understand why accessibility is important.
As I’ve mentioned previously, SXSW is a pretty big freaking deal. It’s a big deal for the Austin community (the economic impact alone is outstanding), and it’s a big deal for the people who are chosen to present. A speaking gig at SXSW can help a company in so many ways, from bringing in revenue to helping to elevate that company/speaker’s reputation. Thus, the push for SXSW Panel Picker votes for our colleagues who were brave enough (yes, brave enough) to stick their necks out and submit ideas for SXSW Interactive 2012–we’re proud of these folks, and feel they deserve to have their ideas heard, and we hope you like their ideas as much as we do.
If you haven’t heard, Panel Picker voting for South by Southwest 2012 has been open since Monday, August 15, and will only be open through next Friday, September 2. Also, if you haven’t heard, several Apogee colleagues have submitted ideas that are included in this year’s Panel Picker. If you haven’t voted yet, be sure to by next Friday!
SXSW (South by Southwest, to those who may be unfamiliar) is undeniably huge. This year’s festival drew in 49,126 registrants, 65,200 trade show attendees, and 6,990 members of the media. It’s a great place for industry thought leaders to share their knowledge, ideas and experience with others, to network, and to learn. Considering it’s also in our own backyard, we at Apogee have a deeper understanding and appreciation of the importance an event like SXSW can have, which is why we wanted to take the time to toot the horn for some of our colleagues, and to urge you to vote, as the public does have a say in which topics are chosen for SXSW panels.
We’re super proud of our colleagues (and yes, some employees) for sticking their necks out and subjecting their ideas to public scrutiny, but we also believe that they have some great topics. Each and every colleague brings a unique level of expertise and understanding to the table, and we feel that ALL of them are worthy of being chosen as SXSW Interactive topics.
Without further ado, the topics we really feel are worth voting for are:
We strongly encourage everyone to vote–even if you have no plans to attend SXSW. Why? Well, because we believe all of these would make great, compelling panels for attendees, and because, well, maybe reading about some of these great ideas will give you ideas.
Thanks in advance, and we can’t wait to see you at SXSW 2012!
Here at Apogee Results, we openly admit that we enjoy giving back to our community. It’s a point of pride among employees, as getting out in the community and volunteering not only allows us to, well, give back, but to admittedly get out of the office and do something a little different from our usual meetings, conference calls and analyses.
Every quarter we choose a volunteer project. For the second quarter of 2011 we braved the very hot July heat and helped out at the Austin Zoo, cleaning out sheds, picking up trash and cooling down the alpacas (which are super cute and shy). For those of you not from the Austin/central Texas area, the Austin Zoo always needs help, whether that help is in the form of volunteer work or monetary donations. It’s a small organization run by dedicated individuals who truly love the zoo and its animals, and we’re so glad we had the chance to help out. Next time, though, we might pick October rather than July.
Until then, enjoy a few photos from our day at the Austin Zoo, and feel free to visit our Facebook page for more photos from our Austin Zoo volunteer day and other team building activities.
Lindsey Enjoys the Shade for a Second
Todd Feeds One of the Goats
Raychael Helps Out
The Volunteer Team
Rachel Cools Down an Alpaca
About the author: Aubrey Curry is the Marketing Manager for Apogee Results, and loves all things marketing and cycling related.