Wimberley Good Neighbor (WGN) is a 100% volunteer-run charity. None of your donations pay for salaries, fundraising efforts, office space or a percentage fee off the donated amount like GoFundMe. All your dollars go to helping your neighbor in a crisis.
This charity works closely with the other Wimberley nonprofits to identify neighbors with the greatest need. Donating this way brings a joy of participation and involvement, and you also know specifically how your dollars are spent.
We are committed to transparency and after our first year in operation, we will post our budget and the total dollars that were donated to WGN. We will be applying for grants to help us pay for the monthly phone bill, accounting and attorney fees (a lot of it is pro bono). We use the Nextiva VoIP phone system to take calls over the Internet, which includes a client management system. Donations are secure with the Stripe payment processor. WGN completes a light background check before posting a neighbor’s need. People with felony convictions for drug trafficking, violent crimes, or sex offenses are ineligible for our services.
The costs of living are going up, and more people than ever are struggling with their finances. According to a Columbia University study, 8 million Americans have joined the ranks of the poor since last summer, and we see examples right here in Wimberley. Generous members of our community have rallied together over social media to aid families in a crisis. We are blessed to be a community of kind and generous hearts and hope you find this to be a useful platform created to support the people of Wimberley.
Board of Directors
The board of directors is a group of locals of different religions, political parties and backgrounds. Some of us have seen desperate times and felt the power of community help.
Ava Braslau grew up in Corpus and went to summer camp in Wimberley. After graduate school, she worked for the League of Conservation Voters in Washington, D.C. She came back to Wimberley in 2008, and later volunteered at Crisis Bread Basket distributing food and then for four years with The Barnabas Connection, assisting clients on the HELPline and more. Her family taught her the importance of supporting the community, but it wasn’t until she recovered from hospice care that she answered a call to service. Ten days after a life-saving surgery, while recovering at home a block from the fork of the Blanco River and Cypress Creek, she heard the river’s waters snapping giant Cypress trees, and people’s cries for help out of the pitch blackness. Ava is grateful to be alive and grateful for her community and to serve with WGN. Many generous neighbors helped during and after that time.
Leia Dewell has lived in Wimberley for 15 years and now that all her kids are in school, she has some free time and wants to help others. She has a history of serving her community, volunteering at nursing homes when she was a teenager. She attributed her desire to work with the elderly to living close to both sets of grandparents, hearing stories from her great-grandmother, who lived in the back bedroom, about the old days and hard times. Her great-great-grandfather carried rice and beans up to the school house on the hill to feed hungry children. Those stories of helping others made an impact on Leia, and it’s how she wants to live her life. She married a Navy SEABEE, and while he served six years of active duty in Iraq, she finished her degree in Long-Term Care Administration and worked in an Alzheimer’s unit at an assisted living facility. Leia went on to become an administrator for Stonebridge Health Center in Austin. After that, she ran Compassionate Care Hospice in Wimberley. She lives in town with her husband, three children, two golden retrievers, nine chickens and a three-legged cat!
Deena Gardow moved from Houston, where she worked in the oil services business, to Wimberley with her husband and two children in 1985. She became very involved with their school – Wimberley’s first school, Bowen School. She was a room mother and worked in the teacher workroom. Deena served as coach for the Wimberley Soccer Association when it formed in Wimberley, and the WISD school administration office for five years. In 2001, she and a business partner bought the Mail Stop, and she joined the Wimberley Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Wimberley Business & Professional Association. She is very involved with her local chapter of Beta Sigma Phi. With their blessings they administer each month, she is touched deeply by the stories of healing. She is ready to serve with WGN and to help the Wimberley community.
Kathleen Mooney was born in Houston, Texas; she graduated from UT, Austin. She did a mix of work before she became manager of Esther’s Follies in Ausitn then opened the Miller-Crockett House Bed & Breakfast. It was important to give her son, Max, a wholesome upbringing, and so she traded in the city life and moved to Wimberley in 2008 to start EIEIO Organic Farm. The 2013 flood destroyed her farm six years after she’d moved to Wimberley. The community rallied around her, and her son, and put on a benefit concert to rebuild what had washed away. Another flood came, and again the community showed her their love and support. She went through some emotional times and through it all the community held her up in love and support. Now that the farm doing well with vacation rentals, and farm goods that she sells at three farmer’s markets in the area, she finds the time to volunteer and return the kindness the town has shown her. Kathleen feels blessed to live here and now be able to serve and help the community.
Itzel White grew up in Morelia, Michoacán, México. After graduating from college as a biochemical engineer, she met her husband and fell in love with learning language and teaching her native tongue, Spanish. She moved with her husband to Wimberley in 2010, and after her second child was born, she started her endeavor, Bridge the Gap Spanish. She also teaches Spanish at Skybridge Academy in Dripping Springs. She is excited to use her 18 years of experience as a teacher and translator to work with Wimberley Good Neighbor (WGN). Itzel and her husband were overwhelmed by the kindness of friends and acquaintances when they moved to Wimberley. That’s why it’s a project close to her heart to help people who don’t speak English. Many of them work in our community as stonemasons, landscapers, cleaners, shoppers, and more. She has seen that they often have a difficult time communicating when they need help. She enjoys helping people in need and also those in the community who want to support or contribute to WGN.
Carroll Wilson has been active in public service for more than 50 years. He believes that “to whom much is given, much is expected.” And he has tried to live that doctrine by serving on various boards and committees designed to help the people in the various cities in which he has lived, worked and now retired. He has earned state and national awards for his community service. Presently in Wimberley he is a member of the board overseeing construction of a new wing for the Wimberley Village Library.
How it works:
Neighbors in need (clients) are vetted by area case managers. Once they are approved for posting, we post the dollar amount they are requesting and exactly what it will be used for. Clients authorize us to share their personal information in the content of the posting. Dollars raised are distributed to the client’s landlord, bank, mortgage company, PEC, etc. Clients can choose to be public or anonymous with their need. Clients who post their own personal fundraisers on GoFundMe or other fundraising sites are ineligible for our services because of tax considerations.
You have the power to choose how your tax-deductible dollars will directly help a struggling neighbor in our town.