During cold winter months, our amazing partners help keep our mission warm. This past winter, Junior League of Austin, took things a step further by working with our Adult Services Coordinator, Astrid Duenas and Zenaida Martinez, Blue Cross Blue Shield partner to donate winter coats to our East Austin College Prep students. Through a community effort, SWK was able to provide over 550 coats to families in need.
As a team member, Astrid’s focus has always been to think of ways to strengthen relationships with community partners while also finding opportunities to help those in need in the community. She has developed relationships with a network of contacts looking to serve the Austin community. Among our community partners, Zenaida Martinez, the Community Outreach Sr. Supervisor with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, has stood out as a shining resource for good. She introduced Astrid to the idea of working with Coats for Kids during the Fluapalooza at the beginning of November, a community event which offered free flu shots for the East Austin Community courtesy of Blue Cross Blue Shield in partnership with Randall’s Pharmacy, Austin Public Health, and Southwest Key.
Through an application to the Junior League of Austin, which hosts the annual coat drive, Astrid began her journey as a Coats for Kid’s rockstar and initiated a coat drive for elementary, middle school and high school students at East Austin College Prep.
Astrid then pulled a team of coworkers together, to pick up and organize the coats for delivery. As an early Christmas present, the team happily delivered over 550 coats to the students.
“To receive the coats and to be able to provide warmth through the winter months to 564 students, from grades Pre-K to 12th, it makes me thankful for community partnerships,” shared East Austin College Prep Principal Erica Gonzalez.