As we prepare to face the new year ahead, OneStar reflects on the partnerships built and milestones reached. We are so grateful to our fellow Texans who joined us last year in our vision of building thriving and more resilient communities! Here are 10 highlights from 2022 that made an impact on our work:
No. 1: Celebrating service at the Governor's Volunteer Awards
After two years of virtually recognizing Governor’s Volunteer Award recipients, we were thrilled to celebrate these inspiring award recipients in person during a reception at the Texas Governor’s Mansion this April. These extraordinary awardees exhibited an enduring commitment to service amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and rose to the challenge of meeting exceptional community needs in creative ways. Stay tuned for an announcement coming soon on this year’s Governor’s Volunteer Award winners!
No. 2: Empowering programs with AmeriCorps Recruitment Institute
This spring, we hosted our first-ever AmeriCorps Recruitment Institute to equip national service programs in Texas with member recruitment strategies, from attracting a diverse talent pool to building local partnerships. This interactive training provided more than 60 participants with a solid framework for recruitment planning and empowered participants to develop customized strategies to meet their unique recruitment goals.
No. 3: Supporting Uvalde community with Robb School Memorial Fund
We were incredibly moved by the outpouring of generosity for the victims and survivors of the shooting in Uvalde in May. In the aftermath of this tragedy, we launched the Robb School Memorial Fund and collected nearly $7.2 million from donors across the world who wanted to offer their compassion and support. These donations were merged with the Uvalde Together We Rise Fund, a $22.3 million philanthropic collaboration that ensured all funds raised were distributed directly to those most impacted by this devastating event.
No. 4: Gaining inspiration & insight at OneStar's staff retreat
In May, we were inspired and energized during our staff retreat in Austin – our first time in years to gather as a team to refocus and brainstorm together on our shared purpose and identity. It was a valuable opportunity to align on OneStar’s mission of strengthening Texas communities and generated lots of insights to propel our work for the year ahead. We also put our passion into action by volunteering with Austin Sunshine Camps on revitalization and outreach service projects.
No. 5: Building service leaders at Texas Volunteer Management Conference
Effective management of volunteers ensures that the time and talents of those who serve make a meaningful social impact. In June, we were thrilled to sponsor the Texas Volunteer Management Conference, which provides professional volunteer managers with insights and inspiration for their work engaging communities. In addition to providing funding and scholarships, OneStar CEO Chris Bugbee offered an inspiring opening address, and our Director of Statewide Initiatives Millicent Boykin was honored with the 2022 TVMC Legacy Award in recognition of her leadership and commitment to promoting volunteer service.
No. 6: Distributing record levels of AmeriCorps funding in Texas
In June, we announced $32.7 million in federal grants, distributed to 50 organizations to engage AmeriCorps members across the state. This funding represents the largest-ever investment in national service in Texas and is a testament to the powerful impact of our AmeriCorps members. This year, we anticipate engaging a record 3,600 AmeriCorps members to help local Texas communities thrive and build resilience.
No. 7: Convening disaster leaders with America's Service Commissions
In August, America’s Service Commissions partnered with OneStar to host their Commission Disaster Convening in Austin. During this gathering, commissions from across the nation shared ideas and offered diverse perspectives on how each state approaches disaster resource management, support roles, planning, and training. We were grateful for the opportunity to learn and network with our colleagues to ensure we are better prepared to face the next disaster or emergency.
No. 8: Building support & resources for Texas rural communities
This year, we intensified our efforts to support and engage rural Texas communities in effective volunteer management. In October, we announced the launch of the Texas Rural Nonprofit Network, a cohort of 25 nonprofits operating in or serving Texas rural communities. These organizations have received access to networking opportunities, coaching, training, and on-demand tools & resources to boost organizational growth and impact in our state’s rural regions. We also furthered our rural engagement by sponsoring and presenting at Fayette Community Foundation’s Rural Philanthropy Day, which brought together more than 160 nonprofit leaders and funders in November.
No. 9: Opening new office space in Austin & Dallas
This year, OneStar found new office space to call home. In May, our first-ever Dallas location opened at the Water Cooler at Pegasus Park, a cutting-edge campus that houses organizations committed to advancing change in the community. In November, we relocated our Austin office to a more central location east of downtown. These physical spaces expand OneStar’s geographic presence in Texas and provide a venue for fostering partnership and collaboration.
No. 10: Launching Texas Nonprofit Strong to promote collaboration & advocacy
In partnership with United Ways of Texas, we launched Texas Nonprofit Strong in September to equip nonprofits in our state with valuable tools and resources and to provide a strong, unified voice that can represent the overall sector. The new website at txnonprofits.org contains valuable data on the sector’s economic impact, links to recent research, directories of capacity-building partners, and a toolkit to help you promote the importance of Texas nonprofits. We also hosted our first convening of the Advocacy Network, which will help guide priorities and advocacy strategy for Texas Nonprofit Strong.