If you live in the city of Austin, the next time you get your utility bill, you will see more options to help your community.
You're likely used to seeing the option to give a contribution to the Customer Assistance Program, emergency utility bill assistance for customers experiencing hardships. Now, you have the option to help schools, parks and libraries.
The city of Austin and Austin Energy held a news conference Wednesday morning announcing the change. On hand was AISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen.
Utility customers are really generous when it comes to helping the community. Folks donate on average $45,000 to help those in social service agencies. Over the past five years, that money has gone to support 8,000 families.
The Parks and Recreation Department averages about $25,000 a year in donations. That money is used to fund after school and summer camp activities to disadvantaged children.
Now customers will have the option of donating to Austin public libraries and the eight public school districts that receive city of Austin utilities.
Money for the schools will be used to pay for utility bills so that more state and local funding can be used directly in the classroom.
All of these options will appear on your paper bill, but this is also applicable to those who pay online.