12 Worthy Texas Hill Country Charities

A young girl holds up a Merge Cube during the 2017 Youth Code Jam, the area’s largest coding event for young people. Youth Code Jam is one of the organizations featured in our round-up of area non-profits.


Santa has come and gone, but area non-profits could still use a little something special: your financial support. As an added bonus, there may be tax benefits come April ‘18 for ponying up as 2017 winds down.

For retailers, the stretch from Thanksgiving weekend to New Year’s Eve can be highly lucrative. The holiday spirit, it seems, arrives to the tune of a ringing cash register. Although we’ve got no beef with that reality (we do love to shop!), there’s something pretty wonderful about making like the good Scrooge, the one who went out of his way to be extra nice at Christmastime.

Feeling flush enough to share your own good fortune? Check out our curated list of non-profit organizations from across the area in four key areas: Kids & Teens, Arts & Culture, Nature & Animals, and Community Services.

Remember, should you decide to make a gift, your end-of-year contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowable by federal law. Keep your receipt for your records.


Kids & Teens


Youth Code Jam

Launched in San Antonio by a mom and her two kids, today Youth Code Jam works to help young people connect the dots from online game play to lucrative technology careers. Roughly half of the students they serve are girls, and 68% identify as an ethnic minority. Youth Code Jam also presents innovative outreach programs to kids, tweens, and teenagers, provides teacher training, and runs camps across the San Antonio metro area. (THE TEXAS WILDFLOWER is proud to have provided  photography services during San Antonio’s 2017 Youth Code Jam.) Website


Science Mill

This innovative, world-class Johnson City museum bridges the gap between rural and urban communities by providing on-site educational programming to supplement classroom (and homeschool!) learning. The ultimate goal? To help young people across the region identify and pursue STEM-related career paths. Website


Roy Maas Youth Alternatives

RMYA of Boerne provides a range of services (education, programs, outreach and more) designed to provide support for children in crisis. They do this important work with an eye to creating healthy relationships and ultimately breaking the cycle of abuse. Website


Arts & Culture


Sophienburg Museum & Archives

Located in downtown New Braunfels, this outstanding small museum works to promote the rich legacy of the Germanic, Hispanic and Native American communities that shaped our region in earlier days. As the Hill Country area expands in population, the Sophienburg is working hard to keep those remarkable old stories alive for posterity. Website


Texas Hill Country Opera and Arts

It’s a small art organization founded in Bulverde, sure, but this relatively young performing arts company has deep roots in and strong ties across the Texas Hill Country. As does opera itself, in fact. Early European immigrants, you see, brought with them a passion for operatic performances–hence the opera houses in places like Sisterdale and Uvalde. Website


Fredericksburg Theater Company

If you think about, small town community theaters serve a triple purpose. They provide quality, affordable entertainment for local audiences, give residents the chance to express themselves creatively, and introduce young people to the performing arts. Financial support is needed not only to keep the shows up and running but also to pay for lights, staff, and other essentials at this particular company’s 250-seat Fredericksburg venue. Website


Nature & Animals


Open T.R.A.I.L.

A therapeutic horsemanship center in Boerne, this organization provides equine-assisted activities and therapies to children and adults with physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges. Riders’ diagnoses include Autism, cerebral palsy, ADD/ADHD, stroke, and more. Website


PAWS Shelter of Central Texas

Kyle is a rapidly growing community just south of Austin, and with rapid growth comes increased demand for animal rescue. The PAWS shelter is a “no kill” facility offering needy animals a warm place to sleep and good food to hold them over until they find their fur-ever family. Website


San Marcos River Foundation

Can you imagine Hill Country life without our lovely rivers? We can’t! Thankfully, the good folks at this San Marcos-based foundation work hard to protect and preserve their namesake waterway and its spring-fed waters while preserving public access to (and and appreciation for) its natural beauty. Website


Community Services


Hill Country Community Action

Based in San Saba, this organization serves several Hill Country counties, providing valuable assistance to the elderly and other people in need. They also run twelve senior service centers that double as food pantries, provide weatherization assistance, and function as a clearinghouse for job referrals. Website


Central Texas Food Bank

(Formerly Capital Area Food Bank)

With a network of food pantries across the Hill Country–including the one in Fredericksburg, this Austin-based food bank provides nourishment to residents in Bastrop, Bell, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Coryell, Falls, Fayette, Freestone, Gillespie, Hays, Lampasas, Lee, Limestone, Llano, McLennan, Milam, Mills, San Saba, Travis and Williamson counties. Website  


San Antonio Food Bank

Although based in San Antonio, the bank–one of the largest in the nation–distributes food in 16 counties in area that covers Kerrville to Lasalle, Uvalde to Seguin. This agency has been a major force, too, in providing support along the Texas Gulf Coast during the wake of Hurricane Harvey, so a little extra money sent their way will definitely be appreciated. Website