inLieu Creator Kathy Terry Hopes You’ll Give Good Over Goods This Holiday Season
It’s easy to donate on behalf of a friend or loved one for Giving Tuesday and all year round
By Aaron Parsley
The hustle and bustle of the holidays is here again. It’s easy to get caught up in the consumerist culture of buying, wrapping and shipping material gifts. Getting and receiving all those presents is certainly fun but there is magic in another holiday tradition – helping those in need. The inLieu app, created by Kathy Terry, combines the joy of gift-giving with the spirit of giving back. For Giving Tuesday (which follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday), inLieu is highlighting nonprofits making a positive impact in Austin. Terry spoke about charities featured on inLieu, which she describes as “Venmo for donating,” and why helping an important cause in a friend’s name is a better way to participate in the spirit of the holidays.
Why should people use inLieu this holiday season?
The great thing about the app is it allows you to do all your donating in one place. You can donate on behalf of your friends, but you can also donate directly to your favorite nonprofits. We have access to every registered nonprofit in the U.S (all 1.6 million of them). inLieu allows users to diversify their giving at the same time they are able to send a personal message to their friend or family member while making the donation…all in under a minute. Each personalized message can be sent via email, text or Twitter. The social feeds allow you to amplify your donation, you can create events to invite friends to donate to your cause and you can save your favorites to your profile.
What charities will you be highlighting on inLieu this Giving Tuesday?
We have created a public event in the app encouraging everyone to donate on Giving Tuesday to a variety of organizations that are focusing on feeding, protecting and supporting children in need, empowering girls and women, providing intervention and prevention services to victims of sexual assault and child abuse and we have even included a nonprofit that is providing feminine hygiene products to clients who can’t afford them. We are also partnering with Brooklyn Decker for a giveaway trip to Austin, Texas. Every $10 donation to Special Olympics in the inLieu app is eligible for the drawing to win.
How do you personally use this app on Giving Tuesday and throughout the holiday season?
I personally use inLieu all the time either for Giving Tuesday, holiday gifts, birthdays, thank you’s or just because. I don’t think people realize how many of our material gifts are ending up in the landfill, being returned or regifted and that doesn’t even address all the natural and human resources used to make these material gifts. I truly believe that one day in the near future inLieu will be the new, fun, acceptable and sought-after gift. Just imagine one place where you can support your friends and the causes they love, reduce waste and the use of natural resources, increase awareness and social impact and create a deeper and more authentic community … This is inLieu!
What are your favorite local charities people might not know about?
Unfortunately, there is so much need in our community I could list out a dozen local charities that I support, but one of my favorite charities that people might not know about is HeartGift. This is an Austin-based organization that supports kids from around the world who are born with congenital heart defects and don’t have access to appropriate medical facilities. HeartGift brings these kids to Austin for life-saving medical care through their partnership with local doctors and Dell Children’s Medical Center. Though I served on the board for many years, hosting children has been the most rewarding and transformative experience for me and my family. Over the past six years, my family has been lucky enough to host eight kids from six countries with one more coming in January. Joining these families on a mission to save their child’s life is a true gift.
What’s at the top of your holiday wish list?
Obviously, I’d love for everyone to give good over goods! I’m so blessed and fortunate to have all that I need so my holiday wish list is to spend time with the people who fill me up and bring me joy. One of my favorite quotes is from a dear friend, Lynne Twist. She says, “Let go of what you don’t really need to pay attention to what you already have.” That is my holiday wish!