Within every community needs arise that probably would have gone by the wayside if someone hadn’t picked up on the little signs. That’s exactly what happened when Liz Watkins, discovered such a situation during her years working at her children’s schools in Frisco and volunteering at the local food pantry for the past five years.
She decided that she wanted to ramp up her efforts. So, she rolled up her sleeves, earned “her Nonprofit Management Certificate, got together with Frisco ISD administration and researched the needs of our Frisco community.”
It was during this discovery period, that Liz found that children were in need for access to personal hygiene items. In 2019 she created Refresh Frisco, a 501 (c) 3 working with the school districts “to ensure that every child in our community has access to personal hygiene items.”
While that may have seemed surprising to many who consider Frisco to be among the most affluent in North Texas, the reality of job losses, family deaths, divorces and medical issues had created the situation.
For instance at the beginning of the pandemic in January 2020, Refresh Frisco reported that “13% of the FISD students were economically disadvantaged.”
While some may take such products for granted, they are necessary for “better health and prevent illness, infections and rashes from spreading. Good hygiene increases self-confidence and helps children to feel good about themselves and their appearance.”
In 2019 she created Refresh Frisco working with the school districts “to ensure that every child in our community has access to personal hygiene items.”
Liz recalled that first distribution in November 2019, “Not long after, the pandemic struck and demand for our services skyrocketed. We currently serve 800 students in Frisco ISD with new families enrolling every day. We just launched Refresh Little Elm and completed our 1st distribution to 200 Little Elm students last month.”
Distributed quarterly, the Refresh Packs are customized based upon the child’s age and gender preference including ethic hair products, shampoo, conditioner, soap or body wash, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, lip balm, lotion and a comb/hairbrush. Students in fifth grade and up also receive deodorant, shaving cream, and a 3-month supply of feminine hygiene products for the female students.
One parent admitted,
Finding out that my husband lost his job during this pandemic is some of the worst news I’ve ever received, especially as he is the sole provider for our family of 6. I was notified that there was an organization called Refresh Frisco and was advised that I could sign up for services through Frisco ISD. I had not heard of Refresh Frisco and in researching further learned that they are a nonprofit organization that provides hygiene items (Refresh Packs) for children. Due to my unfamiliarity, I reached out to the organization via Facebook and received an immediate response. They assisted me in everything I needed to know and made sure I received Refresh Packs for my three school aged daughters. In addition, they even added the supplies they could for my 21 month old daughter. I was absolutely amazed at this organization’s generosity. My girls received everything from shampoo, conditioner, lotion, shaving cream, toothbrushes and toothpaste, dental floss, Chapstick, hair brushes, to feminine products. Knowing that my girls had these items eased the stress on my family. I am so grateful for Refresh Frisco.”
* Graphic/photo courtesy of Refresh Frisco
With The Crystal Charity Ball’s sold-out, two-in-one-day fashion shows at Neiman Marcus NorthPark just a week away, one would think that the focus would be on the fashions and plans for the fundraising event recognizing the CCB Ten Best Dressed (Marybeth Conlon, Tiffany Divis, Jennifer Dix, Cate Ford, Cara French, Libby Hegi, Kim Hext, Karla McKinley, Amy Prestidge and Kimberly Schlegel Whitman) and Hall of Famer Mary Clare Finney.
But CCB, Neiman’s and NorthPark Center had other plans. It was to shine a light on the purpose of the annual fundraiser — the eight 2021 CCB beneficiaries (Baylor Scott And White Dallas Foundation’s Tiniest Texans, Café Momentum’s Internship Program in the COVID-19 Era, Dallas CASA’s Advocacy for Teens in Foster Care, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center’s DCAC Core Programs, Dallas Symphony Association Inc.’s Southern Dallas Residency Youth Education, Network of Community Ministries’ Mobile Pantry and Classroom Food Supply Program Expansion, Phoenix House Texas’ Substance Use and Mental Health Treatment Services and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children’s Boundless Centennial Campaign – Day Surgery Renovation) and how they help the children of Dallas County.
Thanks to 2021 CCB Chair Leslie Diers, CCB Exhibition Coordinator Candace Winslow, NM NP General Manager Mary McGreevy and NorthPark Art Programming’s Anna Kern, a display of nine-foot-tall rectangular columns made their public debut in front of Neiman’s with a description and a photo of each beneficiary along with a QR Code that could be scanned for donations.
In addition to the individual write-ups, one of the columns even features a video showcasing the beneficiaries at work.
The exhibition will be on display through the month of October in hopes that it might encourage passersby to get involved by donating or volunteering.
Despite postponements and cancellations of events, some are still charging ahead with success for the fourth quarter of 2021. In fact, Wilkinson Center’s Spirit of Taos Co-Chairs Karrie Cato, Ida Gleaton and Lindsay Morris and Friends of Wilkinson Center President Caitlin Hyatt have just announced that the fundraiser on Friday, October 15, at Arts District Mansion is sold out.
And it’s no wonder, since for the festivities the gals have arranged to have former WFAA sports chieftain Dale Hansen — who has a reputation for going “unplugged” — as the emcee, plus the Jimmy Stadler Band and DJ Lucy Wrubel.
For guests who have already locked down their spots, it’s time to start exercising those bidding arms for the auction. For the tardy types, they won’t be able to participate in the live and silent auctions since there will be no online opportunities. However, it’s never too late to make a donation to support Wilkinson Center’s mission “to transform the lives of Dallas families by providing pathways to self-sufficiency with dignity and respect.”
And speaking of “helm,” a couple of them will be the honorees — Kathy and Larry Helm, who just recently wowed the crowd at Klyde Warren Park with their dance steps for the Diamond Dance-Off.
According to Robin, “We are so pleased to be honoring Kathy and Larry Helm with this year’s Spirit of Generations Award. As longtime supporters of the agency their contributions have been numerous and substantial. Each has served as chair of The Senior Source’s board of directors. Additionally, they have served on numerous boards for nonprofit and civic organizations in the Dallas area. Kathy and Larry have devoted themselves to community service and church, while also raising their family and pursuing successful careers.”
Also being recognized at the event will be the Junior League of Dallas that will be presented the Molly H. Bogen Service Award. It’s perfectly timed, as The Senior Sources is celebrating its 60th anniversary year and the JLD is hitting 100.
Joining Robin in coordinating the Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole on Thursday, January 13, are Individual Underwriting Chair Sharon Popham and Corporate Underwriting Chair Michelle Thomas.
Just around 9 p.m., the 2021 North Texas Giving Day campaign passed last year’s goal of $58M+ and was heading to hit new heights despite claims that North Texans were worn out after 21 months of pandemic fundraising.
Oh, those silly naysayers! Little did they know that with the finish line in sight, it was going to be a rush to break records big time. And that’s exactly what happened! As the clock struck midnight and the last coins were being counted, 2021 North Texas Giving Day hauled in more than $66M thanks to 284,857 donors for 3,369 organizations with nearly 23,000 pledged volunteer hours.
As a result, North Texas Giving Day has now provided more than $400M to area non-profits since Communities Foundation of Texas kicked it off in 2009.
The top five organizations on the Leaderboard were North Texas Food Bank ($1,664,519), Children’s Medical Center Foundation ($1,439,174), Texas Heath Resources Foundation ($754,331), Denison Forum ($721,132) and Both Ends Believing ($511,763).
Tell your emailboxes to calm down. Like the Communities Foundation of Texas team that orchestrated another amazing fundraiser, they can settle back for accomplishing what many thought was impossible.
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Just six hours into 2021 North Texas Giving Day and emailboxes are filling up with reminders that the big fundraising day has arrived. And folks are responding with moolah and volunteer hours. The latest report is that more than $34M has been donated and 11,800+ volunteers have signed up. … Read More...
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Dallas Junior Forum’s “Imagine The Possibilities!” Luncheon To Feature Panel Discussion With Its Agencies
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