Be Good To Yourself And Take Some Time Off This Labor Day Weekend

This three-day Labor Day weekend signals the end of summer and officially launches the fall/winter fundraising season. So, take in a movie, clean out that closet that you’ve been meaning to, buy yourself something pretty, try going an hour without checking your smartphone and breathe in the calm air.

Starting Tuesday you’re gonna need all your strength, patience and energy. Just looking at the MySweetCharity Calendar for the fall is daunting.

This year is going to be especially challenging for fundraisers with oil practically being given away and the stock market acting like hyperactive Jack-in-the-Box.

P.S. — Remember that means banks and government offices like the postal services will be taking Monday off.

North Texas Giving Day Booster: da Vinci School

Applying the Scientific Method in Preschool and creating the da Vinci School:

Challenge — Nearly 45 years ago when I was still in high school, I started to question the effectiveness of current teaching standards in the nation’s educational system. I wanted to figure out if there were better ways to teach that would create life-long passion for learning and stronger families.

da Vinci School*

da Vinci School*

Research — I began by providing parent education and guidance to families, and working in various early education settings. I observed that birth to age six was the most critical time for learning and that the parent was the child’s first and most important teacher. Young children seemed to be most interested in making sense of their world; active exploration appeared to be the best way to promote long-term interest in learning.

Hypothesis — I thought, ‘If we teach very young children about science, they will become curious, eager learners for many subjects.’ I pictured toddlers peering inside the body of an octopus while learning about their own body parts, preschoolers learning gravity as they read Humpty Dumpty, and kindergartners observing the stars in their backyards as homework. I pictured how this exposure would shape their entire lives. Could they also learn pre-reading and reading skills, math, art, PE and fine motor skills within the context of science themes?

da Vinci School*

da Vinci School*

Experiment — Twenty-eight years ago, a small group of parents decided to test my theory with the creation of The da Vinci School. We started with garage sale that raised the first $1500 to start the first class.

Analysis — Ah ha! The da Vinci School has inspired more than 1000 students! We have discovered that young children are incredibly curious and capable learners and their families are eager to have support in their role as parents.

Conclusion — The da Vinci School has made it our mission to use the results for children and families in Dallas. However, we could not succeed without funding from generous donors. From our very humble beginnings with that yard sale to today, we are now able to do much more. We are able to reach farther into the community with parent education programs beginning at birth and we are able to promote sustainable practices through our LEED Gold facility.

North Texas Giving Day is a huge part of our success! By providing a deadline and an incentive, you enabled us to dramatically exceed our giving percentages for the entire previous year….in one day! These funds allow us to bring science into the lives of Dallas children. Because of The Communities Foundation of Texas, more people have the opportunity to invest in our mission. Join us again on September 17 for an inspiring day of giving and give to the da Vinci School!

“Thank you most sincerely for all your hard work on behalf of our children and all the deserving organizations in North Texas.”

-By Mary Ann Greene, Founding Director

Photo credit: Bobby Cornelius Photography

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Plano Children’s Theatre

“’Plano Children’s Theatre has been a big pinpoint in my life. PCT took a shy, insecure girl and made my life so much better. Thank you for making this wonderful place for me to grow and change. It has been a start of many great friendships.’ Taylor G. – a Plano Children’s Theatre student

Aid - Amanda*

Aid – Amanda*

Plano Children's Theatre*

Plano Children’s Theatre*

Plano Children's Theatre*

Plano Children’s Theatre*

Odyssey -Summer and Bryce*

Odyssey -Summer and Bryce*

“Since 1991, Plano Children’s Theatre and the North Texas Performing Arts, which includes Frisco Youth Theatre, McKinney Youth Theatre, Plano Youth Theatre and Fun House Theatre and Film has been the place for young people to learn performing arts skills through the best of Broadway scripts and instruction by professional artists. While learning and rehearsing our students learn important life skills such as discipline, integrity, being ‘present,’ creativity, social and communication skills that will last them a lifetime.

12th Night*

12th Night*

“Our mission is to develop the character of youth through quality performing arts education and family entertainment. To make our programs desirable and accessible to all North Texas residents is our vision. North Texas Giving Day helps us accomplish that mission and vision by garnering the attention of thousands of North Texas residents and encouraging them to financially support the non-profit of their choice. Previous Giving Day funds have been used to underwrite scholarships ($100,000 in 2014), free programming, and our capital campaigns in McKinney and Plano.

Rent - Andy, Devon, Xavier*

Rent – Andy, Devon, Xavier*

Peter Pan and Hook*

Peter Pan and Hook*

“At Plano Children’s Theatre, we’ve become a victim of our success. For the past four years, enrollment increased by over 25% each year and we are bursting at the seams! Rehearsals have to be outside and in the lobby to accommodate our students. Most of our performances are sold out before opening night – often without the general public being able to purchase a ticket. Sets must be built outside – rain or shine. The costume room has been dismantled to become another classroom. It a great problem, but it is still a problem!

“Once again this year, donors are invited to tell us how they want their donation spent. Donors are welcome to restrict their gift to scholarships, a particular theatre, or free community outreach to the underserved.

Annie*

Annie*

“At the end of the day our goal at PCT/NTPA is simple: to help students grow intellectually, physically, and socially and to give them a second home. Communities Foundations of Texas and My Sweet Charity – on behalf of all the non-profits participating in North Texas Giving Day – thank you for organizing this monumental and spectacular event! We look forward to participating again this year on September 17. Bookmark our giving page and donate starting at 6 a.m.! You can also join us at the DFWChild Kids Give at NorthPark Center as part of the Dallas Donation Station. We will be making hand puppets. More information can be found here: https://www.cftexas.org/kidgive.”

-By Sara Egelston Akers, Founder and Executive Director

*Photo credit: Zane Colvin and Stacy Murphy

Round Robin August 26: Equest Women’s Auxiliary Reception And Cattle Baron’s Ball Live Auction Reveal

As summer ends and schools kicks back into session, the queen bees were fundraising along Preston Road on Wednesday, August 26:

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show And Luncheon Reception

From 4 to 6 p.m. the Equest Women’s Auxiliary was a farrier’s dream at Jimmy Choo’s. The stiletto salon on the corner facing the Highland Park Village had the gals kicking off their “experienced” shoes for some new recruits.

Pam McCallum and Barbara Stuart

Pam McCallum and Barbara Stuart

But if you think Jimmy C’s is footwear only, program your grain to the re-think-that-one mode.

As one gal checked out the newest JC sunglasses, Barbara Stuart recalled how she bought her killer “cheaters” when she chaired the Equest Fashion Show and Luncheon with daughter Melissa Macatee in 2011.

Speaking of Barbara, she was checking out vacation notes with Pam McCallum on their summer stays in different coasts of Canada. Then they launched into reminiscing about their annual lunch at Café Pacific on the Friday before TX-OU. Seems OU Pam and Longhorn Barbara shed their proper ways for mischievous gifts for each other with the alma maters in mind.

Michele Dunn, Emilynn Wilson, Katie Layton and Beth Layton

Michele Dunn, Emilynn Wilson, Katie Layton and Beth Layton

In another part of the salon, this year’s Equest Fashion Show and Luncheon Chair Emilynn Wilson and daughter Michele Dunn were catching up with Equest Women’s Auxiliary Chair Barbara Layton and her daughter, Katie Layton, who was on her way to Bachendorf’s for the Cattle Baron’s live auction reveal party just down the road.

Emilynn revealed that the funds were coming in and the fashion show tickets were flying like thoroughbreds from the gate. She told how this year’s presenting sponsor was philanthropist Al Hill Jr., who had provided a $50,000 check. The fashions will once again be provided by Highland Park Village merchants with Jan Strimple reigning in the action on the runway.

Cattle Baron’s Ball Live Auction Reveal

Bachendorf’s didn’t have a refreshening over the summer. It had a major face lift. Where once were shelves of crystal, now was an elegant showroom for Rolex timepieces. But don’t worry about the crystal. They were beautifully displayed in a nearby alcove.

Katy and Lawrence Bock and Sheryl Callewart

Katy and Lawrence Bock and Sheryl Callewart

As for the rest of the store, it was open with marvelous new carpeting, gleaming display cases and a whole feel of 21st sparkle.

Katy Bock admitted that it had come together just in time for the Cattle Baron’s Ball Live Auction Reveal reception. A couple of days before, there had been no chandelier and the carpeting was just being laid.

And what had Katy been doing? Lolling by a pool or having a facial? Nope. She had been a perfect wife and been in the store helping display merchandise.

Lawrence Bock looked relieved and dressed perfectly in blue shirt and tie to match the blue palette of the store.

Diane and Hal Brierley

Diane and Hal Brierley

While rings were bring tried on by many, blonde Sheryl Callewart was sporting a cast on her right little finger. Seems that a kitchen oop’s had resulted in a slice requiring a ER visit and 11 stitches. While the cast would come off in 10 days, Sheryl admitted that the metal finger cover was a hassle.

Diane and Hal Brierley were just back from a sea jaunt on the Queen Mary 2. Their trip had bene delayed arriving on schedule due a crew member falling overboard. Despite days of attempting to find the crewman, the search failed to locate the man.

Lisa Cooley, Mary Martha Pickens and Clay Cooley

Lisa Cooley, Mary Martha Pickens and Clay Cooley

Other Cattle Baron’s Ball supporters included Lisa and Clay Cooley, birthday gal Nancy Gopez, Marybeth Conlon, Lisa and Bill Ogle, Jane Rozell, Cindy Stager, Kristi Bare and Wanda Gierhart, who was relieved that she was only responsible for two items for the upcoming TACA Custom Auction.

Tia Wynne, Marybeth Conlon and Heather LeClair

Tia Wynne, Marybeth Conlon and Heather LeClair

CBB Co-Chair Mary Martha Pickens had to head out early. Seems she was having dinner with her new boss. In addition to partnering up with Tia Wynne to head up this year’s CBB, Mary Martha just got a very big promotion at Bank of America.

As for the live auction items, they once again were made up of the things that folks dream of including everything from fabulous travel packages like Tower of London, Canyon Ranch, Tequila Herradura, Abu Dhabi and the Taj Mahal; a poker game with Dallas Cowboy legends; to naming rights for the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge at Baylor Scott & White Health. And that’s just a few of the goodies that will be up for bid at Gilley’s on Saturday, October 3, with Tim McGraw providing the musical memories.

Chef John Tesar And Event Designer Nathan Johnson Hint At What Lies Ahead For The Family Place’s ReuNight At Oak

Summer was closing down, but The Family Place’s ReuNight crowd was gearing up. Originally slated for Sunday, August 23, at the Oak, Chef John Tesar reorganized the tasting to the next day, Monday, August. 24.

There were a couple of reasons. He was in Alaska on a cruise cooking up a storm with Chef Matt McAllister put on by D SideDish. And then there was the fact that Oak is closed on Sunday.

Claire Emanuelson, John Tesar, Robert Weatherly and Paige Flink

Claire Emanuelson, John Tesar, Robert Weatherly and Paige Flink

While ReuNight Co-Chair Nancy Rogers was in New York City with husband Richard Rogers, he Co-Chair Robert Weatherly was front and center with Honorary Co-Chair Claire Emanuelson and The Family Place’s Paige Flink.

While the trio learned that John was orchestrating a menu based on the freshest ingredients of the fall season paired with most yummy wines, Nathan Johnson of Gro Floral and Event Design was revealing that all the Oak furniture including the banquets would be replaced for the Thursday, November 12th fundraiser by family-style tables and seating. If Nathan’s involved the place is gonna beyond belief.

If Nathan’s name is new on your radar, you’ll recall he created a dazzling entrance at Michael Flores Salon for Lady Rogers’ pre-Crystal Charity Ball 10 Best Dressed Champagne toast last year.

This night’s gonna be fun and fundraising. Tickets start at $1,500.

North Texas Giving Day Booster: TACA

“For nearly fifty years, TACA (The Arts Community Alliance) has been at the core of the performing arts community in Dallas. Originally founded as an annual charity event, TACA has become a comprehensive arts funding and service organization, now providing approximately $2 million in grants and programs each year. These efforts have only been possible with the visionary support of North Texans.

“In January, TACA granted $1.3 million to 47 local performing arts organizations, large and small. Grants ranged from $5,000 to $110,000 and were awarded to organizations with operating budgets of $25,000 to $30 million. Collectively, these organizations enrich the lives of North Texans of all economic, social, and cultural backgrounds with dance, music, theater, opera, musical theater, educational initiatives, and community engagement programs.

TACA Grant Presentations*

TACA Grant Award Presentation*

“In addition to general operating and project grants, TACA recently awarded an additional $100,000 through the TACA Donna Wilhelm Family New Works Fund for the commission and creation of new works of music, dance, theater, and opera. Later this year, TACA will award an additional $100,000 from the TACA Bowdon and Embrey Family Foundations Artist Residency Fund to support the establishment and expansion of local artistic residency programs.

“TACA’s impact also extends well beyond financial support. Launched in 2014, the North Texas Cultural Co-op is a powerful online network that allows regional cultural organizations to securely share patron data and to broaden their reach. Each year, TACA hosts Perforum, a symposium which features national panelists discussing overarching issues and opportunities facing the arts in North Texas. And this year, TACA will launch the Amplifier Workshop series, which will pair national thought leaders with local arts managers to provide more tactical expertise in marketing, audience development, and fundraising.

TACA Perforum*

TACA Perforum*

“Established in 1967, TACA champions artistic excellence in the performing arts and encourages innovation, collaboration, and engagement through financial support, stewardship, and resources. We are passionate, dedicated, and fiercely committed to establishing North Texas as the pre-eminent performing arts community in the country. With your support, we are making a real difference in the health and vitality of Dallas’ performing arts organizations.

“From all of us at TACA, thank you so much, North Texans, for your investment in our work and in the work of the performing arts community we serve! Join us on North Texas Giving Day, when your donations of $25 or more will be amplified by bonus funds starting at 6 a.m. on September 17!”

-By Rebecca Young, President and Executive Director

* Photo credit: Dana Driensky

BvB Dallas Returns To Its Original POA

Since its start back in 2008, BvB Dallas has been a volunteer-driven organization. The inspiration was relatives and friends who had been victims of Alzheimer’s. Although known as “an old person’s disease,” the youthful players, coaches and fans were champions in raising funds for research and treatments to combat it.

Over the past seven years, BvB Dallas handed over more than $1.8M.

To grow the organization, an executive director was hired in February and an aggressive goal of $600K was announced. Despite not making its goal for the first time, a record-breaking check of $475K was presented at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday, August 8, at halftime to Baylor AT&T Memory Center and The Center for Vital Longevity at the University of Texas Dallas.

Realizing that BvB Dallas’ past success in raising funds and awareness had been built on being a totally volunteer-driven effort, the decision was made to return to its volunteer roots.

The executive director was in agreement and resigned. Her last day was Tuesday.

North Texas Giving Day Booster: The Stewpot

“Imagine pulling out a chair and sitting down at a community table at one of your favorite North Texas restaurants. At the height of the lunch rush, the dining room is buzzing with regulars as well as new faces. But while some at your table are catching up with friends and acquaintances, others are simply enjoying the food in front of them.

“Crispy green salad with plump tomatoes. Bright orange slices. Pasta with creamy sauce. Crunchy seasoned broccolini. Fresh yeast rolls.

The Stewpot*

The Stewpot*

“Imagine now that instead of sitting down to eat at one of those popular farm-to-table restaurants in our community, you are homeless and hungry and sitting down at the The Stewpot’s Second Chance Café, the daily meal service provider inside The Bridge in downtown Dallas. The good news is that the welcome and the fresh food are much the same regardless of your circumstances.

“We all know the value of a nutritious meal that tastes good. It gives you energy. It quenches your thirst and satisfies your hunger. But to many residents of our community who live day to day with homelessness and poverty, a healthy meal made with fresh, organic produce and hearty proteins means much more. Food can mean dignity. Food can mean health. Food can mean hope.

“Thanks to last year’s North Texas Giving Day, The Stewpot was able to rethink and restructure its meal services for some of our city’s neediest residents by creating three-week rotating menus that offer organic fruits and vegetables and many tasty alternatives to processed foods. The generosity of North Texas Giving Day donors ensured that the kitchen staff at the Second Chance Café was given additional training to bring together balanced meals that looked good, tasted good, and served up the compassion The Stewpot has been known for over the last forty years in North Texas.

“The Stewpot is well known for serving second chances. The number of lives touched at The Second Chance Café serves as a daily and weekly reminder of our community’s commitment to reach out to those less fortunate among us. Three meals a day, seven days a week. Our staff and the legions of energetic, faithful volunteers serve seven thousand nutritious meals every week. With every meal, we offer dignity, health, and hope.

“Help us to continue to serve these nutritious meals and donate here on September 17 from 6 a.m. to midnight.”

-By Caryn Carson, The Stewpot’s Vice Chairperson

* Photos courtesy of Lee Hutchins

Nancy Nasher And David Haemisegger Celebrate NorthPark’s 50th Anniversary With NorthPark50: Fifty Years Of Giving

Oldtimers love to play the memory game of playing the “Remember when…. at NorthPark?” Such names as Kips Big Boy’s hot fudge sundaes, “Mrs. Pierce” at The Carriage Shop, Magic Pan’s Cherries Royale Crepes, The Melody Shop’s Jack Jacobs and, of course, Ron Chapman hosting “Sump’n Else” with “The Little Group” — Joanie Prather, Delpha Teague, Kathy Forney and Calleen Anderegg. The game has been the favorite topic of late thanks to the 50th anniversary of the legendary shopping center that was built because of the determination of Patsy and Ray Nasher.

To celebration anniversary, Patsy’s and Ray’s daughter Nancy Nasher and her husband David Haemisegger staged a great reveal on  the exact day — August 19 — and time that 50 years ago NP opened in 1965.

Before the 250 nonprofit representatives and longtime NP friends took their seats in NP’s North Court on Wednesday, August 19, numerous memories were being exchanged. NP General Manager Billy Hines, who has probably worn out countless shoes walking the grounds, reminisced about his 40+ years at NP. He had seen the center through the transition of the family ownership, the massive expansions and more holiday shopping that the NP Santa. When asked how he felt about being part of the NP family, he looked across the court at Nancy and David receiving congratulations, smiled and said, “I am honored to have been a part of it.”

James Bias and Billy Hines

James Bias and Billy Hines

No sooner had the words been spoken, then Billy was tapped on the shoulder by the SPCA’s James Bias. They’re old buddies like Dallas CASA’s Kathleen LaValle and other nonprofits that have benefited from NP’s support.

As pianist Gary Beard and trumpeter Ryan Anthony serenaded the group, guests like Dallas Women’s Foundation’s Ros Dawson, University of North Texas’ Susan Collins Sanders, The Family Place’s Paige Flink, Children’s Kern Wildenthal and Lori Wagner, Crystal Charity Ball’s Michal Powell, Team Connor’s Carolyn Alvey, Jamie Singer and Kathryn Copple, Genesis Women’s Shelter’s Jan Langbein, Dallas Habitat for Humanity’s Bill Hall, Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Jonathan Martin, Vogel Alcove’s Karen Hughes, Nasher Sculpture Center’s Jeremy Strick and Jill Magnuson, Dallas Museum of Art’s Max Anderson and so many others took their places.

Nancy Nasher

Nancy Nasher

Nancy welcomed the invited guests plus onlookers telling them that the tune that Gary and Ryan had just played — “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning” —was the same one played 50 years ago with the late Gordon MacRae singing. She briefly recalled being a 10-year-old handing our programs and wearing a dress and a pin that her mother had designed for her. (Nancy didn’t mention that the next day was her birthday.)

David Haemisegger

David Haemisegger

Just for a moment she seemed to be back in that day when a retailing legend was introduced to the world despite naysayers. Yes, there were those who thought a enclosed shopping center with pieces of artwork on display was pretty gutsy. And the very idea of plopping it down in a cow pasture across from a cemetery miles away from downtown Dallas? Well! But her parents had a vision for both NorthPark and Dallas and she and David picked up the banner and carried it on.

One of those ways that Nancy and David were continuing the legacy was by supporting the area nonprofits. To do that they announced the creation of a unique program — NorthPark50: 50 Years of Giving. Following a brief video, it was announced that 50 area nonprofits would reap benefits for the next 50 days. How that would take place was alluded to, but nothing definite was announced. Instead guests were told to check social media daily for status reports.

Fifty Years of Giving (File photo)

Fifty Years of Giving (File photo)

Brent then took the podium telling of Dallas’ national reputation for generosity in supporting the nonprofits. He kept his remarks brief because he wasn’t telling this group anything they didn’t already know.

It was also revealed by Brent that unlike years past when NTGD was held with various activities throughout Dallas, it would be held at NorthPark in North Court on Thursday, September 17.

NorthPark50 guests

NorthPark50 guests

Nancy returned to the stage and told of Ryan’s battle against multiple myeloma and how impressed she was at “Blow for Cancer” when Ryan the country’s finest horn musicians performed. She asked Ryan to come to the stage and perform one more tune —“Gabriel’s Oboe” — that he had performed at the March fundraiser. As the haunting notes floated through the air, all activity in the center seemed to stop. Perhaps it was proof that thanks to funding for cancer research and treatments, even cancer couldn’t quell Ryan’s talent. At its conclusion, Ryan received a standing ovation.

NorthPark50 group photo

NorthPark50 group photo

Then Nancy thanked all and asked for representatives from the NorthPark 50 nonprofits to come to the stage for a group photo. This gathering proved to be entertaining as various stagings were attempted to fit all 50 plus on the stage, off stage, with chairs on stage, with chairs off state. Nobody minded. After all, they had 50 days of surprises ahead.

The Cubes Ain’t Speaking Thursday As Published

Mark Cuban (File photo)

Mark Cuban (File photo)

MySweetCharity has been barraged today with questions and complaints that MSC didn’t post Mark Cuban‘s appearing at the North Texas Commission’s 44th Annual Members Luncheon on “How to Think Beyond the Pitch.” Evidently some word got out via print media that it was Thursday. Thank goodness the Internet scribes corrected that “Oops”!

Come on and take a chill pill. The Cubes is indeed going to talk-the-talk for the North Texas Commission at Irving Convention Center in Las Colinas, but it’s gonna take place on Thursday, September 24.

Yipes! Translation: Mark is going to be the luncheon headliner the same day that Carrie Fisher is going to be the featured face at the Meals for the Mind luncheon at the Hilton Anatole and the Dallas Kappa Alpha Thetas are going to be flying kites over Lublu’s Kira Plastinina being the talker at Brook Hollow.

Alas! Choices, choices, choices — business icons, film legends, fashionistas. Results? No excuses for chowing down at the desk on oh-hum lettuce.

Tincy Miller’s Home Was Busting With Les Femmes Du Monde Members For Former U.S. Ambassador Robert Jordan’s Talk

Desert Diplomat - Inside Saudi Arabia Following 9/11

Desert Diplomat – Inside Saudi Arabia Following 9/11

When Tincy Miller learned that 40 guests were coming to her home on Tuesday, August 18, for Les Femmes du Monde lunch, she had some trepidations. Well, any hostess would. But her home-sweet-home was already filled to the rafters with loads of family photos, furniture and collectibles. It was the kind of place to raise a family and have holiday feasts, but it was going to be a stretch to have a buffet lunch and seating for 30 to hear from former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia/author/attorney/SMU Fellow Robert W. Jordan plus have an area for him to sign books.

Loads of photos

Loads of photos

Luckily, Tincy’s ability to be flexible rose to the occasion when the organizers arrived and told her that the body count had risen to 60.

Parking along the street was the first challenge. Construction on neighboring properties had created a cozy car situation.

Luckily, the Jack Boles crew was at the driveway to greet the guests with Gary Ferraro escorting them up the steps and to the front door where a table was set up for check in.

Buffet table

Buffet table

To assisted guests from the dining room buffet to the sunken family room, there was another gentleman to offer a hand.

Robert Jordan and Tincy Miller

Robert Jordan and Tincy Miller

Luckily, Robert was able to beat the crowd to the buffet and gulped down his lunch before telling about his days as U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Following 9/11, he was appointed by former President George W. Bush to serve from October 2001 to October 2003. Despite having no diplomatic experience, he learned on the job. He spoke of the close relationships that he built with “Crown Prince Abdullah and leaders in Saudi Arabia on sensitive issues of terrorism and human rights.”

As usual, Les Femmes provide an opportunity for members and guests to learn about the world outside of North Texas for the benefit of the World Affairs Council Dallas/Fort Worth and Children’s Health. If you weren’t able to make it, you can read all about it in his book “Desert Diplomat – Inside Saudi Arabia Following 9/11” that was released in July.

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Helping Seniors Keep Pets

“I recently interviewed several of the pets that were helped by Helping Seniors Keep Pets:

Schnauzer*

Schnauzer*

“A cute little Schnauzer had this to say: A few months ago I was really worried about my owner. We are both considered seniors, but she is really older than I am. She says we live on a very limited income. We ran out of my dog food, so she shared her meals with me. I don’t think she got enough to eat since she gave me some of hers.

“One day a friend was visiting and heard about this.  Our friend called Helping Seniors Keep Pets and asked if there was anything they could do to help.

“What good luck! Helping Seniors Keep Pets called right away and wanted to know what kind of food I liked. I only heard one side of the conversation, but it sounded like they were giving the food to us. One day later I had the dog food I’d always eaten, and my owner seemed so very happy.  She ate her food, and I ate mine.

Helping Seniors Keep Pets*

Helping Seniors Keep Pets*

“I heard that Helping Seniors Keep Pets could not provide food and assistance without the donations received on North Texas Giving Day.  I don’t know what that really means, other than I have a full belly and no more worries.

“Oh, I forgot to tell you . . . last month I needed my annual vaccinations and was looking a little scruffy around the edges.  Helping Seniors Keep Pets had enough donations to help with my veterinarian costs and grooming. I look really spiffy now.

“On North Texas Giving Day, you can help pets just like this one help their seniors when you donate to Helping Seniors Keep Pets!”

-By Deborah Horn, co-founder and treasurer

* Photo credit: A M Crawford

Operation Kindness And Austin Street Center Clients Come Together For Hugs And Hopes For Brighter Futures

The very best things happen when two non-profit organizations come together to help their “clients.” Such was the case when two organizations — Austin Street Center and Operation Kindness — held a private get together for homeless two- and four-legged types. Open arms were filled with tail waggers. Here’s a report from the field and we apologize for the quality of the photos. Unfortunately, the pooches were just too happy to hold still:

“On Tuesday, August 18, the homeless men and women at Austin Street Center were visited by volunteers of the four-legged variety. Along with their pals from the team at Operation Kindness, pups Rosemary, Merlin, and Little Bear spent the afternoon soaking up plenty of love—and gave plenty back.

Austin Street Shelter and Operation Kindness clients

Austin Street Center and Operation Kindness clients*

Austin Street Shelter and Operation Kindness clients

Austin Street Center and Operation Kindness clients*

“Austin Street Center and Operation Kindness share a goal of keeping the most vulnerable off the streets, so when Austin Street’s Director of Operations, Laura Gorecki, found out that her favorite place to volunteer was looking for a way to give back, she knew the Operation Kindness team would be welcomed with open arms at Austin Street.

“Laura said, ‘I just know how much joy dogs can bring, especially to folks who are facing difficult times. It felt like a natural match.’

Austin Street Shelter and Operation Kindness clients

Austin Street Center and Operation Kindness clients*

Austin Street Shelter and Operation Kindness clients

Austin Street Center and Operation Kindness clients*

Daniel Roby, executive director of Austin Street Center, said, ‘As we work to create a healing environment for our guests, we recognize the unique ability of animals to provide a therapeutic element in helping some of the most isolated members of our society, rediscover what a healthy relationship looks like.’

“Operation Kindness also served lunch and dropped off donations of clothing, shoes, and toiletries they had collected at their shelter.

Rosemary delivering donations

Rosemary delivering donations*

Jim Hanophy, Operation Kindness CEO, says, ‘It was very touching to see people light up when they interacted with the dogs—they told me stories about their dogs, some of which were sad, but overall they really enjoyed getting to share their memories.’

Daniel Roby, Austin Street and Operation Kindness clients and Jim Hanophy

Daniel Roby, Austin Street and Operation Kindness clients and Jim Hanophy*

“The Operation Kindness team had a wonderful time, and plans to return to Austin Street later in the year—this time with kittens.’

“Jim concluded, ‘At Operation Kindness, we are so grateful for the support we get from the community, and we believed that it was important for us to give back to the community in some way. What better way to do so than sharing the unconditional love that our animals have with the fine folks who benefit from the support of the Austin Street Center.’”

* Photos provided by Austin Street Center

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Leadership Fort Worth

Leadership Fort Worth exists to empower and connect diverse leaders as catalysts for a vibrant community. Our two adult programs, Leading Edge and the Leadership Class, address significant issues and learn how to collaborate to create sustainable solutions.

Mayor Betsy Price with kids*

Mayor Betsy Price with kids*

“But it is LeaderKids, our 8th grade program for under-performing kids, that I particularly want donors to North Texas Giving Day to know about. Each year we select two students from each of the Fort Worth ISD middle schools for this program. The Intervention Specialists in each school help us choose students who are not yet reaching their potential and who need an extra boost to set positive and motivating goals for themselves to commit to staying in school and preparing for a productive future. Many of these students come from homes in which English is a second language and there is no history of college attendance. LeaderKids introduces these students to careers that inspire them and works with area colleges and universities to help them learn how they can afford to go to college in order to prepare for one of those careers.

“North Texas Giving Day is extremely important to Leadership Fort Worth because it helps make it possible for 40 8th graders to participate in LeaderKids each year at no charge to them. We know that the very students who need this program the most are the ones the least able to afford it. Our LFW members pay dues that offset LeaderKids costs in part, but we still have a gap of approximately $40,000.

Playground after *

Playground after *

“Each year we do a community service project to teach leadership skills. This past year, the LeaderKids planned and created a playground for Dolores Huerta Elementary School in a low-income area of Fort Worth.

Funds from North Texas Giving Day will help us fund the very modest budget for a similar project in the coming year. So, please join us on September 17, 2015 where every donation of $25 or more will be amplified.”

-By Harriet Harral, Ph.D., executive director

* Photo credit: Leadership Fort Worth

Sneak Peak Of Dallas Symphony AT&T Gala’s Decor Provides Guests With The Chance To Play “Catch Up”

Cece Smith

Cece Smith

Event producer Todd Fiscus had spent part of the summer planning something different for the September 26th Dallas Symphony AT&T Gala. And he presented a sneak peak of his  plans on Monday, August 17, in the Meyerson’s Opus restaurant for about 30 DSO AT&T Gala committee members, sponsors and friends like Ben Fischer, Cece Smith and Ford Lacy.

Katherine Coker, Todd Fiscus and Jennifer Coley

Katherine Coker, Todd Fiscus and Jennifer Coley

But before he presented a snippet of the look for the Friday, September 26, fundraiser for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerson, the crowd played the seasonal game of “catch up.”

Gala Co-Chair Key Coker reported how he and wife/Co-Chair Katherine Coker had opted for Williamsburg this summer with kidlets Olivia and Key Jr. The trip turned out to be quite a memory maker with Key amazed at the Rockefellers’ involvement in preserving the historic site. Still, he thinks it will be back to northeastern shores next summer.

Key then related how Katherine had years ago shown him some of her favorite places in Paris. Nonchalantly he added that she had spent 45 days in Paris being part of EDS staff at the World Cup.

Ironically, Katherine had gotten to know fellow Co-Chair Coley Clark, when both worked at EDS, according to Co-Chair Jennifer Clark.

Lynn McBee

Lynn McBee

Holly Reed

Holly Reed

Another catch up was Lynn McBee on her way to join friends at Lark. For Lynn, the summer has been filled with care taking. It seems her mom has been “under the weather,” so Lynn has been spending part time in Galveston at her mom’s side. On the other hand, AT&T Gala sponsors rep Holly Reed amazed a friend telling how she had spent time learning the behind-the-scenes operation of the DEA in El Paso.

en Fischer and Laree Hulshoff

Ben Fischer and Laree Hulshoff

Laree Hulshoff was concerned about her WaterTower Theatre Gala Co-Chair Barbara Daseke. Barbara had planned to be at the DSO Gala preview. And why was the spiked-haired fundraiser MIA? Evidently, when Barbara stopped by her home to freshen up just an hour before, she discovered the house had been the victim of burglars. Her relief was that her new kitten, Tigger II, was left untouched but shaken by the ransacking of the place.

Key and Katherine Coker, Jennifer and Coley Clark and Jonathan Martin

Key and Katherine Coker, Jennifer and Coley Clark and Jonathan Martin

DSO GM Jonathan Martin told the crowd that this year’s gala would mark his third anniversary with the DSO. In addition to the black tie gathering of music lovers and the seated dinner glamorized by Todd’s decor, he reminded them that the concert would bring together two living legends — DSO Maestro Jaap van Zweden and violinist Pinchas Zukerman.

As for the decorations, can’t give details or show photos because that would take the OMG factor of out of the discovery that night. But think gold, white and very high tech showcasing. Suggestion: find something to wear that goes with gold that night. Oh, but everything does, don’t you know?

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Texas Scottish Rite Hospital For Children

“As an organization, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) is well-known for the care we provide to children. Each day, our 800 employees assisted by hundreds of dedicated volunteers strive to improve lives and give children back their childhood. We are supported by kind donors throughout the community who give generously to further our mission. Yet our staff is equally committed to our task, giving not only time and talent as part of their daily duties, but paying it forward by giving back through the hospital’s annual Lend Our Hand Employee and Volunteer Giving Campaign.

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children*

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children*

“Lend Our Hand is conducted each September, and not coincidentally, scheduled to coincide with North Texas Giving Day on September 17. While daily prize drawings, small incentive items and the promise of free food are definitely fantastic motivators, nothing is more motivating than the opportunity to maximize a gift to our organization. North Texas Giving Day entices old donors back and brings new donors pouring in! Together with friends in our community, TSRHC employees and volunteers have contributed more than $225,000 to the hospital on North Texas Giving Day since the program’s inception. These gifts were made even more meaningful with bonus funds awarded by Communities Foundation of Texas. In one strategically-planned day, we’ve been able to raise enough money to continue or expand valuable patient programs, purchase much-needed equipment and support some of our ground-breaking research.

Lend Our Hand Leaders

Lend Our Hand Leaders*

“This year, we’re thrilled to once again be participating in North Texas Giving Day and pleased that we can offer our employees, supporters and volunteers the opportunity to earn bonus funds on their donations. Our 2015 Lend Our Hand kickoff carnival will be filled to the brim with fellowship, food, games, and prizes…but nothing is more rewarding or motivating to our staff than knowing they’ve made a gift that has made life better for a child. Lending Our Hand on North Texas Giving Day is our favorite way to get up and give!”

-By Stephanie Brigger, Vice President of Development

* Photo credit: Lee Baker/Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

Initial Plans And Developments For 2016 Dallas Festival Of Ideas Revealed

Remember back in February when Dallas was frozen and events were in meltdown mode? To say the frozen tundra was a frown maker is an understatement. For the first Dallas Festival of Ideas, they soldiered on and managed to still have speakers, entertainers and guests get together with the mission to help “shape the city of the future by igniting, uniting and energizing the people of Dallas through the power of ideas.”

Festival Co-Presenters The Dallas Morning News and The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture were so impressed with the presentation and the feedback that they not only signed up for a 2016 encore but they ramped things up.

Emily Hargrove (File photo)

Emily Hargrove (File photo)

First of all, they brought on board Emily Hargrove to serve as executive director of the Festival. It made perfect sense, since Emily has been director of communications and development at the Institute and was instrumental for the Festivals coordination. Having worked with both The Morning News team and the Institute’s staff, she’ll be right at home in the newly created position.

To provide leadership among the volunteers, Dallas Museum of Art Chairman Walter Elcock and OTSL’s Albert Black will serve as honorary co-chairs.

Another development is the expansion of the Festival’s present Steering Committee’s (Larry Allums, Alison Draper, Emily Hargrove and Thomas Huang) to include Nicole Fain, Ana Rodriquez, Ellen Williams, Russell Bellamy, John Matthews, Byron Sanders and Mike Wilson.

On Thursday, October 29, five working committees will present “progress reports” for the Festival slated to take place February 19-20.

Stay tuned. More developments are in the future. Understand the negotiations are underway with Mother Nature to cooperate come February.

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Dress For Success

Dress for Success*

Dress for Success*

“An Angel walked in to my office on Monday. Literally. Her name was Angel. Angel is a young women; only 23 years old, 7 months pregnant and just became homeless. She came in desperately looking for a way to get a job. She told me that a friend gave her directions to Dress for Success Dallas and told her that if anyone could help her… it would be us.

Dress for Success ladies*

Dress for Success ladies*

“Two buses and a train later, Angel walked in and my life changed forever. I could tell she was really trying to hold it together. Tears were just below the surface. She explained that she was truly alone and very scared. She talked with me about going to work and how she could get help finding a job. In our talk, I found out that she had just been kicked out of her home and was sleeping on her cousin’s couch. Her cousin is moving and let her know she needed to find another place to stay by the end of the week.

After photo*

After photo*

“Angel and I began making a plan. I reached out to some great supporters of Dress for Success Dallas for help. One person gave her a phone interview for a job right then, another contact set up an appointment for housing and I helped her find prenatal care and other resources.

“Angel called me yesterday to say that she has gone to all the appointments we made and also had a follow up job interview and begins her new job on Monday. She is so grateful and just kept saying thank you over and over. She told me that she is naming her baby girl after us. I cannot wait to meet our namesake, Hope as soon as she is delivered.

“Thank you to all of the Angels we have out there!!! Want to be an Angel, too? It is easy to do – just be part of North Texas Giving Day and you can help the more than 1200 women we serve every year. The goal for Dress for Success Dallas this year is to raise $20,000. On September 17, every donation of $25 or more will be amplified by bonus funds.

“This will provide a year’s worth of job readiness and support services for 40 women. Dress for Success Dallas currently holds a 92% employment rate for those receiving our services. Dress for Success Dallas is built on the cornerstone of hope and collaboration. Together, we can change lives of women in our community. Change a woman and you change the world.”

-By Janie Bordner, executive director

* Photo and graphic credit: 
Dress for Success

The Young Friends Of The Wilkinson Center Kicked Off Plans For The Second Annual Silent Disco

Ooh, those Wilkinson Center folks are at it again. Like others are trying so hard, they’re nurturing the very cool generation of millennials to discover the fun and “Gee Whiz” of fundraising. And leave it to them to come up with Silent Disco. Hmm, let’s think about that one. No! Better yet, let’s check out how they kicked off the event at the DEC on Thursday, August 13. Here’s a report from the field with beautiful faces:

Aaron Liverpool, Austyn Vietor, Chris Chadwick and Amber Monter*

Aaron Liverpool, Austyn Vietor, Chris Chadwick and Amber Monter*

“The Young Friends of the Wilkinson Center hosted its second annual Silent Disco kick-off event at DEC on Dragon. The event benefited Wilkinson Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of Dallas families by providing pathways to self-sufficiency with dignity and respect. This was a free happy hour to attend but patrons could purchase Young Friend Memberships and Silent Disco tickets to the main event that will take place on Friday, September 11, at Candleroom from 9 p.m.- 2 a.m. Tickets for Young Friends Members were $35 each and $45 each for nonmembers. This event was a kickoff party to gear up for the Silent Disco event and to raise money for Wilkinson Center and spread awareness about our Young Friend professional group.

Natalie Diaz, Erica Ruiz and Sondos Brennan*

Natalie Diaz, Erica Ruiz and Sondos Brennan*

Ryan Hoopes and Rodney Moore*

Ryan Hoopes and Rodney Moore*

“The Silent Disco will feature great drinks, music, fun and friends at one of the hottest night spots in Dallas. What is a Silent Disco? Each guest receives headphones with three different frequencies; depending on the frequency the guest chooses, the headphones light up in the color that corresponds to a DJ spinning at that moment.  It is called a silent disco because there is no music playing in the background when people take off their headphones.

Jackie Kim, OJ DeSouza, Baylea Wood and Chrystie Trimmell*

Jackie Kim, OJ DeSouza, Baylea Wood and Chrystie Trimmell*

“The Young Friends of The Wilkinson Center are a group of dynamic young millennials who are creating pathways out of poverty for the working poor in Dallas.  These young professionals offer hope and inspiration. They are committed to building sustainable resources which empower Wilkinson Center clients to become self-sufficient and improve their lives.  Our Young Friends are business and civic leaders who have dedicated their creativity and resources to making Dallas a prosperous city for all who call it home.

* Photos provided by The Young Friends of The Wilkinson Center

MySweetCharity Opportunity Series Elves Head To Hibernation

The MySweetCharity Opportunity series is done. The elves in charge of the series have been led to the MSC hibernation units for recovery. During this time, they will rest on mattresses stuffed with feathers from angel wings. They will be covered with blankets woven with the down of baby hummingbirds. Chinchillas will massage the elves’ fingers that have been pounding keyboards for six weeks. Their blood-shot eyes will be bathed in virgin water from Arctic glaciers. Persian kittens will softly knead the elves’ backs that have become crooked from weeks of bending over computers.

Eventually, the elves will emerge stronger and ready to tackle the next series — MySweetCharity Wish List. But please don’t submit any wishes until the elves emerge, or they just might not emerge.

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Women Of Distinction Luncheon

According to Women Of Distinction Chair Katherine Coker,

Katherine Coker (File photo)

Katherine Coker (File photo)

“As the chair of the annual Women of Distinction Luncheon, I am so honored to be a part of an amazing organization that recognizes outstanding women leaders in our community who are strong trailblazers and great role models for our next generation of young girls.

“Presented by AT&T, the luncheon will be held on Wednesday, October 14, at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. Our keynote speaker, Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code, is helping to lead girls into the future through STEM education that will prepare them for the 21st century. She has been recognized in Forbes’ Most Powerful Women Changing the World and the Wall Street Journal’s Innovator of the Year.

Jan Rees-Jones (File photo)

Jan Rees-Jones (File photo)

“Additionally, we are honoring three exceptional women and two dedicated Girl Scouts. Jan Rees-Jones of the Rees-Jones Foundation will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her devotion to the local community. The impact Jan Rees-Jones has had on our community is immeasurable. From providing opportunities to disadvantaged children, helping ensure the safety and care of animals as an honorary member of the SPCA of Texas Board of Directors to serving on the Advisory Council of the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health, Jan’s work personifies positive change.

Tincy Miller (File photo)

Tincy Miller (File photo)

“We will also honor two community leaders, Michele Bobadilla, a dynamic educator and mentor and Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, a positive influence for providing quality education to children all over Dallas. Michele Bobadilla, has created many opportunities for others to continue their dreams and build a better community. Bobadilla is involved in education initiatives, civic boards and volunteer organizations. With more than 35 years of serving as Board of Director for different boards, she also established the Society of 100 Endowed Scholars’ Fund to continue the “educational legacy” for students pursuing degrees.

“Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, another Woman of Distinction honoree, has made it her mission to provide quality education to students through “better curricula” for children with learning disabilities and ensuring that textbooks maintain their historical and factual accuracy. Miller dedicated 26 years to the State Board of Education, District 12 and acted as Chair of the Board from 2003-2007.

“Funds raised will go directly to impact the lives of girls through four program areas: financial literacy, healthy living, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and outdoor leadership.

“As the the premiere leadership organization for girls and the largest pipeline for female leadership, Girl Scouts is definitely leading the way for future woman leaders of tomorrow.

“If you would like to join us on October 14, please contact Aisha McClendon at 972.349.2480.”

MySweetCharity Opportunity: Breakfast For The Bridge

According to 2015 Breakfast For The Bridge Co-Chair Megan McManemin,

Casey McManemin, Hayes McManemin, Audrey McManemin and Megan McManemin*

Casey McManemin, Hayes McManemin, Audrey McManemin and Megan McManemin*

“My husband Casey and I have been closely involved for several years with The Bridge, an innovative homeless recovery center in downtown Dallas that provides services to the most impoverished residents of our community. We are honored to serve as co-chairs of the 2015 Breakfast for The Bridge, which will be held at the Omni Dallas Hotel on November 20 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. (Registration begins at 7:30 a.m.)

“I volunteer in the library at The Bridge, which was recently renovated as an Eagle Scout project, and assist with a music therapy program called Bridge Beats. Mack’s at The Bridge, which opened in 2012, is dedicated to Casey’s grandfather, who owned a barbershop in East Dallas. It is incredibly humbling to see how a simple haircut can physically and mentally transform a person. What we love most about The Bridge is the kindness and respect given to their clients, which are referred to as “guests.” The staff and volunteers truly care. This humanity fits well into our theme for the breakfast – Humankind.

“We are thrilled to have Dallas’ own Willie Baronet as the keynote speaker. Willie is a noted artist, author, TedXSMU talker and creative soul. He is a Stan Richards Professor in Creative Advertising at the Temerlin Advertising Institute at SMU. Since 1993, Willie has been buying and collecting signs from the homeless for the purpose of using them in art exhibits and documentaries. These signs and this practice have become a catalyst for conversations about the nature of home, homelessness, compassion and how we see and treat each other as humans. Learn more about Willie here.

“The Bridge Builder award is honoring Larry Sykes. Larry has volunteered more than 800 hours at The Bridge and says, “Our guests are just like us. Many have college educations and good job history, but life got in the way and their support systems weren’t what we had. It is an honor to serve them.” Larry’s empathy for the underserved, compassionate heart and can-do spirit epitomizes The Bridge’s mission.

“Don’t miss the 2015 Breakfast for The Bridge. Come for breakfast and leave inspired. What a great way start your day! Please reach out to Teresa Hiser at 214.670.1137 for information about tickets and sponsorships.”

* Photo provided by Breakfast For The Bridge

JUST IN: Devin Bray And Sruthi Tummala To Be Honored As Young Women Of The Year At Women Of Distinction Luncheon

And the good news keeps rolling in. At the annual Women of Distinction Luncheon benefiting the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, one of the highlights is the honoring of two current girl scouts as the Young Women of the Year.

Drum roll, please.

Devin Bray*

Devin Bray*

Sruthi Tummala*

Sruthi Tummala*

This year’s honorees will be Denton Guyer High senior Devin Bray and Ursuline Academy in Dallas senior Sruthi Tummala.

According to Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas CEO Jennifer Bartkowski, “Devin and Sruthi are two extraordinary young women who have made significant impacts on their communities. It is remarkable to experience the level maturity, leadership and dedication these young ladies have shown through their extensive community involvement and academic success. They are exemplary Girl Scouts who have put into practice the courage, confidence and character we strive for and definitely have made the world a better place.”

Here’s the rundown on the impressive twosome:

  • Devin has been a Girl Scout in Troop 317 since kindergarten. Her Girl Scout adventures include camping experiences, lots of cookie booths, numerous service projects, and even a trip to the Birthplace of Girl Scouts in Savannah, Georgia, during the Girl Scout Centennial in 2012. Along with growing up as a Girl Scout, Devin spent 12 years as a competitive gymnast and competed in livestock shows where she showed pigs and lambs. Devin lives in Corinth, Texas with her parents, Don and Denise, and her younger sister Dixen, who is also a sister in Girl Scouting. Devin plans to major in chemistry in college with hopes of becoming a hospital pharmacist after professional school.
  • Sruthi has been a Juliette Girl Scout member since 2012. She earned her Girl Scout Gold Award which involved exciting fourth graders about math and science; and also recently received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for her outstanding commitment to community service. Sruthi is the president and founder of the National Science Honor Society and Entrepreneurship Club at Ursuline has been published in several anthologies and online magazines for her poetry and short story works. Sruthi is a recognized equestrian and is a 2015 Team National Finalist for the Interscholastic Equestrian Association. She was awarded “best lawyer” in the 2015 Mock Trial Regional Competition.

Devin and Sruthi will join Jan Rees-Jones, Anna Michele Bobadilla and Tincy Miller on stage receiving the accolades. The luncheon that is being chaired by Katherine Coker will take place at the Hilton Anatole on Wednesday, October 14, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. CEO of Girls Who Code Reshma Saujani will be the keynote speaker.

Tickets start at $175. And for the gents, they’re welcome to join in the celebration of women of all ages.

* Photos provided by the Girls Scouts of Northeast Texas

 

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Gift Of Adoption

Gift of Adoption helps kids find forever homes through grants that help parents fund the adoption.

The Fusilier family*

The Fusilier family*

“Johnny and Paola were able to adopt Josiah through the help of a grant from Gift of Adoption. Now Josiah lives in Dallas with his two new sisters, Bella and Abby. We were able to provide the $1500 grant because of proceeds from last year’s North Texas Giving Day. The money helped this family complete the adoption of Josiah, which will be finalized in November 2015.

Baby Josiah*

Baby Josiah*

“Josiah’s birth mother was motivated toward adoption by the fact that she has an unstable home life and difficulties supporting herself and her other child. She felt it would be best for him to be placed into a loving stable family with two parents. In part, due to this grant, Josiah will now grow up in a very different environment. He will have a stable home life, two parents, a loving extended family and opportunities to excel in life.

“Since last September, we have funded 9 similar grants.

Baby Josiah with sisters*

Baby Josiah with sisters*

“For this family, adoption was really important and their story started many years ago. Paola remembers watching TV when she was about 7 and saw these beautiful little kids coming across the screen. Hungry, starving, orphaned. Those commercials did something to her. She told her mom she would adopt one of those kids one day. Then, she met her husband, Johnny, who also has a heart for adoption.

“Adopting can be very expensive and all funding must be provided by the parents or with grants that they seek out. Because they both work for non-profits, Johnny and Paola do not have a large family income. Paola said, “The GOA grant made an impact in our adoption journey because it relieved some of the stress of the financial burden.”

Gift of Adoption*

Gift of Adoption*

“Johnny and Paola talked about adopting before they had kids of their own. They believe that God gave them a heart for the mission field here in the United States, particularly the inner city. They chose to adopt domestically because they believe that there are many children in America suffering the same hopelessness as in other countries. They admire the bravery and selfless love of birth mothers, who make a sacrifice in order to provide a better life for their child.

“On North Texas Giving Day, Thursday, September 17, please choose Gift of Adoption as your charity of choice to help us bring more families, like this one, together in Texas.”

-By Susan Fennema, President, Texas Chapter