Talk Of Equine Therapy For Military Vets—And A Generous Gift—Highlight Equest’s Hooves for Heroes Party

Carolyn Anderson seems like a natural to chair Equest’s second annual Boots And Salutes fundraiser, benefiting Equest’s Hooves for Heroes program, this coming July at Texas Horse Park. Hooves for Heroes helps military veterans, first responders and their families transition to civilian life through equestrian therapy. Carolyn has a brother who’s a colonel in the army, and a sister who has cerebral palsy. “I have a soft spot for people with special needs,” she said.

Carolyn Anderson, Norma Jean Schaltenbrand and Kailey Pretzlaff*

Greg Nieberding and Susan Schwartz*

Carolyn was standing in the “retro” living room of Greg Nieberding’s 1950s-style designer showhouse, where about 50 people had gathered Thursday, January 25, for the Boots And Salutes patron party. Among those enjoying the evening were Louise Griffeth, Equest co-founder Susan Schwartz, Equest board chair Andy Steingasser, James Thomas, Norma Jean Schaltenbrand, Kailey Pretzlaff and Joe Dealey Jr. with his daughter, Beverly Dealey. Equest CEO Lili Kellogg shared the great news that Joe and the Dealey Family Foundation had generously decided to donate $100,000 annually for three years to Hooves for Heroes.

Beverly Dealey, Joe Dealey Jr. and Lili Kellogg*

Michele Ritter and Andy Steingasser*

Kristina and Phil Whitcomb

Nancy and Ron Natinsky and James Thomas*

Also in attendance were Dr. John Burrus, CEO of Metrocare Services, and Equest board member Nancy Natinsky and her husband, former Dallas city council member Ron Natinsky. Ron said the couple had recently downsized from a 5,000-square-foot home in North Dallas to a much smaller, high-rise condo in the Knox-Henderson area, and were loving it.

As the guests enjoyed their wine and hors d’oeuvres, a panel discussion commenced featuring Burruss, military/combat veteran Joe Lucido, Equest program counselor Christa Collum, and Jeff Hensley, Equest’s director of clinical and veterans services. Jeff recounted that, over the last six years, more than 900 veterans and military family members had come to Equest seeking help with the likes of “identity issues, PTSD, depression, and other matters that make adapting to civilian life challenging.”

Christa Collum, Joe Lucido and John Burruss*

One of them was Joe. He told the gathering that, prior to volunteering with Hooves for Heroes, “I was not a functional individual. I needed to make progress. I was a mess. All I knew about horses was they would bite you, or fall over on you. I wasn’t sure how a horse could help me, but I had nothing to lose.

“A horse is a prey animal, and I realized that’s what we [soldiers] were on the battlefield, too,” the veteran went on, telling how he’d come to “bond” with the nonprofit’s therapy horses. “Without Equest, I would not have made the progress that I have.”

Burruss and Hensley, meantime, alluded to the fact that, last June, Metrocare and Equest began one of the first partnerships in the country to research and collect data about equine therapy through focus groups. Their partnership, it’s hoped, will be a catalyst for other equine therapy programs across the country to do the same. The ultimate goal: ensuring that equine therapy is recognized as a source of mental-health treatment by the medical industry.

Boots And Salutes will be held on Friday, July 20, at Equest at Texas Horse Park. Carolyn and Equest say the “USO-style” event will include an aerial salute by World War II aircraft, live Frank Sinatra-inspired music, food and drink, and “a tribute to both our nation’s heroes and Equest’s heroes, the therapy horses.”

* Photo credit: Bob Manzano

Comerica’s Prom Dress Drive Is Providing An Opportunity To Play Fairy Godmother For Dallas CASA And Boys And Girls Clubs Of Greater Dallas Cinderallas

It’s time to part company with old friends. While many gals are cleaning gently experienced grown-up fashions from their closets for the Salvation Army Fashion Show and Luncheon, there are some retired prom dresses that could be put back into action.

Dallas CASA and the Boys And Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas have hundreds of girls, who just might not be able to go to their proms this spring because they have nothing to wear. But thanks to Comerica, you can play Fairy Godmother to these teenage Cinderellas.

Comerica Prom Dress Drive*

For the Fourth Annual Prom Dress Drive, the following five Dallas-area Comerica banking centers will be available to accept “new or gently-used, cleaned formal dresses and accessories” starting Thursday, February 1:

  • Cole-Fitzhugh (3202 North Fitzhugh, Dallas)
  • Forest-Inwood (5200 Forest Lane, Dallas)
  • NorthPark (8850 Boedecker Street, Dallas)
  • Parker-Premier (3310 Premier Road, Plano)
  • Preston Center (8225 Preston Road, Dallas)

Sure, it’s going to be hard to give up that adorable gown that you wore, but betcha you’ve got photos of the night that it was worn and you looked pretty darn adorable. And besides, you’re not going to wear it again. You’ve moved on. Or, perhaps that dress that your daughter wore ages ago would like to be released from confinement to show its stuff at a 2018 prom?

And while you’re editing your wardrobe, look into those nooks and crannies for shoes, purses, gloves and accessories. They’ll be welcomed at the Comerica collection stations, too.

So, dig through you closet and take your finds to the cleaners and then onto Comerica for another special night. The drive ends Wednesday, February 28.

* Photo provided by Comerica

MySweet2018Goals: Lisa Singleton

Lisa Singleton (File photo)

According to 2018 Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show And Luncheon Chair Lisa Singleton

“One of my goals this year is to ask the community to join me in ‘Doing the Most Good’ for The Salvation Army by supporting this year’s Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show And Luncheon, presented by Anne Davidson, which will be held on Wednesday, May 9, at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. 

“One way to help is to donate your gently worn or even better, never worn! designer clothing and accessories, which could be featured in the event’s fashion show or sold in the Chic Boutique.

To coordinate collection or drop off of your items, please contact Tina Trejo at The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command, 214.637.8122 or [email protected]; Toni Turner at 972.904.9382; or myself, Lisa Singleton, at 214.316.2567 or [email protected]. Clothing and accessories can also be dropped off at Tootsies, located at 8300 Preston Road in the Plaza at Preston Center, now through March 31, with Tootsies thanking donors with a $25 Tootsies gift card. 

“The second way to support this incredible organization and the work they do in our community is by attending the 2018 Fashion Show And Luncheon, which will include an opening reception, silent auction, and shopping in the Chic Boutique, where gently worn or never worn designer clothing and accessories donated by some of North Texas’ best dressed and finest retailers are available for sale. Attendees will enjoy a runway fashion show styled and produced by Jan Strimple Productions, featuring donated and new couture clothing, which can be bid on following the show.  Afterwards, patrons will enjoy a seated lunch and final bidding on silent and runway auction items.

“And lastly, plan on shopping Friday, May 11, thru Saturday, May 12, at the annual Wearhouse Sale, which is open to the public and includes both new and donated items at deep discounts. The sale is held annually at The Salvation Army’s Christmas and Disaster Center located at 9216 Harry Hines in Dallas.  Hours are 10:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. on Friday and 10:00 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Saturday.

“Sponsorships for the Fashion Show And Luncheon begin at $5,000 and individual tickets are $300 and are available now.  Please plan to join me for what promises to be an amazing event in support of the more than 70 important services provided by 22 local Salvation Army locations.

“For ticket and sponsorship information, contact Tina Trejo, The Salvation Army DFW Metroplex Command, at 214.637.8122.”

Paws Cause Two-Legged Critters Were In The Holiday Mood For Sipping And Shopping At Ralph Lauren Salon In Highland Park Village

Designer Ralph Lauren has been synonymous with luxury clothing and picture-perfect surroundings. So, Highland Park Village’s Ralph Lauren Salon was the perfect spot for a holiday celebration for the SPCA of TexasPaws Cause crowd on Wednesday, December 6. Don’t be surprised if some guests at the Paws Cause fundraiser on Sunday, January 28, at the Jan Rees-Jone Animal Care Center are wearing Lauren fashions. Here’s a report from the field:

Winter-red roses bloomed all around under the magnificent crystal chandelier gracing the entryway of the Ralph Lauren Boutique at Highland Park Village on Wednesday, December 6, where ladies and gentlemen gathered in the holiday spirit to celebrate Paws Cause and shop for friends and family, all to benefit the SPCA of Texas. Guests sipped wine and champagne and nibbled sweet and savory delicacies as they browsed.  

Taylor Cousins and Kris Cousins*

Sincere thanks to Susie Swanson and Taylor Cousins for hosting and to the Ralph Lauren store for welcoming the festive crowd and for donating a portion of the proceeds from the event’s sales to the SPCA of Texas. Many of the guests were spotted walking out with armfuls of beribboned boxes and bags, admiring the gorgeous window display featuring the classic Ralph Lauren teddy bears dressed in holiday finery! 

Susie Swanson, Debra Burns and Kevin Coffey*

SPCA of Texas Sr. Vice President of Development Debra Burns thanked Ralph Lauren at Highland Park Village and Susie Swanson and Taylor Cousins for hosting the soirée. Burns also toasted to newlyweds Susie Swanson and Kevin Coffey on their recent marriage and presented them with a framed photo of the couple from last year’s event, engraved with “Furever Friends.”

Giana dePaul, Kristen Greenberg and Melissa Vullo Bell*

Russell Dealey and Mary Spencer*

Betsy Orton and Sharon Fancher*

Guests included Paws Cause 2018 Chair Kristen Greenberg, Paws Cause 2018 Co-Chair Melissa Vullo Bell, Paws Cause 2018 Bone Appetit Chair Giana dePaul, Andrea Alcorn, Karen Urie, Susie Swanson, Kevin Coffey, Phyllis Comu, Mary SpencerKaren Lukin, Tricia Sims, Regina Bruce, Kathy Fielder, Sharon Fancher, Betsy Orton and SPCA of Texas Board Member Steve Atkinson

Phyllis Comu and Karen Urie*

Steve Atkinson and Scott Greenberg*

Tricia Sims, Andrea Alcorn and Karen Lukin*

Paws Cause will be held on Sunday, January 28, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Jan Rees-Jones Animal Care Center at 2400 Lone Star Drive in West Dallas. Honorary chairs are Marsha Pendleton Gray and Richard Gray.

Paws Cause is committed to supporting the SPCA of Texas’ programs that aim to support the pets and people of Southern Dallas through sponsorships and donations to help address the serious stray animal and animal overpopulation issue. For more information, visit www.pawscausedallas.com.  

* Photo credit: Thomas Garza Photography

MySweetWishList: University Of North Texas Fashion Design Program

According to University of North Texas alumnus/fashion designer Michael Faircloth,

Lisa Troutt and Michael Faircloth (File photo)

“The Fashion Design Program at the University of North Texas prepares students for a career as a fashion designer, illustrator or for the many production positions in the fashion industry. The program educates students to create designs that are both innovative and current, while being marketable and suitable for manufacture.

“I am humbled and overjoyed that my friends and my alma mater desire to recognize my achievements by naming the fashion design program for me. My experience and education while studying fashion design at UNT certainly laid the foundation for my success, and it continues to support my view of fashion as a discipline of art.

“And, I am enthusiastically encouraging others to contribute to the fund so we continue to support the program and remind students of the success they can achieve with a degree from UNT. 

“My friend and alumna Lisa Troutt, with a previous career in fashion design, and her husband, Kenny, have given the first major gift that will support the $2.5 million goal to name the program. My hope is that others will follow, at any level, and help with this important educational program. Please visit https://one.unt.edu/faircloth.”

-By Michael Faircloth, University of North Texas alumnus/fashion designer

MySweetWishList: Boys And Girls Clubs Of Greater Dallas

Joyce Williams*

According to Boys And Girls Clubs Of Greater Dallas Board Chair Joyce Williams,

“I do not have many wishes this holiday season. However, as the new chair of the board of directors at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas (BGCD), I can only wish for more opportunities and more resources for the thousands of youth served by BGCD.

“Boys And Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas is more than a place for kids to come to shoot hoops in the gym. Because of BGCD, kids have a safe place to go after school and are no longer susceptible to the risk of walking alone through neighborhoods in the evening to an empty home because mom has to work late. BGCD provides transportation from school to the Club, where kids are greeted by a caring youth development professional, a hot meal for dinner, and help with homework. Furthermore, Club members are able to participate in impactful programming meant to meet the needs of every child and teen.

Teens excited to receive laptops at annual graduation celebration*

Club member at one of the holiday parties at the Club*

Club Member at BGCD’s annual math competition*

Club member at a holiday party at the Club*

“At Boys And Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas our mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. My wish is that more people join us on this mission. Why? Because without the help of the community, how can my other wishes come true? For instance, my wish to witness more youth in low-income neighborhoods graduate high school with a plan for their future. Or my wish for youth to break generational curses and be the first in their family to go to college. Or my wish for more kids to have a safe and productive place to go after school.

“Most importantly, my wish is that tomorrow’s visionaries do not fall short of their potential because we did not invest in them today. Invest in great futures today by donating online at www.bgcdallas.org/donate or contact our VP of Advancement, Laura Brown at 214.821.2950 ext. 732.”

-By Joyce Williams, Boys And Girls Clubs Of Greater Dallas board chair

* Photo provided by Boys And Girls Clubs Of Greater Dallas

MySweetWishList: After-School All-Stars

According to After-School All-Stars Advocate Gina Betts,

Gina Betts (File photo)

“After-School All-Stars (ASAS) is the largest national organization, with a strong local presence, that specifically focuses on serving middle school age students. Studies show that 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. is the prime time when unsupervised students are most likely to become involved with gangs, crime, drugs and unsafe sex. ASAS does not incur costs for daily transportation to and from our facilities or put students in a position where they have to travel to programs alone.

“As our name recognition grows in North Texas, we are eager to demonstrate the need for the programming that After School All Stars provides.  My wish is that more corporations and individuals will become advocates and donors to ASAS in 2018.

“Our students do not have to pay to be members of ASAS nor are they charged annually dues to fees to receive programming and services.  Our programs only take place at Title I schools where more than 50 percent of students qualify for federal Free and Reduced Lunch program, a proxy for poverty.

“Every day, our program initiatives work to address the most prevalent and pressing issues facing our youth. ASAS inspires students to be healthy, graduate high school and go on to college, find a career they love and give back to their community. Please visit asasnorthtexas.org to find how you can become a part of the ASAS solution.”

-By Gina Betts, After-School All-Stars advocate

MySweetWishList: Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas

Gail Chandler*

According to Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas Committee For Community Engagement Co-Chair Gail Chandler,

  1. “Every girl deserves the chance to be successful.
  2. “Everyone benefits when we help girls take an active part in charting their futures.
  3. “The future of our communities and society depends on our ability to break down gender barriers that inhibit girls’ success.

“These are the three reasons I volunteer for Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas.  As a mother and grandmother, I can wish for and support the success of my daughters and granddaughter. As a volunteer for Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas though, I can extend that support to others in our community who deserve success no matter their background, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity or ability.

“Today, there are many opportunities for girls and women to contribute to a better future through the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.  However, women remain vastly underrepresented in these fields.  Girl Scouts is reducing the gender gap in STEM fields by bringing millions of girls into the STEM pipeline over the next eight years. In November, Girl Scouts of the USA announced a bold pledge to get 2.5 million girls into the STEM pipeline by 2025. Locally, Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas is leading the charge through a $14M capital campaign to build a STEM Center of Excellence in southwest Dallas.

“STEM professions are the fastest growing careers in our country – with women in STEM earning 33% more than women in other careers.  Over the next decade, the U.S. will need 1 million more STEM professionals than we are projected to produce. Where will our future chemists, botanists, electrical engineers, programmers and coders come from?  With your support, they will come from Girl Scouts.

“Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non-Girl Scouts to participate in STEM activities (60 percent versus 35 percent), and 77 percent of girls say that because of Girl Scouts, they are considering a career in technology.

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas*

“Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas’ STEM Center of Excellence is serving as a model for the development of regional STEM Centers across the country.  The STEM Center will afford girls the opportunity to explore these careers, connect with mentors and break down perceptions about the industry.  Programs will run year-round and the facility is expected to serve 4,000 girls in our area.

“We need your help to help girls develop their curiosity, problem-solving and leadership skills. From an all-girls astronomy club to summer camps that teach girls to build and fly drones, to field trips which get girls into nature to explore earth sciences to high school programs where girls are discovering and developing antibiotics, there is truly an opportunity for every girl to discover, explore, build, create and dream.

“My holiday wish is for more STEM opportunities and success for North Texas girls.  You can create those opportunities by giving to the Gears4Girls campaign.  Your gift will be commemorated on an acrylic gear on display on our supporters’ wall at the STEM Center. Gears make the perfect holiday gift to commemorate that special leader, mentor, role model, colleague or family member. 

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas*

“By ‘getting in gear’ this holiday season, we help Girl Scouts help girls break down barriers , find countless opportunities to discover themselves, connect with the world around them, take action in their communities and empower themselves for life. 

“Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas serves more than 26,000 girls in our community, helping them learn computer coding, get hands-on experiences in the STEM industry, connect with female career mentors, explore nature at our STEM Center of Excellence, build confidence through leadership programs, challenge their fears through outdoor adventures and much more.

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas*

“Please help girls throughout our community try STEM and discover skills and interests that will lead to their success and ours. You can learn more and connect as a volunteer or donor at gsnetx.org. ”

-By Gail Chandler, Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas Committee For Community Engagement co-chair

* Photos provided by Girl Scouts Of Northeast Texas

MySweetWishList: Café Momentum

According to Café Momentum’s 2017 Momentum Society Co-Chair Ashlee Kleinert,

 “The Momentum Society, founded in 2016 by Inaugural Co-Chairs Sally and Forrest Hoglund, set out to connect 80 donors to the mission of Café Momentum: to transform young lives by equipping our community’s most at-risk youth with life skills, education and employment opportunities to help them achieve their full potential. With a $5,000 gift and a belief in that vision, those first 80 donors paved the way for the Momentum Society to empower each young person who walked through the doors of Café Momentum.

Chris and Ashlee Kleinert, TJ and Mackenzie Kleinert, Tyler Kleinert and Nick Babikian and Connie Kleinert*

“This year, my husband, Chris Kleinert, and I are honored to co-chair the Momentum Society effort alongside our family (Connie, Nick, Tyler, Mackenzie and TJ) with the hope that by year’s end, the Momentum Society can reach 100 donors with a $500,000 commitment to provide transformative experiences to young men and women coming out of juvenile facilities. We invite you to join us in this goal and to consider joining the Momentum Society online or by calling Margaret Windham, chief development officer for Café Momentum, at 214.435.6421.

“On Wednesday, November 22, Café Momentum began its participation in the ‘40 Days of Gratitude – Gift A Future’ campaign. During the 40 hectic days that connect Thanksgiving and New Years, we look forward to sharing messages of gratitude from Café Momentum interns and staff as a daily reminder to take time to appreciate the good in each of our lives and to ask the community to consider ‘Gifting a Future’ to the young men and women working their way through our program.

Cafe Momentum is a non-profit restaurant providing a transformative experience through a
post-release internship program for young men and women coming out of juvenile facilities. The interns rotate through all aspects of the restaurant, focusing on life and social skills, coaching and development. The case management team of Cafe Momentum provides an ecosystem of support around the interns to help them achieve their greatest potential. The restaurant is located at 1510 Pacific Ave. at Akard on Thanks-Giving Square in downtown Dallas and serves dinner Thursday through Saturday beginning at 5:30 p.m. For more information call 214.303.1234 or go to http://cafemomentum.org/. You can also find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cafemomentum or Twitter and Instagram using the handle @cafemomentum.

-By Ashlee Kleinert, Café Momentum’s 2017 Momentum Society co-chair

* Photo proved by Café Momentum

MySweetWishList: VNA

According to VNA President and CEO Katherine Krause,

Katherine Krause (File photo)

“VNA has a long tradition serving our most vulnerable neighbors in North Texas through our Meals on Wheels and Hospice Programs.  The goal of VNA Hospice Care is to ensure quality care and compassionate support for medically appropriate patients and their families regardless of access to insurance or ability to pay.

“Hospice is a word many know but few truly understand. For our staff who work with patients facing terminal illness and their families, there is only one way to explain hospice: it’s a gift. As the oldest hospice agency in the state of Texas, VNA has many stories of this “gift” and how special it can be. Our holistic approach to care goes beyond clinical needs. Through the generosity of the Ginger Murchison Foundation, a Hospice Patient Fund was established in 2005 to help VNA hospice patients with non-medical necessities. For those experiencing financial hardship, we provide items such as bed and bath linens, basic toiletry items, assistance with paying utility bills, and during the holidays, purchase gifts for families with children at home.

Visiting Nurse Association*

“This holiday we have the joy of caring for a father (age 31) with a terminal diagnosis and providing support to his wife and three young boys ages 8, 10, and 12.  We are also making spirits a little brighter for two teen boys who lost their beloved grandfather—their primary caregiver—just two months ago.  I could go on with more wonderful stories of our courageous patients and their families.  

“We are blessed to have the Murchison Foundation and other donors contribute to this fund, but our fund is depleting quickly and my wish this holiday season is to ensure we bring joy to patients and their families at such a difficult time.  Will you join me in helping these special families this Christmas by contributing to the Murchison Patient Fund?  Thank you for your generosity this holiday and all year round.”

-By Katherine Krause, VNA president and CEO

* Graphic provided by VNA

MySweetWishList: Ability Connection

According to Ability Connection President and CEO Troy Greisen,

Ability Connection*

“When it comes to gifts, many will put a smile on one’s face, but a gift to Ability Connection has the power to change the life of a child or adult with special needs. Ability Connection creates life change across the state of Texas. We serve over a thousand individuals with disabilities through education, health and vocational training, inclusion, and housing. Children and adults with special needs have been neglected, forgotten, and turned away, even abused and with great discrimination and prejudice. Texas has among the very lowest special education outcomes, inclusion, and employment rates in the country.

“This year, we are wishing for support in helping children and adults with disabilities achieve their highest level of independence and inclusion, through education and employment. All of these individuals we serve need financial assistance in order to receive transportation, or care.

“Give the gift of life change this holiday season:

  • $100 Life Change Scholarship — One year of community volunteering for one adult student
  • $500 Life Change Scholarship — Transportation for job seeking for five adult students
  • $1,000 Life Change Scholarship — One-on-one vocational training and job placement
  • $2,500 Life Change Scholarship — One year of independent living activities for our after school program for children with disabilities
  • $5,000 Life Change Scholarship — One-on-one independent living training for five students

“These gifts will make a world of difference in the lives of children and adults with special needs as they strive to reach their goals of independence and inclusion. To give the gift of Life Change, visit www.abilityconnection.org, or email [email protected]. Thank you!”

-By Troy Greisen, Ability Connection president and CEO

* Photo proved by Ability Connection

MySweetWishList: The Senior Source

According to The Senior Source President and CEO Cortney M. Nicolato,

“As 2017 comes to an end and the holiday season is upon us, we take time to reflect upon our many blessings and the true meaning of the holidays.  Family, friends and togetherness are in the forefront of our minds.  For many seniors in our community, being together with those they love most is easier said than done.

Katy and husband*For example, Katy and her husband, have been married for 54 years. Now, they’re facing the challenges of their older years—together.  Shortly before she was diagnosed with dementia, Katy recognized her memory was slipping. Concerned, she asked her husband, ‘What will I do? How will I remember?’ ‘Don’t worry,’ he assured her. ‘I will be right there with you, and I will remember for the both of us.’ 

“Every 66 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s. The older adult and their caregiver enter into a journey they never expected. Once diagnosed, older adults will need support and their caregivers will need help in taking care of themselves. Luckily, in Dallas, those older adults have The Senior Source to turn to.

The Senior Source*

“The Senior Source matched Katy with a trained and vetted volunteer who offers companionship and assists with daily living activities. The presence of Katy’s volunteer in their lives means her husband is less likely to neglect his own needs while caring for her, and it means they can stay in their home together. This was what they wanted, just as it is the hope of so many older adults.

“Our wish is that all seniors will have the tools they need to live the lives they deserve.  This is one of the many ways we plan to fill the homes of older adults with hope this holiday season and throughout the year. If you are able, please consider a donation to The Senior Source to ensure we can continue to assist, protect, and connect Dallas area older adults today and into the future.

“Visit www.TheSeniorSource.org to learn more and to check out ways you can make a difference.”

-By Cortney M. Nicolato, The Senior Source president and CEO

* Photo provided by The Senior Source

MySweetWishList: Resource Center

According to Resource Center Grants and Foundation Manager Dave Wehrly,

“The only program of its kind in North Texas, Resource Center’s Youth First program serves middle and high school aged lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth, ages 12 to 18, and equips them with the skills and resources they need to lead an authentic life.

Youth First*

“Shortly after Max came out of the closet at the age of 14, his parents became concerned when his grades began to drop and he was often ‘too sick’ to go to school. They suspected that he was being bullied, and turned to Resource Center’s Youth First program. After working with his mental health counselor at Youth First, Max revealed to his parents that he was being bullied at school to the point that he was having thoughts of suicide. Today, through counseling, Max has learned that when he shares what is happening to him at school, his parents can be a source of help and support. Over the past year, Max has been actively involved in many of Youth First’s weekly programs and activities including Healthy Relationship Workshops, Art Club, and Friday Family Dinners.

Resource Center*

“’He is doing better in school and behaving more like the Max we used to know,’ his mother says. ‘I don’t know where he would be today without Youth First. God has put this wonderful program in our lives, and we truly believe it has saved Max’s life.’

“’I really, really love Youth First! I went from literally having zero friends and feeling lonely and depressed, to having lots of friends and being much happier,’ Max says. ‘This was my first summer being a part of Youth First, and the summer art program along with all the field trips and weekly family dinners really opened my eyes to this amazing place. I’ve met so many cool people too! Youth First is a safe place that lets me to be myself and feel accepted. I don’t know where I would go or what I would do without it. Thank you!

Youth First*

“’My wish this holiday is that other teens who are being bullied at school will find their way to Youth First like I did.’

“To donate to Youth First and support LGBTQ youth like Max, contact Cameron Hernholm at [email protected] or go to myresourcecenter.org.

“Mission: Resource Center is a trusted leader that empowers the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) communities and all people affected by HIV through improving health and wellness, strengthening families and communities and providing transformative education and advocacy.”

-By Dave Wehrly, Resource Center Grants and Foundation manager

* Graphic and photo provided by Resource Center

MySweetWishList: Camp Summit

According to Camp Summit CEO Carla Weiland,

Camp Summit*

“My wish this holiday season is that every child and adult with disabilities has the opportunity to experience the joy of camp.

“Campers like Alex, whose parents struggle every month to cover the costs of required medications, doctors’ visits, and ongoing therapies, cannot give their son the camping experience. Many families with children with special needs require help with the cost of accessible recreational activities for their children. They also rarely have the opportunity for respite from the daily tasks of caregiving. Often, they are so overwhelmed with their day-to-day survival that the fun and fulfilling activities other families can enjoy every day seem unreachable.

Camp Summit*

“Over 90% of Camp Summit campers and families receive financial assistance from Camp Summit in order to attend camp. Help us continue our tradition of accepting all campers, regardless of their ability to pay, their age, or the severity of their disability, by donating in support of our 2018 “campership” campaign.

“Your donation helps ensure that our remarkable campers, like Alex and his friends, will never be turned away due to financial hardship, allowing them to experience the freedom of the outdoors, make s’mores around the campfire with new friends, and enjoy a week of adventure with no barriers.

“Support our campers by donating here, or visit www.campsummittx.org to learn more about our barrier-free camp programs. Thank you for making a camper’s dream come true this holiday season. Happy holidays from Camp Summit and our remarkable campers!”

-By Carla Weiland, Camp Summit president and CEO

* Graphic and photo proved by Camp Summit