Karl Zinsmeister’s Talk Included Some Tabasco For Food For Thought At Communities Foundation Of Texas’ Annual Fundholders Dinner

Philanthropy is not all give, give, give. There are a lot of others perks besides sleeping very well at night. For instance, the fundholders at Communities Foundation of Texas are not only appreciated, they’re celebrated annually at an annual dinner. This year’s supper took place on Tuesday, November 1, at CFT (of course!) with keynote speaker/author Karl Zinsmeister, who wrote “How Philanthropy Fuels American Success.” You might be surprised how Tabasco sauce played a part in American philanthropy. Here’s a report from the field:   

Patrick Esquerre, Fonsa and George Brody and Cindy Simmons*

Patrick Esquerre, Fonsa and George Brody and Cindy Simmons*

Mary Anne Cree and Harvey and Rila Ladd

Mary Anne Cree and Harvey and Rila Ladd

It was a lovely evening, celebrating Communities Foundation of Texas’ fund holders and hearing from Karl Zinsmeister. Those attending included Jim and Judy Gibbs, Mary Anne Cree, Patrick Esquerre, Rila and Harvey Ladd, Cindy Simmons, Amelia Barber, Elizabeth Liser, Scott Sweet, Cathy Sweet, Sarah Higdon, Carolyn Tobin, Kristen Parrish and 150 more. CFT board Frank Risch welcomed fund holders to the annual dinner and gave a big congratulations to all staff and fund holders for the incredible $37 million success of North Texas Giving Day. Then he introduced Zinsmeister.

Jim and Judy Gibbs and Ken Smith*

Jim and Judy Gibbs and Ken Smith*

Frank Risch*

Frank Risch*

Zinsmeister showed photos and told stories from his almanac “How Philanthropy Fuels American Success.” Stories centered around three things: great donors, great accomplishments and great ideas. He opened with a neat story about Ned McIlhenny, the maker of Tabasco and how he saved the egret as well as 150 Negro spirituals…both of which would have been lost to time without his efforts. He also talked about Alfred Loomis, who funded the development of radar which helped win World War II, and George Eastman, a chemist who built MIT as well as the Eastman School of Music, among many other important efforts.

Karl Zinsmeister*

Karl Zinsmeister*

Zinsmeister also talked about 80% of giving being from regular individuals citing the founding of almost all Ohio colleges being from farmers pooling their money, all presidents’ homes being saved and run by volunteer groups, etc. He talked about the rise of the internet and the hacker’s code and how giving is like that already. (yep! Like #NTxGivingDay!)

Susan Swan Smith ended with a reminder to register for GiveWisely, and for fund holders to join us for CFT’s annual volunteer event at North Texas Food Bank.

It was a very inspirational evening. Perhaps several locals in the crowd will be the ones for the history books and next edition of this philanthropic hall of fame.

* Photo credit: Can Turkyilmaz

You Did It Again: North Texas Giving Day Busts Previous Records With A Whopping $37,307,196 For 2,518 Nonprofits Thanks To 142,892 Gifts

Well, dang it! Once again Communities Foundation of TexasNorth Texas Giving Day broke all past records hauling in $37,307,196. Gee, don’t you just love the 142,892 North Texas givers who made it happen? Whether its multi-million-dollar buckeroos or the legions of $25 donors, this neighborhood shines in the world of giving.

North Texas Giving Day

North Texas Giving Day

You simply can’t even fathom the appreciation of the nonprofits for folks and organizations coming through on this legendary day.

By the way, this year’s record breaker is the very first in its eight-year history without former CFT Executive Director Brent Christopher, who announced his departure for Children’s Medical Center Foundation earlier this summer.

For a giggle, MySweetCharity contacted Brent about NTGD’s continuing its record-breaking record in the astrosphere of fundraising without him. His reply:

“The team behind North Texas Giving Day is incredible, not to mention all the participating nonprofits. But, I had no idea that I was holding everyone back all these years! This over-the-top total is nothing short of astounding. And, of course, all of us at Children’s Health are thrilled that donors to Children’s played a big part in that success, too.”

Congrats to Communities Foundation of Texas, the 2,518 nonprofits and Brent for creating one of the nation’s most remarkable fundraising accomplishments.

May the fundraising continue. But let’s let the emailboxes take a rest for a day.

From The Pop-Up Stands To The Mega-Events, North Texas Giving Day Is Raising Awareness and Millions For Area Nonprofits

By 3 p.m. today the North Texas Giving Day tote board was busting with more than $18.5 M and over 74,000 gifts. Throughout the region all types of activities are also busting loose thanks to Communities Foundation of Texas!

Celia Weitzel and Lindsay Moreau

Celia Weitzel and Lindsay Moreau

Over at Highland Park Village NTGD flags were waving and at Starbucks, Just Say Yes!’s Celia Weitzel and Lindsay Moreau were womaning a table for coffee-lovers to not only learn about their organization, which helps area students, but to, hopefully, get some donations.

As Celia put it, “We’re appreciative of every donation we can raise to help North Texas students.”

Ashley Wilson, Kevin Hurst and Ros Dawson

Ashley Wilson, Kevin Hurst and Ros Dawson

On the other hand over at NorthPark Center, Nancy Nasher and her team were hosting various nonprofits showing their stuff to all types of donors, beneficiaries and shoppers like Dallas Women’s Foundation’s Ros Dawson, Neiman Marcus’ Kevin Hurst, Business Council for the Arts’ Ashley Wilson, Girls Scouts of Northeast Texas’ Linda Kordek-Milton and Amanda Duquette, SPCA’s Victoria Albrecht and Friends of the Bath House Cultural Center’s Ann Slate Gaspari.

Billie the snake

Billie the snake

The showboaters of the day were, of course, the organizations with critters. From the Dallas Zoo’s Billie the snake fascinating Alcuin School students, Equest’s mini-ambassador posing for photos with folks to Chihuahua Rescue and Transport’s slimmed-down Ariel (she’s down to 12 pounds from 25 when she was in an Arlington ditch in 2013) accepting a Theodore gift card at the noontime drawing, the animals scored in popularity.

Diana Hightower, Ariel, Nancy Nasher and Jennifer Clifford

Diana Hightower, Ariel, Nancy Nasher and Jennifer Clifford

But the humans held their own with all types of entertainment. Whether it was Shakespeare Dallas or the Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, NorthPark’s North Court was filled with music, drama and singing.

Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico

Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico

For a small group of donors, Communities Foundation of Texas board members and NTGD best buds, a private luncheon was held at Theodore’s patio. And despite it being one of the hottest days weather-wise and fundraising-wise, the outdoor luncheoners like Jane Pierce, Becky Bright, Lydia Novakov, Karen Shuford and Lydia Novakov were all smiles and cool.

Frank and Helen Risch

Frank and Helen Risch

CFT Board Chair Frank Risch was checking the leaderboard updates on his smartphone and very pleased with the results. He easily reeled off all of the past successes and had hopes of once again breaking another record with more than 2,500 nonprofits participating.

When asked about the search for CFT’s new executive director, Frank said the search was going very smoothly but they’re continuing to vet applicants.

North Texas Giving Day Is Underway With More Than $6M In Less Than Four Hours

At 6 a.m., did you discover that you were the most popular person in the world when your emailbox filled with “Today’s the day” type missives? Yup. You were warned. North Texas Giving Day has become the Olympics of area fundraising with nonprofits promoting their causes via all types of means — emails, TV, print media and carrier pigeons. Okay, so maybe not carrier pigeons, but you get the drift.

North Texas Giving Day*

North Texas Giving Day*

But it’s working. Within the first 3.5 hours, more than $6M has already been donated via more than 24,000 gifts.

If you want to monitor the progress of overall funding or your absolute fav organization, check the North Texas Giving Day website. You’ll also find a list of activities that are taking place throughout North Texas to promote the fun of fundraising.

And if you want to credit someone with all the hoop-la, send a note to Communities Foundation of Texas. They’re out to break another record this year. Stay tuned.

Brace Yourself — North Texas Giving Day To Dominate Thursday

If you’re emailbox has exploded with nonprofit reminders that Thursday is North Texas Giving Day, there’s good news and a warning.

North Texas Giving Day*

North Texas Giving Day*

First the good news: Within 36 hours the flood of activities and requests will turn into thank yous and there will be a year before the explosion reoccurs.

Now for the warning: Starting at 6 a.m. Thursday is going to busier than the day before a presidential election. But it will definitely be friendlier and more fun. There will be all types of events throughout North Texas and even more requests for donations.

It may seem like an overload, but please realize that more than 2,500 nonprofits are trying to accomplish two things:

  • Raise money that is dearly needed.
  • Raise awareness of their organizations and their missions. Believe it or not there are actually some nonprofits that even you might not have heard of (Darn! Hate ending that sentence with a preposition).
Joe and Jennifer Clifford (File photo)

Joe and Jennifer Clifford (File photo)

The Communities Foundation of Texas team has been working tirelessly for months to provide these nonprofits with a platform to achieve these two goals. Why even Jennifer Clifford has stayed just to help make it a record breaker! You did know that her husband First Presbyterian Church Dallas Rev. Joe Clifford has moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, to head up Myers Park Presbyterian Church, where Jennifer will soon be headed.

So, forgive the deluge of emails and hoopla, but it’s all being done for the betterment of North Texas.

BTW, if you want to get even with the NTGD organizers, overload the donation online site. The MySweetCharity elves still giggle about 2011 when you blew the circuits with your kindness.

North Texas Giving Day Booster: NorthPark Center

North Texas Giving Day*

North Texas Giving Day*

“To celebrate the philanthropic spirit of our city and the wonderful work of our local nonprofits, NorthPark Center is honored to partner with Communities Foundation of Texas for a special Donation Station event for North Texas Giving Day on Thursday, September 22, 2016.

North Texas Giving Day is the one day each year when donations of $25 or more are amplified by bonus funds and prizes. This event has grown over the years into the largest giving day in the nation, raising over $119 million since its inception in 2009. Last year, an astounding 118,000 gifts totaling $33 million benefited more than 2,000 worthy nonprofit organizations.

Ballet Folklorico dancer (File photo)

Ballet Folklorico dancer (File photo)

“In celebration of this day, NorthPark will welcome many important nonprofits as well as showcase special entertainment by some of our region’s best performing arts organizations, such as Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Dallas Children’s Theater, Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts Dance Company, Junior Players, Lone Star Wind Orchestra, Shakespeare Dallas, and The Singing Girls of Texas and Texas Boys Choir from Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts, among others.

“Save the date now to attend KidsGive, which provides children with a chance to donate their loose change and help with nearly a dozen hands-on, philanthropic activities like stuffing goodie bags with toiletries for Attitudes and Attire and writing notes to deployed soldiers with Patriot PAWS Service Dogs. Children can also engage with animals from Dallas Zoo, SPCA of Texas and Equest.

Nancy Nasher*

Nancy Nasher*

“We hope to see you at NorthPark Center on Thursday, September 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in NorthCourt, on Level One between Nordstrom and Macy’s.”

Nancy A. Nasher, NorthPark Center President and Owner

______

In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support North Texas Giving Day by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

* Photo provided by NorthPark Center

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Imagination Fort Worth

Imagination Fort Worth*

Imagination Fort Worth*

Imagination Fort Worth is proud to have served the Fort Worth and Statewide community since 1989, by filling an important need-access to quality, educational, enriching arts programs that not only enhance children’s knowledge of the arts, but all the major academic subjects as well. Our programs are strengthening student’s school engagement, school achievement, social awareness and self-confidence. IFW programs also fill an important need in local schools that would like to have opportunities to enhance learning, but often cannot afford them.

Imagination Fort Worth*

Imagination Fort Worth*

“IFW produces and presents arts integrated educational programming, mostly free of charge, for over 65,000 students, grades Pre K-12 each year. Our programs utilize professional artists, cutting edge technology and research that ties our experiences back into the student’s classroom curriculum.  Our unique programs are collaborative as we partner with dozens of schools, museums, cultural and arts institutions and local businesses. We are proud of our history of sharing the arts with students who are both ethnically diverse and economically challenged.

“By introducing educational, innovative, interactive and meaningful arts experiences to students, Imagination Fort Worth is making a lasting impact in their lives and in our community.”

-By Lauri McKay Bevan, Imagination Fort Worth Executive Director

 * Photos provided by Imagination Fort Worth

______

In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support Imagination Fort Worth by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

North Texas Giving Day Booster: OurCalling

“Nonprofits fighting poverty in North Texas are facing an uphill battle. With one of the highest poverty rates in the country and a rapidly growing population, this recipe yields a growing mass of people struggling to survive. On top of that, nonprofits are strapped for resources to meet these growing challenges.

“It’s in this desert of resources that the North Texas Giving Day provides an oasis to replenish and restore hope to our city. They allow us to raise our flag to encourage every-day citizens to be a part our team, support our cause, and join the mission.

OurCalling*

OurCalling*

“And what does a small nonprofit like OurCalling do with money from local donors? We work on projects like our mobile app to help the homeless (ourcalling.org/app). The Dallas Morning News, The New York Post and countless other media outlets throughout the country have written about our app. It’s unlike any other app on your phone. It enables every cell phone user in Dallas to assist the homeless by pointing to shelters, rehabs, domestic violence centers, food resources and more. The app uses your GPS location to show you the closest resources to where you are standing. It also uses your location to allow you to report a homeless encampment so our qualified teams can respond, visit that location and help the people living on the streets.

OurCalling*

OurCalling*

“There is no other app like this on the App Store and this is another example of Dallas leading in the fight to help the homeless. Nonprofits from the East coast, West Coast and throughout the country have contacted us about how to develop similar apps. We also produce a printed booklet listing the top 50 most accessible service providers in Dallas County (ourcalling.org/directory). This provides a handy and healthy alternative to give to someone on the streets. These projects and more are funded by local Dallas donors to help local Dallas needs.

“We also use funds from Giving Day to feed hungry people, support addiction recovery classes, provide daily Bible studies, life skills classes, and support mentoring programs to help rebuild and transform homeless individuals.

“Giving Day is a beautiful day for nonprofits like OurCalling. We serve 8,500 homeless individuals living in 1,200 encampments throughout the city of Dallas. We couldn’t do this without community-wide support driven by the North Texas Giving Day. This year, one of our great donors has provided a matching grant to be a catalyst for even more giving. What an exciting opportunity!”

-By Pastor Wayne Walker, OurCalling Executive Director

* Graphics provided by OurCalling

______

In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support OurCalling by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Volunteer McKinney

Dana Riley*

Dana Riley*

Volunteer McKinney is unique in that the ‘clients’ we serve are 120 local nonprofits who are located in and around Collin County. We host nonprofit and volunteer management trainings, networking events and large scale volunteer events all in an effort to build the capacity of local nonprofits and increase the efficiency of volunteers who serve them.  It is sometimes hard for people to understand what we do and I often say ‘We are the Match.com for people seeking ways to volunteer.’ Utilizing technology, volunteers can connect with one of our agencies with just a click and can also learn about events and even find out what in-kind needs the agencies have.

Volunteer McKinney*

Volunteer McKinney*

“Although our role in North Texas Giving Day is as an agency who is seeking donations, we are also the host agency for the Collin County Donation Station. This puts us right in the middle of a lot of exciting happenings and we are grateful for the opportunity to bring this event to Collin County. There is nothing like being a part of the event and seeing the agencies arrive. Volunteers are on hand to help them and we all celebrate each other during the event times. We will greet people, talk about our agencies and hopefully get a few extra dollars in our accounts so that we can continue the work that we do!  We hope that people will get in their car and drive to McKinney and see what all the fuss is about!

Volunteer McKinney*

Volunteer McKinney*

Coordinating this local event is easy for us. We do this kind of work all the time, but Giving Day is the one day that we get to join together for the good of all.  We love what we do and want to encourage you to get to know us better by visiting www.volunteermckinney.org.”

-By Dana Riley, Volunteer McKinney Executive Director

 * Graphic and photo provided by Volunteer McKinney

______

In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support Volunteer McKinney by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Friends Of The Mansfield Public Library

“When Ingrid Villar decided to stay home to raise her three children, one of her girlfriends told her, ‘You’ve got to find a library. You’ll be amazed to see how many things they offer for kids.’ So Villar did, and now she wishes everyone was aware of what a gem the Mansfield Public Library is.

“’I don’t think people realize how much the library offers,’ said Ingrid, a weekly patron. ‘They think it’s just books without realizing how much there is to enrich their lives.’

“Since moving to North Texas from California about two years ago, Ingrid and her three kids – now three, five and seven – go the Mansfield Public Library nearly every Wednesday for story time and, of course, to check out books.

Friends of Mansfield Public Library*

Friends of Mansfield Public Library*

“The weekly visit has become an anticipated event in the Villar household and is a big part of Ingrid’s parenting. She loves the learning opportunities that story time provides for her children beyond reading comprehension, which is crucial in education. ‘This is all preparing them for school, so when their teacher says, “You have to listen to me,” they’ll know what to do.’

“The Villar family story underscores an important message librarians have been spreading this year –libraries change lives, whether that’s through child literacy programs, free Internet access so people can search for job opportunities, or adult art classes that foster camaraderie. Libraries are more than places to check out books.

“Earlier this year Mansfield Public Library became one of the first libraries in Texas to offer WiFi hotspots for checkout. The community institution is also establishing a Family Place Library for early childhood development, and will soon offer U.S. citizenship classes.

“To aid the hard-working staff of Mansfield’s only library, the all-volunteer nonprofit Friends of the Mansfield Public Library was established to support the library through fundraising, promotion and advocacy.

“The Friends believe in the library’s power to transform lives, which is why we raise money to purchase things that aren’t in the normal budget. This year our donations went toward many things – a one-year public performance movie license, tables and board games for family programs, supplies for new adult programs – with the biggest donation helping to fund the summer reading program, which can be one of the busiest times at the library with students on summer break.

Amanda Eyre Ward talks at the annual Mansfield Reads! program put on by the Friends of the Mansfield Library at the Evening With The Author event.

Amanda Eyre Ward talks at the annual Mansfield Reads! program put on by the Friends of the Mansfield Library at the Evening With The Author event.

“The Friends also host Mansfield Reads!, an annual award-winning program where they bring authors like Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler and New York Times best-sellers Sandra Brown and J.A. Jance to speak to the community. With the tagline ‘One City, One Book,’ the free event fosters a sense of community through reading and public dialogue about the selected literature.

“’This is our first year to participate in North Texas Giving Day, and we are so excited,’ said Carol Ann Grantham, president of the Friends. ‘Mansfield is growing quickly, and our organization needs to keep up with the city’s development to continue to support our already fantastic library and its services.’

“By participating in Giving Day, the Friends hope to increase awareness about their group, the library’s services, and raise more money to purchase items for the library that aren’t funded by the regular budget.”

-By Lindsey Perkins Wade, Mansfield Reads! Vice President

* Photo provided by Friends of the Mansfield Public Library
______

In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support Friends of the Mansfield Public Library by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Wings

“Can you feel the buzz? That’s the sound of excitement in the air as thousands of nonprofits gear up for North Texas Giving Day on Thursday, September 22.

“Over the years countless women and men around the country have stepped up to give millions of dollars to nonprofits across North Texas. It’s a terrific tribute to philanthropy and its impact on our community. Even more, it’s a bright spot for those charities in the community helping those overwhelmed by the challenges of poverty.

“Today Dallas has the highest rate of child poverty in the country with more than 1 in 3 children living at or below the poverty line. Research shows that childhood exposure to poverty and stress has both immediate and long-term effects on development, behavior, and health. At Wings, we work alongside many worthwhile community organizations to provide solutions for those looking to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Simply said, our goal is to provide women and families a path to a better life.

Wings*

Wings*

“Our Nurse-Family Partnership program helps first-time moms have healthy pregnancies and babies, with 60+ home visits from a Wings nurse over a 2-1/2 year period. Through the Women’s Enterprise Center, women grow or launch their own small business. While our Finance & Career program strengthens the economic security of women and families by providing the building blocks not to just be financially secure in the present, but to move up in the future creating a ripple effect for generations.

“Over the years we’ve seen women equipped the right tools and resources, pull themselves out of debt, increase their credit score and purchase a home for their families. This past year alone 12 Wings graduates launched their small business, putting them on a path to financial security.   Bottom line – our programs work, thanks in large part to the companies, foundations, United Way, and individuals who invest in the future of those we serve.

“I’m known to brag about our work at Wings, for good reason. Yet we are just one of thousands of successful nonprofits across the community that count on your support to deliver programs, and more importantly, solutions to those in need. So on September 22nd, when you are overcome by the North Texas Giving Day buzz (brought to your inbox by thousands of emails from worthy charities), I hope you’ll think about what you can do to put someone in need on the path to a better life.  Your gift that one day can change another’s future forever.”

-By Jennifer M. Ware, Wings Chief Executive Officer

* Photo Credit: Lydia Thompson Urban Institute
_____

In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support Wings by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Dancing Classrooms North Texas

Dancing Classrooms North Texas’ mission is to build social awareness, confidence and self-esteem in children through the practice of social dance. Our vision is to help create schools and communities where every child is connected, respected, and provided a safe environment in which to thrive. Dancing Classrooms North Texas (DCNT) began as a program of the Tarrant County Youth Collaboration in 2006. DCNT now serves more than 7,000 students annually and is proud of its partnerships throughout the years with Arlington, Birdville, Dallas, Fort Worth, Hurst Euless Bedford, and Grand Prairie Independent School Districts, as well as Dallas Catholic Diocese Schools and Uplift Education Charter Schools.

Dancing Classrooms North Texas*

Dancing Classrooms North Texas*

“Dancing Classrooms is not about teaching ballroom dance. The dance is a tool for getting the children to break down social barriers, learn about honor and respect, treat others carefully, improve self-confidence and physical fitness, communicate and cooperate, and accept others even if they are different.

“Dancing Classrooms is a 10-week/20 session social, emotional and physical learning development program for 5th and 8th grade children that utilizes ballroom dancing as a vehicle to change the lives of not only the children who participate in the program but also the lives of the teachers and parents who support these children. Many school districts throughout North Texas have a high need for Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) programs to engage students. SEL is the process through which children acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. SEL programming is based on the understanding that the best learning emerges in the context of supportive relationships that make learning challenging, engaging and meaningful. DCNT provides schools a social emotional learning (SEL) curriculum coupled with physical activity, allowing for student engagement and effective classroom instruction.

Dancing Classrooms North Texas*

Dancing Classrooms North Texas*

“Dancing Classrooms uses a curriculum-based teaching approach to achieve social awareness, build self-esteem, respect for others, diversity and anti-bullying practices. Students are taught the vocabulary of various contemporary social dances in a classroom setting. Each class in the series introduces new steps, reinforcing what has been previously learned through practice and repetition.

“Every $25 raised through North Texas Giving Day provides two children with the opportunity to gain the social and emotional benefits of DCNT for the full semester residency. For every $1500 raised on NTX Giving Day, DCNT is able to add another school program to our benefits. NTX Giving Day has generated over $20,000 for DCNT over the past 2 years of participation serving nearly 15 classrooms and over 600 children and youth in North Texas schools.”

-By Tacia Torres, Dancing Classrooms North Texas Executive Director

* Graphic and photo provided by Dancing Classrooms North Texas

______

In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support Dancing Classrooms North Texas by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Dogs Of Hilltown

Dogs of Hilltown (DOH) firmly believes that the only way to end the cycle of unwanted dogs is to start with medical outreach, owner education and spay and neuter efforts. We are committed to spaying, neutering and vaccinating every owned and stray dog in an isolated area called Hilltown.

Dogs Of Hilltown*

Dogs Of Hilltown*

“Hilltown is an unincorporated community, and thus lacks many municipal services. Whether it is spaying or neutering owned dogs, feeding street dogs that call Hilltown home, or providing adoption support to unwanted or abandoned dogs — every donation benefits the dogs.

“Since forming in March 2016, DOH has rescued 110 unwanted dogs from Hilltown and placed them with amazing furever families. Dogs from Hilltown are always in desperate need of extensive medical help when they are captured from the street. Each dog must be vaccinated, cleaned of internal and external parasites, spayed and neutered. The majority of the rescued dogs have severe intestinal parasites along with extensive heartworms. These treatments and medications come at a steep price but we believe these dogs deserve to be healthy. They are innocent and completely helpless to the whim of humans. They deserve to at least feel no pain.

Dogs Of Hilltown*

Dogs Of Hilltown*

“In addition to providing adoption support, DOH has an extensive outreach program that we are extremely passionate about.  Dogs of Hilltown provides spay and neutering to owned dogs. We also ask the residents of Hilltown to contact us whenever their dog has a medical emergency. We have been contacted at all hours of the day — anything from dying puppies under a trailer to dogs getting snake bites, to dogs fighting over a female in heat… We never say no to helping not only the dogs of Hilltown but also the residents.

Dogs Of Hilltown*

Dogs Of Hilltown*

“Since the beginning we have wanted to create a mutual respect between our volunteers and the residents of Hilltown. No dog owner wants to be ridiculed for the way they care for their dogs. We want the residents of Hilltown to trust us and know that we are not passing judgment on their financial situation. We know that they love their dogs and are trying to do the best that they can do. In our outreach program we have created educational materials in Spanish and English that caters to the residents of Hilltown. We hope by educating the residents about basic pet care we will be able to end the cycle of unwanted puppies and teach the truth about some of the medical myths concerning heartworms and fleas we often hear in Hilltown.

“Our incredible team of volunteers spend countless hours of their own time feeding Hilltown dogs, running offsite adoption events, fostering multiple dogs at a time, transporting dogs to and from the vet, and hundreds of other tasks that are necessary to keep the mission of DOH alive.

Dogs Of Hilltown*

Dogs Of Hilltown*

“Without our supporters and donors- what we do would not be possible. Every time we open a new bag of dog food- every time we see a street dog play with a dog toy for the first time in their life — every time we see a newly healthy dog wag his tail — we send a silent ‘thank you’ to our supporters and donors.

“We are honored to be able to join our fellow nonprofits for this year’s North Texas Giving Day. It is truly amazing seeing all of North Texas come together and support our local nonprofit organizations. We wish every nonprofit good luck and best wishes!”

-By Teresa Mustafa, Dogs of Hilltown Director

* Photos provided by Dogs of Hilltown
______

In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support Dogs of Hilltown by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

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

Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children is the nation’s premier pediatric center for the treatment of orthopedic conditions and sports injuries, as well as certain related arthritic and neurological conditions and learning disorders, such as dyslexia. For almost 95 years, we’ve provided exceptional medical care to the children of Texas. Through decades of economic ups and downs, individuals, foundations and corporations in our community have supported our work and made it possible for us to continue in our mission, caring for children regardless of any family’s ability to pay. Our successes are due to wonderful friends like you!

“As we look back, we’re incredibly grateful for the partnerships we’ve forged through community-wide events like North Texas Giving Day (NTxGD). Oh, what a difference A DAY makes!  Since we first stepped foot into the NTxGD ring, we’ve raised more than $355,000 to underwrite the cost of Patient Care at the hospital.  These monies are used to cover the costs of everything from clinic visits and surgeries to patient art programs and recreational camps. More precisely, the funds are used to give children back a childhood that might otherwise be lost to complex diagnoses and frightening medical procedures. Thanks to our NTxGD donors, children like Hayden – who began receiving treatment at Scottish Rite Hospital when he was just 18 months old – have a chance to bounce back and move forward, inspiring all of us with their resilience and fire.

Harlem Globetrotter Anthony 'Buckets' Blakes, Dr. Karl Rathjen, Hayden Vallee and Harlem Globetrotter Fatima 'TNT' Maddox*

Harlem Globetrotter Anthony ‘Buckets’ Blakes, Dr. Karl Rathjen, Hayden Vallee and Harlem Globetrotter Fatima ‘TNT’ Maddox*

“In 2008, Hayden was diagnosed with Early Onset Scoliosis, a rare and potentially fatal form of spinal curvature. Initially, the 79-degree curve in his spine was treated using halo gravity traction and a series of Mehta casts which were adjusted and replaced every 8 to 16 weeks. Later, traditional metal support rods were implanted. Unfortunately, his condition did not resolve. In 2015, Hayden became one of the first patients at Scottish Rite Hospital to be surgically fitted with MAGEC rods. Unlike traditional spinal implants, MAGEC rods do not require additional surgeries to make adjustments. Instead, an external magnetic controller is used to non-invasively lengthen or shorten the implanted spinal rod. Periodic lengthening allows the rod to provide adequate bracing during growth and ultimately slows curve progression.

“Thanks to our talented surgeons and this incredible technology, Hayden’s prognosis is good – he’s out having a ball and doing all the things a typical nine-year old does.  In fact, he recently hiked his first mountain! Donors who support our work and believe in the unlimited potential of our special patients have made such a difference for Hayden and for thousands more children challenged by orthopedic conditions like scoliosis. With the ongoing care of our clinicians and continuing assistance of our community, we know the inspirational stories of our patients will continue to unfold in amazing ways!

“Thursday, September 22, is your chance to make a difference for kids.  Get Up and Give to Scottish Rite Hospital!”

-By Stephanie Brigger, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital For Children Vice President of Development

* Photo provided by Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
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In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Veterans Center Of North Texas

“The Veterans Center of North Texas is a nonprofit organization operated and managed 100% by community volunteers. The majority of the staff consists of Veterans with the goal to assist other North Texas Veterans and their families to find the benefits and services they need to establish and maintain productive lifestyles with our communities. Our goal is to serve our Veteran community in a manner that will reduce or eliminate the confusion on available services and will greatly assist our Veterans and their families to locate the aid and assistance they need and deserve to rapidly integrate into our North Texas communities.

Veterans Center of North Texas*

Veterans Center of North Texas*

“Funds are required to lease and operate a small office facility to support Veterans and their families in a secure, private and friendly environment. Funds will be used to maintain the lease of our 600 square foot facility, and provide operating funds for our telephones and internet, insurance and general office supplies. Volunteers provide 100% of the staff needed to operate and manage the Veterans Center of North Texas without additional cost. Our dedicated volunteers receive exceptional satisfaction by assisting our Veterans to find the resources needed to become productive members of our communities.

“We serve over 60 Veterans per month from all areas of North Texas. Our Veterans contact us with a multitude of questions and issues. The top three areas that our Veterans need support with are homelessness, including rental assistance, employment or under-employment and basic subsistence.  We have developed solid relationships with the Veterans Affairs, housing authorities and local outreach agencies to assist our Veterans to obtain both emergency shelter and long-term housing. Frequently our Veterans require emergency funds to help them through rough times often driven by unemployment or under employment.  We have achieved excellent results assisting with near-term housing. Additionally, there is a growing and compelling need for emergency shelters and affordable housing in North Texas. We are integral members of the Collin County Homeless Coalition and a member of the MyVA Board seeking options for housing for our needy Veterans.

Veterans Center of North Texas volunteers*

Veterans Center of North Texas volunteers*

“Unemployment and under employment are still commanding issues with our Veterans and their families. We have found there is a direct relationship between employment and housing. We have formed strong alliances with job training programs and employment centers to assist our Veterans to secure living wage jobs. Long term initiatives have benefited our Veterans to achieve degree and certificate programs, access health and medical programs and secure legal and financial assistance.

Veterans Center of North Texas monument*

Veterans Center of North Texas monument*

“North Texas Giving Day has increased the general public awareness of the support and assistance required by our Veterans. North Texas Giving Day has afforded the Veterans Center of North Texas to receive increased recognition across North Texas that has resulted in an expanded Veteran population to locate the benefits and services that are available within our communities. Funding to operate and maintain our facility while we are serving our North Texas Veterans and their families has been derived primarily through resources from the North Texas Giving Day program. The funds provided by the Giving Day program have allowed us to focus our attention and energy on serving our Veterans.  We have been able to build an extensive service network that has enabled us to serve over 60 Veterans per month with exceptional and long-term results. Our target goal is to grow our organization through networking and volunteers to serve over 200 Veterans per month. North Texas Giving Day has provided our foundation and continues to ensure our future success for our Veterans and their families.”

-By Paul Hendricks, Veterans Center of North Texas Director

* Graphic and photos provided by Veterans Center of North Texas
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In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support Veterans Center of North Texas by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Reel Recovery Inc.

Reel Recovery Inc.*

Reel Recovery Inc.*

“’I just arrived at this fly fishing retreat that my wife signed me up for; I have no idea who these guys are that are milling around with smiles on their faces, I have nothing in common with anyone, shoot I don’t even know how to fly fish.

“’Oddly, I find myself striking up conversations with these men and I find out I have a lot in common; they don’t know anything about fly fishing either, they each have cancer or have had cancer and their wives signed them up, too!

“’After meeting my fishing buddy and a quick crash course in how to cast a fly rod it was time to fish.  I found myself with blinders on; the only thing I could see is my fly in the water and the fish underneath it. The focus of the day was when that fish was going to take the fly.  The cancer, pain, and worries were gone during the time on the water; it was me, my fishing buddy and those darn finicky fish.

Reel Recovery Inc.*

Reel Recovery Inc.*

“’The last day of the retreat came too quick. I wasn’t ready to leave my new best friends, my fishing buddy that wants to meet me on the water again real soon, but most importantly I don’t want to leave those fish. There were hugs and tears.’

“This is a story of many men that come to a Texas Reel Recovery retreat and at the same time, why Reel Recovery is successful. Reel Recovery provides free 3-day Fly Fishing Retreats for Men with Cancer. Retreats are held across the country at premier facilities, with access to fishing; all meals, lodging, fishing equipment and one-one instruction are provided at no cost to the participants. Men with all forms of cancer in any stage are eligible, with a maximum of 14 invited to each retreat. The Retreats allow for the sharing of cancer experiences in professionally facilitated ‘Courageous Conversations.’

“‘I have to admit I did not want to leave. No, it wasn’t the facility that made me want to stay…it was the assembly of people…..Men….Men with Cancer. The longer we were there, together as one… the more I left my cancer thoughts behind.’ – Jerry R.

“‘I met about a dozen other cancer survivors and there are still several of us that remain in close contact and support of each other since the retreat.  One thing that made the retreat special was the time we met as a group and shared our experience and feelings about cancer.’ – JJ

Reel Recovery Inc.*

Reel Recovery Inc.*

“Reel Recovery was founded in 2003 in Colorado, currently serving approximately 30 states and is geographically growing each year. The Texas Chapter of Reel Recovery is the largest in the U.S. and is currently holding five retreats a year and is expanding in 2017.

“For more information about Reel Recovery, go to www.texasreelrecovery.org  and to read a great insightful first hand story check out Fishing Report by Shannon D., also a local fishing guide!

“Lastly, if you appreciate what we are doing, please make sure to stop by our page on North Texas Giving Day and make a donation so we can continue to serve these courageous men!”

-By Brent Walters, Reel Recovery Inc., Retreat Coordinator

* Photos provided by Reel Recovery Inc.
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In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support Reel Recovery Inc. by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Heard Natural Science Museum And Wildlife Sanctuary

“When Bessie Heard founded Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary in 1967, the (then) 270 acre property was surrounded by countryside. But she saw how other cities had moved into their natural spaces, leaving little for posterity. Miss Bessie (as children called her) knew this could one day be a possibility for her community and wanted to make sure that future generations could connect with nature in a nature preserve and that wildlife would have a sanctuary.

Great blue heron*

Great blue heron*

“Today, as you drive out to the Heard, you will see that her foresight was keen and never before more relevant for the future. The rapid development of the DFW Metroplex further demonstrates the value of this resource which will allow future generations to connect with nature.

“Protecting this natural resource becomes increasingly more difficult as more of the land is developed upstream. Because portions of the Heard are located on a major flood plain, it is also subject to anything that washes downstream from runoff.

“As you may have observed, trash often washes downstream. Less easy to observe are the fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and more that also find their way down waterways. At even a molecular level, these changes can impact an array of flora and fauna. Additionally, seeds and pieces of invasive plant species wash downstream and take root in the wildlife sanctuary. As more of the native plant life, which provides some natural filtration and keeps soil in place, is destroyed upstream, we will continue to see an amplification of these chemical changes and an increase in deposited sediment.

Prothonotary warbler*

Prothonotary warbler*

“With your help on North Texas Giving Day, we are working to secure funding to help us continue to protect and restore our wetlands, which bear the brunt of many of these negative impacts. We will also work to increase the Heard wetlands’ already significant viability as a habitat and nesting area for many native bird species. The manpower to accomplish these tasks will be considerable and we will continue to need to keep our supplies and tools in working order. We will also need to acquire new tools and supplies. With these resources, the Heard staff and volunteers will be able to remove invasive plants. We will also be able to put in place natural erosion control methods as well as repair damage from previous floods. Much of this project will also include planting new native plant life to restore what has been damaged by both natural and manmade causes.

“Last year, during North Texas Giving Day, the Heard raised over $10,000 in one day. If we meet or exceed that amount this year, we will be able to accomplish many of our planned wetland restoration and preservation projects. Thank you for your support and consideration of our project! With your help we will sustain the Heard’s mission to bring nature and people together to discover, enjoy, experience, restore and preserve our priceless environment.”

-By Stephanie Jennings, Heard Natural Science Museum And Wildlife Sanctuary Marketing And Communications Director

* Photo credit: Julie Custer
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In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support Heard Natural Science Museum And Wildlife Sanctuary by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Interfaith Family Services

“It’s a bright beautiful summer day. You see kids playing with their parents in the park. You want to do the same and play in the sun with your child, but neither of you has had a decent meal in a few days, or a warm shower. Instead, you both continue to watch the families play through the car window, as you reminisce about the days  before times got hard, before you were laid off from your job, before you lost the house, and before everything fell apart.

“Unfortunately, moments like these are real for many homeless families in Dallas – over half of which are headed by single mothers. It is close to impossible for these women to be able to provide the quality of life their children deserve when they are struggling to find the confidence and internal strength to pick themselves back up again. Financial hardships affect children emotionally – many times they feel out of place, rejected by their school peers, and abandoned by their friends. This, in turn, can make them feel depressed, act out, or even fall behind in their studies. In fact, the average homeless child is four grade levels behind their peers in reading.

Interfaith Family Services*

Interfaith Family Services*

“At Interfaith Family Services, our mission is to empower families in crisis to break the cycle of poverty. We provide stable housing, counseling services for both parents and children, career coaching and job training. Additionally, children receive the tutoring and daily homework support that they need to fill the academic gap resulting from their families’ instability. We genuinely strive to not only get working poor families off the street, but to also improve their overall quality of life. If we can help people mentally and financially prepare for hardships, then they can avoid these situations in the future. Last fiscal year, 90% of our families obtained employment and transitioned to permanent housing and 95% of our graduates maintained employment two years after leaving our program. We are passionate about the success of our residents and we are extremely blessed and grateful to have an amazing group of donors, volunteers, and supporters to help us achieve our goals.

“That is why North Texas Giving Day is so important! Last year, with the money raised on that momentous day, we were able to provide life-changing opportunities to equip homeless parents to fight poverty while empowering children, like Michael, to avoid falling prey to it as an adult. Michael was a shy and reserved 5th grader who entered Interfaith four grade levels behind in reading. Without any intervention, summer learning loss may have caused Michael to begin the school year even more behind. However, thanks to Interfaith’s innovative Hope and Horizons Children’s Program, Michael blossomed into a more confident young man who became eager to learn. Now, he is reading at the 11th grade level! Then, there was Ricky. A 14-year-old, Ricky arrived at Interfaith reluctant to identify a career goal because being homeless made it difficult for him to dream. However, through our donors’ generosity, Ricky attended an amazing college tour of universities located on the East coast. After returning from the tour and learning about financial aid, Ricky enthusiastically stated that he plans to go to college and eventually become a neurologist. Ricky and Michael are not alone. Last year, nearly 74% of all Interfaith children advanced one or more grade levels in reading, and 70% advanced one or more grade levels in math! Most importantly, over 90% now have aspirations of going on to college.

“When you support Interfaith on North Texas Giving Day, you are not just helping homeless parents to overcome poverty, but you are helping children to break its cycle.  That is why we are encouraging you to Get Up and Give. The future of our community depends on it!

“May God bless you!”

-By Kimberly Williams, Interfaith Family Services Chief Executive Officer

* Photo provided by Interfaith Family Services
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In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support Interfaith Family Services by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

North Texas Giving Day Booster: McKinney Young Artist Competition

“Approaching its 20th anniversary, the annual McKinney Young Artist Competition is a nurturing weekend experience for pianists age 14-18 that involves recitals, competition performances, master classes, and over $5,000 in scholarships. The standard competition format has been transformed into a win-win situation in which all ten finalists receive scholarship awards and are treated with hometown hospitality.

“Ten finalists are pre-selected every year to compete during the weekend event which begins with a recital from a world-renowned judge. Following their own competition performance, all ten finalists participate in master classes with the judge, and at the end of the weekend play again in a final recital. At the Awards ceremony, four Grand Prize winners receive scholarships of $1,000 each, the other six receive $300, and one pianist is chosen for the Karen Austin Memorial Master Class award. By the time of our 20th anniversary, 200 young pianists will have been positively affected by this competition.

‘Says one former competitor: ‘I have been to many competitions that have promised a rewarding experience, but none have demonstrated the professionalism of this competition.  Everyone was really treated like a winner, because we all had the opportunity to work with great inspirational artists. I really liked how everyone was given a lot of personal attention, whether they were one of the four Grand Prize winners or not. I felt like they were speaking to me as if I was an artist who was just as accomplished as they were.’

“The McKinney Musical Arts Society is dedicated to excellence in performance that fosters musical enjoyment, education and awareness. Our primary purpose is to support the McKinney Young Artist Competition for pianists while bringing quality musical performances to McKinney. We are committed to diverse and creative musical productions, supporting the performing arts, and encouraging young artists.

“Founded in 1998, this is our first year with North Texas Giving Day. Help us continue to help encourage the young pianists who will be our future artists!”

-By Dr. Mary Humm, McKinney Young Artist Competition Founder and Artistic Director

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In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support McKinney Young Artist Competition by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

North Texas Giving Day Booster: My Possibilities

“According to recent census figures, more than 230,000 individuals with a cognitive disability reside in the DFW Metropolitan area. Representing a population that is roughly the size of the entire city of Plano, adults with special needs have very few educational opportunities available once they age out of the public school system.

My Possibilities**

My Possibilities**

“At My Possibilities (MP) we seek to fill this void by providing quality educational programs that challenge the status quo within the industry. Individuals in our programs, lovingly referred to as HIPsters (Hugely Important People), are given opportunities to advance their development in independent living, pre-vocational and vocational skills, health and wellness, community involvement, creative expression, and self-advocacy. My Possibilities goes far and beyond what other programs offer within the state of Texas.

Tripp and Debbie*

Tripp and Debbie*

“One unique area of education offered at My Possibilities is the Culinary Arts Program, which was launched in 2014. Two full-time instructors, who both have extensive backgrounds in the culinary industry, teach the HIPsters the basics of practical home cooking, including food safety, food preparation, how to operate appliances, and how to shop at local grocery stores, all of which cultivate development of their independent living skills.

Adam, Nikki, Dirk, Diana, Amanda, Justin, Rachel and Brian**

Adam, Nikki, Dirk, Diana, Amanda, Justin, Rachel and Brian**

“’As the Culinary Arts Program grew over the following years it became obvious that the culinary world aligned seamlessly with the mission and objectives of My Possibilities. “We realized that a large group of HIPsters were demonstrating a natural aptitude in the kitchen, and furthermore, those individuals could potentially gain employment in the industry,’ said Michael Thomas, Executive Director for the organization.

“From this success came the creation of My Possibilities Catering Services in September 2015. In this program a group of HIPsters are paid employees of My Possibilities, and they prep, cook, and serve food for special events in the community. Just in the first year the HIPsters catered over 40 events for up to three hundred people at a time. The team’s reputation grew, their experience reached new levels of proficiency, and they now have the capacity to cater 7-10 events per week. HIPsters with a keen interest in food preparation or other aspects of the culinary arts now have a vocational pathway to develop professional skills, earn income, and experience the pride that accompanies success.

Culinary Class at Whole Foods Plano**

Culinary Class at Whole Foods Plano**

“Regardless of the interest in working within their communities, employment opportunities for people with disabilities are lacking. With such a lack of diversity in the workforce, training at My Possibilities allows the HIPsters to gain relevant work experience, enabling them to become viable candidates for employment in the community. The combination of hands on training and support from the MP University job coach ensures a secure future for an otherwise underemployed population.

“Brian is one HIPster who has benefitted from the many educational programs offered at My Possibilities. Almost a year ago Brian took a class to receive his Food Handler License in the City of Plano, and today he works full-time in the kitchen at Sunrise Senior Living. Because of the leadership and guidance he received from the culinary instructors, experience attained with MP Catering team, and onsite job training with a certified job coach, Brian was able to prove his value as an employee.

“Alongside over 2,000 non-profits in North Texas, My Possibilities will be participating in North Texas Giving Day on Thursday, September 22. This is a brilliant opportunity for people across the nation to come together to support the North Texas community. Donations made to My Possibilities on this day will help take their innovative programs to an even higher level. Make your donation on September 22 at www.MyPossibilitiesGivingDay.org!”

-By Lauren McCormick, My Possibilities Social Media and Marketing Coordinator

* Photo credit: David Ochoa 
** Graphic and photos provided by My Possibilities
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In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support My Possibilities by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

“As an employee at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose since the facility opened to the public in 1984, I’ve seen a lot of memorable wildlife conservation events and met some remarkable people along the way. If you haven’t do so before, we hope you will visit us sometime, but let me try to explain what we do and why we do it.

Simitar-horned oryx and blackbuck*

Simitar-horned oryx and blackbuck*

“We oversee more than 1,100 animals spanning 50-plus species on 1,800 acres, and there are some particular species with which we have found success. We’re consistently a top-three production center in North America for cheetahs, we are the top producer of Attwater’s prairie chickens, plus we are a strong producer of addax, scimitar-horned oryx, Arabian oryx, addra gazelle, sable antelope, Grevy’s zebras and other species.

Cheetah*

Cheetah*

“We strive to maintain viable insurance populations of selected wildlife according to the natural history of a species and within Fossil Rim’s environment. It is not about how many different species we work with, but rather working as well as we can to make a meaningful impact toward the continued existence of the species we do oversee.

“We place a high premium on the successful production of offspring by our animals. That helps maintain the groups that we have and then extrapolates out to boosting the broader metapopulations of the species we work with.

“Obviously the land itself provides a fantastic environment for these animals. But we are so very proud of the team that it takes to care for so many of them. And we also know that all Fossil Rim staff, interns and volunteers play a huge part of this organization’s conservation mission. We recognize that each visitor or supporter becomes a conservation partner in supporting that mission.

Giraffes*

Giraffes*

“On Thursday, September 22, every $25 donation or greater will be amplified through an automatic bonus distributed by North Texas Giving Day. I can promise that 100% of your donations to Fossil Rim will go directly to our capital needs, which will help us provide the best-possible care for these animals.

White rhinos*

White rhinos*

“For us, it’s about a long-term, sustained endeavor. The end will never come for our efforts with most of these species, because natural habitats are generally getting smaller, not larger. The lists of threatened and endangered species are not getting shorter; they are getting longer. We must have source populations to accommodate reintroduction into the wild, as well as ensure they continue to exist for many years to come.”

-By Kelley Snodgrass, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center Chief Operating Officer

* Photos provided by Fossil Rim Wildlife Center
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In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support Fossil Rim Wildlife Center by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay


North Texas Giving Day Booster: The Amadi Guess Foundation

The Amadi Guess Foundation was founded in 2009 by Iesha Goree, who began feeding and mentoring 50 children in at-risk communities out of her kitchen with the mission to provide children from underserved communities, access to nutritious meals.

The Amadi Guess Foundation*

The Amadi Guess Foundation*

“After receiving a grant from the USDA, securing several key partnerships and an award from the Texas Department of Agriculture for its service in the community, the Amadi Guess Foundation has managed to weave together a net of community groups, activists and food programs to children facing hunger. AGF currently has 39 at-risk feeding sites and has served over 4 million meals to at-risk children year to date.

The Amadi Guess Foundation**

The Amadi Guess Foundation**

“In 2014, Mrs. Goree and her team successfully launched free after school programs in Irving ISD and now educates and feed thousands of students at 16 schools.

“With Mrs. Goree’s vision and a lot of hard work on the part of her and her team, the organization is ready to cover more ground in North Texas. North Texas Giving Day is important for AGF because the funds will help create countless opportunities for more school districts to have after school programs.  “These programs are offered free of charge and provides not only nutritious meals, but enrichment and tutoring as well.

“In 2015, The Amadi Guess Foundation participated in North Texas Giving Day for the first time and raised over $300. The funds went towards our goal of feeding and promoting the importance of education, exercise and eating right to 5,000+ children per day in the Dallas, Ft. Worth, Irving, and Arlington area!

The Amadi Guess Foundation**

The Amadi Guess Foundation**

The Amadi Guess Foundation**

The Amadi Guess Foundation**

“Mrs. Goree continues to share her experience with local school superintendents who have not yet adopted an after school at-risk program. She encourages them to think about the outcome, rather than the obstacles.

The Amadi Guess Foundation**

The Amadi Guess Foundation**

“Almost one in four children in America face hunger. These children will endure lifelong consequences as a result of having limited access to nutritious foods. In fact, they’re more likely to suffer poorer health, fatigue, hospitalizations, behavioral difficulties and impaired performance at school. Therefore, it is imperative that we provide these resources for parents who need to stay late for work or can’t afford after school care and students in need of a safe-haven and a hot nutritious meal.

“Donate here on September 22nd (6 a.m.-midnight) so we can conquer childhood hunger together and bring programs like ours into more schools! Thank you, in advance for supporting AGF and our continuous efforts in North Texas.”

By Victoria Goodlow, Assistant Program Director for The Amadi Guess Foundation

* Graphic provided by The Amadi Guess Foundation 
** Photo credit Franklin Williams, FJRStudios
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In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support The Amadi Guess Foundation by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Good Samaritan Society

“Who will you be when you can no longer do what you once did and your body is no longer what it once was. Maybe we need to stop being so afraid of getting old and start cherishing life for the journey that it is. When we look past the fears of getting old and begin to see seniors for who they are, there’s a friend to be made, a story to be told and wisdom to be learned from someone who deserves to be loved valued and treated with dignity even if they need help with the simplest of task.  At the Good Samaritan Society – Denton Village and Lake Forest Village it’s about living the whole of life and seeing that in Christ’s love everyone is someone whether they are an English teacher or passionate artist.

Helen*

Helen*

“Helen, an English professor at the University of North Texas, was tired of faculty meetings and trying to teach the younger generation the importance of the written word. So she retired. Little by little she began to do less and less, and spent most of her days in her home alone watching television.

“’I was waiting to slip gently into eternity,’ Helen said.

“Then in 2012 after double bypass surgery, she found Good Samaritan Society – Denton Village. Denton Village brought life back into Helen. She was asked to join a book club, teach a writing class, and volunteer in the community general store. She felt needed. She was asked to be a participant in life again. Denton Village made her feel like she was someone again.

“Beth, a talented artist whose father began to teach her how to paint at age five, says painting means more to her now than it ever did.  In 2011 Beth’s family moved her to Good Samaritan Society – Lake Forest Village after she suffered a fall that caused a slight memory loss. Beth didn’t want to leave her home. She didn’t want to lose her independence. It was at Lake Forest Village though that she began to attend a monthly painting class. She went because she loved to paint but what she got was so much more. Painting helped to improve her mood, enhance her memory and it was then she was able to recall family memories, vacation destinations and the important details of life.

Painting class*

Painting class*

“’Painting just makes me feel better,’ Beth says.

“At Denton Village and Lake Forest Village, we are one family with two locations serving the community of Denton together. North Texas Giving Day is vital to our organization because it provides seniors like Helen and Beth a place to feel loved, valued and at peace as they enjoy living their life to the fullest. Over the last three years our organization has increased its support on North Texas Giving Day from $17,000 to $28,000 to benefit both campuses efforts to create a space where seniors can experience the fullness of life.

“Old age isn’t something to be celebrated with greeting cards, but with our whole hearts and souls, for there by the grace of God is each of us. Please consider helping to support The Good Samaritan Society Denton Village or Lake Forest Village communities on Thursday, September 22.  Your support will help to create peaceful spaces at Denton Village and Lake Forest Village where seniors can age well. So get up and give on September 22 to support seniors at Denton Village or Lake Forest Village by commenting which community to support in the comments portion of your gift.”

-By Laura Wells, Director of Resource Development at Lake Forest Village

* Photos provided by Good Samaritan Society
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In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support Good Samaritan Society by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay

North Texas Giving Day Booster: Spay Neuter Network

Spay Neuter Network*

Spay Neuter Network*

Spay Neuter Network was formed to eliminate pet overpopulation through subsidized spay/neuter services, while empowering communities to care responsibly for dogs and cats. Our mission is prevention so there are no more unwanted litters and shelters can be cleared for good. Donations on North Texas Giving Day will help fund our Mobile Surgery Clinics and Outreach efforts in poor urban and rural areas in 13 North Texas Counties including Dallas and Tarrant.

Giving Day is such a great opportunity to further those efforts. These underserved areas have the most problems with animal overpopulation because many residents cannot afford to sterilize their pets or they don’t understand when or why they should spay or neuter.

Spay Neuter Network*

Spay Neuter Network*

In Dallas alone, nearly 800,000 dogs and cats are living within the City limits; almost 200,000 of these dogs and cats live in areas below the poverty level. Studies show only 10% of the animals living in these areas are sterilized. That means we have nearly 170,000 dogs and cats that need our help and attention. 70% of these unaltered pets must be sterilized to greatly reduce the pet overpopulation problem we are facing.

Spay Neuter Network*

Spay Neuter Network*

We put people on the ground to educate on the importance of sterilization. Our outreach coordinator works with City Officials and volunteers to reach the public so they understand the need and that it can be done affordably. We work on the principle that people will do the right thing if we work together to

  1. make it affordable,
  2. make it accessible and
  3. educate owners of the tragic results of pet overpopulation, but also the life-saving health benefits of spaying and neutering their pets.
Spay Neuter Network*

Spay Neuter Network*

Funds from events such as North Texas Giving Day help to subsidize the cost of surgeries, fund outreach efforts and keep our state-of-the-art Mobile Animal Surgical Hospital on the road in North Texas. Spay Neuter Network performed more than 17,000 spay/neuter surgeries last year and we look to increase to 25,000 by next year. Prevention is the only way to reduce shelter intake and stop animal overpopulation.

-By Jacob Carty, Spay Neuter Network Marketing and Communications Director

* Photos and graphic provided by Spay Neuter Network
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In seven years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $119 million into the North Texas community. In 2015, $33 million was raised through more than 118,000 gifts benefiting over 2,000 nonprofits.

On Thursday, September 22, support Spay Neuter Network by linking here and spreading the word. #NTxGivingDay