According to Metro Relief’s Development Director Katie Besly,
Large sections North Texas live in a constant tug of war against the pull of homelessness. When the struggle against poverty overwhelms, many end up living on the streets. Metro Relief combats homelessness by bringing mobile resources to the inner city. We retrofit passenger buses into mobile resource centers and soup kitchens that go directly to the homeless, wherever they live. Week after week, our staff and volunteers meet the homeless right on sidewalks and under bridges with resources and referrals to help them get permanently off the streets.
For Metro Relief, participating in North Texas Giving Day is like putting a powerful megaphone to our nonprofit’s mouth. It amplifies the voice of our people and broadcasts our cause to new audiences. The stories we tell for North Texas Giving Day are of real people living on the streets of DFW. One such story is that of our sweet friend, Michael:
On March 14, 2008 at 4:58 AM, a call came in to a North Texas 911 dispatch. A man had been found bleeding and unconscious on the side of the road. This man was former tank-specialist and US Army Veteran, Michael Rodgers. Michael had been crossing the street when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver late in the night. He lay there with critical injuries for many hours before he was found. He spent 15 days in a coma and over 100 days in the hospital.
Nine years later, Michael still had significant speech, memory, and motor difficulties from the traumatic brain injury he sustained that day. Michael was also living on the streets of Dallas.
When Michael first came to the Metro Relief Bus, he was hungry for more than the fresh, hot soup our volunteers served. He was craving companionship and community. With his speech, motor, and cognitive delays, Michael was often ignored and rejected. He was lonely, and he missed feeling like he belonged.
Metro Relief had the privilege of spending many weeks working with Michael. We loved him. We prayed for him. We listened to him. We connected him to vital resources in the community to help him get permanently off the streets. We showed him, with all of our words and actions, that he was wanted, loved, and included. We believe God’s Kingdom is for people like Michael: those who feel over-looked, unwanted, and left behind.
Our homeless friends deserve to have their stories heard, and North Texas Giving Day makes that possible. Through their tireless work to “build awareness and raise support” for the nonprofit community, North Texas Giving Day helps Metro Relief bring stories, like Michael’s, to the attention of a wider audience. In 2019 alone, that translated to over $32,000 raised by 101 supporters of Metro Relief. North Texas Giving Day truly is a mighty, and much appreciated, megaphone! We are endlessly grateful for the impact it has made on Metro Relief and in turn, the homeless communities of Dallas-Ft. Worth.
* Graphic/photo provided by Metro Relief ** Photo credit: Devin Connelly *** Photo credit: Humberto De Santiago
In ten years, Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $240 million into the North Texas community. In 2018, more than $48 million was raised through more than 157,000 gifts benefiting over 2,700 area nonprofits.