According to Mission Central Metroplex Executive Director Catherine Hollis,
Since 1996, Mission Central has served our neighbors in Hurst, Euless, and Bedford. We empower people in need to improve their own quality of life, while reflecting our core values of “Compassion, Open-Mindedness, Respect, and Empowerment.”
This is our eighth year to participate in North Texas Giving Day, and the event is incredibly important to helping advance our mission. The $40,000+ we raised in 2018 was critical in helping us serve 1,902 families at our Village Pantry /Community Resource Center last year, as well as 50 students through our after-school tutoring program. It also helped us move forward with our next big dream: opening our Career Center.
We serve primarily working-age families, and our community is dotted with neighborhoods with median incomes that fall below living wage. 52.52% of the children in our school district are economically disadvantaged. We hear many stories of unemployment and underemployment and the barriers that our guests face as they seek living-wage work. The biggest barrier is transportation, as our pocket of North Texas has few public transportation options. Other common barriers include education needs, health issues, and childcare needs.
We recently visited with a woman whose story illustrates the uniqueness of each guest’s situation. She told us how she had worked hard to earn her master’s degree as a means to escape an abusive marriage, and that her degree jumpstarted a great career in the education. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with cancer and had to leave that career as she regained her health. After recovery, she found a job in retail, but the store she worked at closed and she is now out of a job again. She has also developed a vision issue where she can’t work under certain types of lighting, so her employment options are limited.
We were able to provide this woman with groceries and connect her with other community resources. We were also able to introduce her to our Career Center, where she was able to find local job listings and access to computers to apply for jobs.
We are excited about this year’s North Texas Giving Day because we are hoping to raise enough money to fully launch our Career Center. A full launch will include staff and volunteers working one-on-one with job seekers to help them identify their barriers to employment and coach them through overcoming those barriers. We’ll also have on-site training for those who need help with soft skills like learning how to dress properly for work, those who need financial management coaching, and those who need specific certifications to get better jobs.
Good jobs change lives and with the help of the generous participants of North Texas Giving Day, Mission Central will be able to do more to help our neighbors obtain the living-wage work they seek.
* Graphic/photo provided by Mission Central Metroplex ** Photo credit: Lola Nelson-Spay
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.