Leave it to Dallas CASA to be timely in recognizing people and causes. It has just been revealed that the annual Caroline Rose Hunt Cherish the Children Award will be presented to the North Texas Cares Funders Collaborative.
It you’ll recall when the pandemic started, it was pretty harum-scarum. Nonprofits were seeing their fundraising efforts being canceled and the services needed more than ever. Philanthropists and others wanted to help but needed direction on how and where to provide the biggest impact.
A consortium of 30 North Texas foundations, corporations and individual funders was brought together thanks to the leadership of the Communities Foundation of Texas, the Dallas Foundation and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. Thanks to this pop-up, game-changing effort, the initial results were “1,400 grants to 630 nonprofits totaling more than $40M.”
According to Dallas President/CEO Kathleen LaValle, “Groups like the North Texas Cares Funders Collaborative model for nonprofits what a tremendous impact true collaboration can make. Not only does Dallas CASA enjoy tremendous support from our more than 1,500 trained child advocates, but the broader community knows us and supports our work and the children we serve in ways we could not even imagine.”
In addition to the presentation of the award on Friday, May 14, Cherish the Children Virtual Luncheon Co-Chairs Jenny Reynolds and Lindsay Stengle have arranged for Catholic priest Fr. Greg Boyle to be the keynote speaker. The New York Times best-selling author (“Tattoos on the Heart”) is known for his gang intervention programs in the poorest Catholic parish in Los Angeles. He “witnessed the devastating impact of gang violence on his community during the so-called ‘decade of death’ that began in the late 1980s and peaked at 1,000 gang-related killings in 1992.”
It was during this period that Fr. Greg started creating opportunities for young people in his parish. The purpose was “to treat gang members as human beings.” The result was Homebody Bakery that grew into Homebody Industries today including Electronic Recycling, Homegirl Café, Catering, Silkscreen and Embroidery, Homeboy Gear, Diner at City Hall, Grocery, Farmers Markets and Online Market.
To help these young people prepare for a new way of living, Homebody Industries provides an art academy, tattoo removal, workforce development, solar panel training, educational services, mental health services, legal services, case management and domestic violence and substance abuse assistance.
In his writing of his involvement with young people, Fr. Greg proves to be a firm believer “of the profound impact a single, caring adult can make in the life of a vulnerable child or youth.”
As Fr. Boyle puts it, “Our common human hospitality longs to find room for those who are left out…. If there is a fundamental challenge within these stories, it’s simply to change our lurking suspicion that some lives matter less than other lives.”
* Graphic/photo provided by Dallas CASA