According to Celebrate Forever Families volunteer Shelby Fry,
“Celebrate Forever Families (aka Forever Families) is a non-profit non-denominational ministry that provides a no cost residential program for women and children who are in crisis and has been helping to restore lives since 2015. They primarily serve families from North Texas; however, women have traveled from other parts of the state when services in their area were not available. Forever Families has served women and children for a wide range of needs including homelessness, sex trafficking, drug and alcohol abuse, incarceration and domestic violence. One common thread that unites almost all, is a history of domestic abuse.
“Kaufman County is located southeast of the DFW Metroplex and is the 3rd fastest growing county in the U.S. (Source: 2020 Census) and in 2020, domestic violence cases rose over 200% (Source: Kaufman County District Attorney’s Office). These numbers were startling, and Forever Families began looking at ways to help. Executive Director Melanie Shackelford began speaking with local leaders and community members and it was obvious that there was a great need for a domestic violence emergency shelter in rural North Texas. Forever Families board members and executive director promptly began planning for the shelter.
“In January of this year, Forever Families began repairs to an unused portion of their facility with the idea of expanding services to include an emergency shelter for women and children seeking safety from domestic violence. Unfortunately, setbacks such as the Texas Winter Storm wreaked havoc on the facility’s infrastructure and repairs are still being done to the residential wing of the facility. Securing sufficient funding to complete the remodeling project of the emergency shelter, hire additional staff and cover all other expenses that accompany an expansion of services, has been a great challenge.
“Forever Families is grateful for North Texas Giving Day not only for the opportunity to increase financial support for the organization but to heighten community awareness. The family and domestic violence issue across North Texas is a crisis that must be promptly addressed, and Forever Families is confident that with support of the community they can impact the lives of the women and children in need within our community.”
* Photo credit: Shelby Fry ** Photo credit: Melanie Shackelford
In 12 years, Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $375 million into the North Texas community. In 2020, more than $58.8 million was raised through more than 106,000 donors benefiting over 3,200 area nonprofits.