Category: Philanthropy

Residents Combat Dallas Human Trafficking


Diana Hamilton, Circle of Friends Membership Chair, Elizabeth Gambrell, Circle of Friends President, Katie Pedigo, New Friends New Life CEO

Diana Hamilton, Circle of Friends Membership Chair, Elizabeth Gambrell, Circle of Friends President, Katie Pedigo, New Friends New Life CEO

Park Cities residents are making strides to end human trafficking in Dallas and support teens and women who have fallen victim to the international crime.

New Friends New Life is a Dallas-based nonprofit that provides support and empowerment to trafficked and commercially exploited individuals and their families.

Their annual membership drive to join their partner group, Circle of Friends, raises money for the organization's mission. Circle of Friends hosts community awareness, volunteer and fundraising events in the area. Membership dues directly support empowerment and restoration programs. 

Save-The-Date: North Texas Giving Day


NTGD copyGet your pocketbooks and calendars ready. Communities Foundation of Texas' North Texas Giving Day(NTGD) is set for Sept. 22. From 6 a.m. to midnight you'll be able to make donations to more than 2,000 participating charities online at

This year, there will be a "Donation Station" setup at NorthPark Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with live performances, activities, and a loose-change jar for kids to participate in philanthropy.

Additional activities will be happening all over Dallas. Check out the schedule here.

Since it started, NTGD has raised more than $119 million for local nonprofits. Donations of $25 or more will earn participating groups bonus funds and prizes.

Perots Proclaim “We Believe” in St. Philip’s

Dr. Terry Flowers, Nancy Perot, Rod Jones, and other members of the Perot family. (Courtesy photo)

The Perot family and St. Philip's School & Community Center officials celebrated kicking off a $50 million "We Believe" capital campaign on May 11. The Perots made a $3 million contribution, so there are just a few more millions to go folks.

“We believe future leaders are here, and it’s up to us to inspire their learning and their spirit," Nancy Perot said in a press release. "Please join my family in building a financial foundation that will allow St. Philip’s to thrive and grow for future generations.”

St. Philip’s has been serving South Dallas since it was founded as a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas in the 1940s. The school, started in the '60s, serves students from 70 Zip codes from across North Texas.

Funds will be used to recruit staff, increase tuition assistance programs, build new athletic facilities, expand its community footprint, and create sustainable funding for after-school programs.

Making Moms’ Wishes Come True

Founder Heather Bryan, founder Melissa Cary, event chair Laura Downing, honorary chair Tricia Sims, founder Missy Phipps, and founder Holly Reed (Photos: Bob Manzano)

On April 30, hundreds of philanthropic hearts joined forces at Gilley’s Dallas for the Ally’s Wish Foundation’s second annual Boots & Blessings Gala to help grant the wishes of terminally ill mothers.

The foundation is named for the late Allyson Hendrickson.

Hendrickson was a wife, a mother of three boys, a devout Christian, and a warrior in her battle against ovarian cancer. She kept a blog over the course of seven years, detailing her life during this battle. Hendrickson’s strength and faith, even in light of her prognosis, inspired many, including four women at her church.

They didn’t know Hendrickson very well outside of the glances and quick chats at church, yet they felt compelled to do something for her. So in 2014, they developed the concept for the nonprofit foundation, which provides the gifts, transportation, and lodging needed to make moms’ wishes come true. 

100 Men to Give $10K to Charities

100 men giving a damn at their inaugural meeting held February 11.

More than 100 men showed they gave a damn about the Dallas community at an inaugural meeting held in February. They aren’t a nonprofit. They don’t even have a bank account or a physical address. They are a group of men in Dallas who want to make an impact on their community.

The Dallas chapter of 100 Men Who Give A Damn was established with simple requirements: four hours a year, $400 a year. Members nominate reputable charities to make a five-minute presentation at the group’s hour-long meetings.

Three organizations are chosen at random and voted on, following their presentations. The winner earns a $100 check from each member. Quick, yet advantageous. “We’ve all got families and jobs and other things going on,” said Marv Bramlett, co-founder of the group. “It’s not a terribly large commitment, but when you put that many people together to do something like this, it makes such an impact.”

The Dallas chapter is modeled after the Halifax, Nova Scotia chapter, whose foundation was laid on a bet that no more than five men would care. Since 2014 that group has raised nearly $250,000.

A lively crowd, with cocktails and refreshments on deck, set the tone for the first meeting at Naveen Jindal School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas as three charities prepared to pitch their respective missions to the group, á la Shark Tank. 

Dallas CASA’s Cherish the Children

Guest speaker Laura McBride gives her speech at the Cherish the Children luncheon. (Photos: Sylvia Elzafon)

On April 5, Laura McBride, author of the best-selling debut novel “We Are Called to Rise,” was a guest speaker to than 400 guests at Dallas CASA’s Cherish the Children luncheon at the Dallas Omni Hotel.

Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) provides volunteers for children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse or neglect. Volunteers gather information that helps judges decide where children can safely and permanently live.

The Cherish the Children luncheon, hosted by the Dallas CASA Children’s Council, annually raises funds and awareness for Dallas CASA. This year’s luncheon raised more than $200,000, which will allow Dallas CASA to recruit, train and supervise more volunteers to serve children in need.

Let Them Eat Cupcakes For a Cause


(Courtesy Cupcakes For a Cause)

(Courtesy Cupcakes For a Cause)

Bakers from across Dallas will gather at University Park United Methodist Church on April 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to feed the masses at Cupcakes For a Cause.

The event supports LEAP Global Missions, a Dallas-based nonprofit providing surgical care to impoverished children around the world. Highland Capital and the Okada Family Foundation have pledged to match all funds raised at the event, according to the organizers.

Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor Speaks at DJF Spring Event


Boston Marathon bombing survivor Rebekah Gregory, with event co-chair Gay Nassri, event co-chairman Lexia Allen, and DJF president Mary Cartwright. (Photo: Alan Beane)

Boston Marathon bombing survivor Rebekah Gregory, with event co-chair Gay Nassri, event co-chairman Lexia Allen, and DJF president Mary Cartwright. (Photo: Alan Beane)

By Elaine Paniszczyn
Dallas Junior Forum Historian

Life is messy, and sometimes, it blows up in your face.

In Rebekah Gregory’s case, life blew up when the first of two bombs detonated three feet behind her at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

Gregory spoke at Dallas Junior Forum’s Spring Event at Belo Mansion Wednesday, two days before the third anniversary of America’s second largest terrorist attack. She described the scene as she and her son watched for a friend to cross the finish line.

“It was my 26th birthday weekend, my first time (in Boston), and I was watching a friend run,” Gregory said. “I was on the sideline eating chocolate covered pretzels wondering why anybody in their right mind would ever, ever run 26.2 miles for fun.”

“We started out that day at the 17 mile marker, and someone in our group wanted to get closer to the finish line so we could see our runner cross,” she said. “As we made our way closer through the crowd … my little boy started to get really bored.

“I told Noah to sit on my feet and play in the rocks like … a scientist. There were so many people there, and I didn’t want Noah to get lost in the crowd.”

That is where Gregory’s five-year-old was when the bomb went off.

Baylor Foundation Celebrates Breast Cancer Survivor


Baylor Health Care System Foundation's Celebrating Women Luncheon this October will feature Rita Wilson as speaker. Wilson is an actress, producer, writer, and singer. She has also survived breast cancer.

Wilson was diagnosed in March 2015 - but not during her first round of tests. The cancer was only found when she sought a second opinion.

At the luncheon, she will speak about her experience with the disease and the importance of early detection and multiple screenings.

“You have nothing to lose if both opinions match up for the good, and everything to gain if something that was missed is found, which does happen. Early diagnosis is key,” said Wilson.