Category: Philanthropy

DFW Restaurant Week Kicks Off Near You

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DFWrestaurantweek (2)It's that time of year again when hungry souls, or bellies, across Dallas-Fort Worth travel near and far to dress up, take shameless food pictures for Instagram, and dine on a budget at the area's most popular hot spots.

DFW Restaurant Week kicks off today and runs through Aug. 21 (with some restaurants extending until Sept. 4). More than 130 Dallas restaurants are offering three-course prix fixe dinners for $35 or $45. Many restaurants are also offering a two-course lunch menu for $20.

Guests can treat themselves while also giving back to the community with 20 percent of proceeds going to the North Texas Food Bank and Lena Pope, an organization providing intervention, counseling, and educational services to meet behavioral health needs of children and families.


A Good Night’s Sleep Works Wonders

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Beds for Kids has provided 6,800 beds for school-aged children since its start in 2010. (Photos courtesy of S.M. Wright Foundation)

Every night, tired children climb into their beds and reenergize for the coming day. But not all of them. Thousands of children in the Dallas-Fort Worth area will lie on a sofa, or on a bed sheet that separates their bodies from the hard floor.

This was brought to Rev. S.M. Wright II’s attention in 2009 while going door-to-door bringing Christmas gifts to residents in south Dallas neighborhoods.

“I was under the impression that everybody had a bed. That was my impression in the community, but it was not the case,” said Wright, of People’s Missionary Baptist Church. “I asked where the children were sleeping, and they were sleeping on the floor in the corner.”


Equal Heart Feeds the Hungry at Home

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On a humid afternoon in late May, residents of the Spanish Creek apartments near Bachman Lake line up patiently while volunteers from Equal Heart’s Mobile Food Access Network [MFAN] set up tables in front of two vans filled with crates of groceries. Each of which will help feed a family for about two weeks.

Residents here and at other low-income apartment complexes across North Texas only need a form of ID to sign up to get the much-needed deliveries once a month. Mud from a morning shower doesn’t deter volunteers from wheeling dollies across cardboard boxes to take the heavy crates into the hungry homes.

“Even if it’s absolutely pouring, we still come out because it’s about them getting the food,” said Brianna Sanders, an AmeriCorps volunteer for Equal Heart. “If they’ll come out to get the food, then we’ll take it to them. It might be a lot of rain for us, but it might not be a lot of rain for them.”

Started last summer by Keven Vicknair, formerly of CitySquare, Equal Heart aims to feed families at their homes year-round with MFAN and feed kids in the summer with its Direct-to-Door meals program.


La Fiesta Celebrates Splendors of Mexico

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Duchess of Spain Elizabeth Farrow makes her bow flanked by escort William Rogers (left) and her father, Bob. (Photo: Elizabeth Ygartua)

Forty gorgeously gowned Park Cities gals made their Texas dips at the annual gala, themed Viva la Fiesta: Celebrating the Splendors of Mexico, at the Hilton Anatole on Saturday.

After making their graceful bows, the young ladies — all of who have just finished their first year of college — danced with their escorts and then their fathers.

This year's beneficiaries of the fete included: CARE, Connecting Point of the Park Cities, The Elisa Project, Friends of the Park Public Library, Highland Park Education Foundation, Highland Park Literary Festival, HP Arts, and the HPHS Science Festival.


Residents Combat Dallas Human Trafficking

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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

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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 northtexasgivingday.org.

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

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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

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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

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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.