It’s been called a surge. Nearly 31 million unemployed, with nearly 4 million of those filing in one week, the U.S. Department of Labor reported at April’s end. That’s nearly 19 percent of the workforce.
Nonprofits across North Texas have been on the front lines of the surge, doing their best to embrace and help the flow of unemployed who come through their doors. Food pantries like The Storehouse’s Seven Loaves Food Pantry have seen an increase of nearly 70 percent in new clients who need help. The Texas Air National Guard have stepped in to help give out boxes of food to desperate families, many of whom line up hours before the food banks opened.
This increase demand is stressing nonprofits’ coffers, and they need your help to refill them as part of North Texas Giving Tuesday.
From 6 a.m. until midnight, you can go online and browse through more than 3,000 local nonprofits in need of your support. They are all reeling from the devastating effects of COVID-19, and have struggled to raise funds. Communities Foundation of Texas has joined with The Dallas Cowboys and United Way to help meet this need, but they’re encouraging North Texans to come out and support local nonprofits on this annual giving day event.
While many are probably familiar with major headline-hitting nonprofits such as Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels, and The Salvation Army, we here at Local Profile wanted to highlight a few of the lesser known nonprofits that could really use your help on North Texas Giving Tuesday.
Assistance Center of Collin County
This nonprofit offers short-term assistance to individuals and families in financial crisis in hopes of preventing homelessness. Most families in need are already experiencing some form of hunger and poverty, but the center provides short-term rental and utility assistance “to remove the threat of eviction and utility disconnections.”
They also offer courses on financial literacy, employment, and career coaching. ESL classes are also available.
So far the center has only received two donations for $205, hardly enough to cover a utility bill.
Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County
Each year, more than 5,000 cases of abuse or neglect are reported in Collin County. With COVID-19, nonprofit officials at The Children Advocacy Center of Collin County expect those numbers to rise significantly over the next few months, according to an alert on its website.
The CACCC seeks to provide Collin County with all the resources necessary to address the needs of these abused children. Their mission is critical: “to provide safety, healing, and justice to children victimized by neglect or abuse.”
As of this writing, they’ve received nine donations for about $4,400.
Collin County Ballet Theatre
The arts are vital in a global pandemic. They offer an escape, a lesson, a reminder of our unbreakable spirit. The Collin County Ballet Theatre has been capturing this importance since 2001, becoming “a vital contributor to the cultural development of the county and surrounding communities,” according to its North Texas Giving Day donation website.
Located in Plano, Collin County Ballet Theatre seeks to educate and enrich the community by commissioning newly created works by professional choreographers. Some of these works touch upon both traditional and contemporary compositions. Theater Jones critics have raved about the Ballet Theatre’s annual production of The Nutcracker with the Plano Symphony Orchestra setting the tone.
But not many people have donated: only one donation for $823 at the time of this writing, according to its North Texas Giving Day website.
Legal Aid of Northwest Texas
Legal Aid’s mission is simple: to ensure equal justice for people in poverty through high-quality legal representation. To accomplish this mission, they have a dedicated staff of more than 140 staff attorneys and more than 3,500 volunteer attorneys. They have the second largest volunteer attorney program, and are the fifth largest legal aid organization in the U.S., according to Sam Prince, the director of development for Legal Aid of Northwest Texas.
Of course, like other local nonprofits, they are feeling the devastating effects of COVID-19. “During this crisis, the number of family violence cases is OFF THE CHARTS. WE NEED YOUR HELP. Please do that NOW! Justice should not be based on what you can afford to pay for it,” a Legal Aid representative pointed out on its North Texas Giving Day website.
So far 14 donations have been placed for a total of $5,792.
Communities Foundation of Texas
With our vulnerable population being a key focus during Gov. Greg Abbott’s Open Texas plan, Communities Foundation of Texas is in desperate need of your help. The local nonprofit provides support and funding for Collin County’s most vulnerable citizens.
They’ve been doing so since 2006. According to its North Texas Giving Day website, they’ve given 4,000 grants for a total of $56.5 million to more than 1,240 organizations in Collin County. In 2019, CFT awarded $20,000 to Community Garden Kitchen and The Turning Point and $15,000 to Agape Resource and Assistance Center, Inc.
It seeks to continue meeting the needs of a growing county. Their current need is to find committed, community-minded, forward thinking businesses and individuals to help them build the “Fund for Collin County.” It will provide support for nonprofit organizations addressing the most pressing needs of the vulnerable citizens of Collin County.
As of this writing Monday afternoon, no one has donated to its North Texas Giving Day website.
The Turning Point
For more than 30 years, The Turning Point has been the only rape crisis center in Collin County. They offer a staggering number of services. They work with law enforcement to help survivors file reports, and provide immediate medical care through their 24 hour clinic. They ensure every survivor has the support of a volunteer victim advocate, and access to longterm counseling. The Turning Point has also set the standard for prevention education that promotes social change, aimed at ending bullying, sexual harassment, and sexual assault.
The Turning Point’s comprehensive treatment has been vital for survivors all over Collin County, and the North Texas region as a whole. All of their services are free to the residents of North Texas.
As of this writing, they have received three donations totaling $242.
For more information about North Texas Giving Day, visit its website at NorthTexasGivingDay.org