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Jeri Chambers has personally seen the impact of COVID-19 on the Collin County community. 

As the donor relations officer for Communities Foundation of Texas, she has watched North Texas food pantries and food banks buckle under the weight of a 70 percent increase in new clients in need. From January to August, The Storehouse alone had a 103 percent increase in clients needing help. 

“People are trying to figure out how to make this work,” Chambers tells Local Profile as part of the Local Leaders series on Facebook Live. “… So there are those who are serving the direct need, and they need support because there’s more need, but we also have nonprofits that are arts organizations and museums that have had to shut down and therefore they have no revenue coming in. 

“So your symphony orchestras, your ballets, your museums, your galleries, they’re nonprofits and the way that they stay afloat is by the generosity of others.” 

One way people can help them is by donating on North Texas Giving Day, which is today until midnight. The virtual event helps build awareness and support for nonprofits. In 2019, they raised $50 million from 169,000 gifts donated by the community. So far this year, they’ve brought in more than $27 million.

Pamela Ziegler-Petty pictured with 2019 Collin County Woman of the Year, Jeri Chambers | All Photography by Mollie Mayfield

“So, this is a great day, a great time to search that out,” Chambers says. “We believe that if everyone gets $25, then that can make a huge difference.

“So this is a wonderful time to be able to support our nonprofits, … especially now that the needs have changed because of COVID.”

To donate, Chambers says all you need to do is visit northtexasgivingday.org and click the “donate” button. You can look at the various nonprofit organizations in need of donations and donate through their portal. 

If there is a nonprofit that you are passionate about, be sure to give them a shout out on social media and ask them if they can use your donation as a match. Chambers explains that they will post it on their page and ask donors to match it.  

“That’s what people don’t understand,” she says. “It’s great if you’re a food pantry and now you need more food to give to people, but what you also don’t realize is that you’re also now having to be open longer hours. So you need to pay your employees more to be able to be open those longer hours, [which means] your facilities are going to be used more. I think people realize, ‘Oh, just give food to a pantry,’ and that’s great and it’s always wonderful, but they also need money to be able to have the doors open, to be able to continue doing what they do. 

“And that goes for our health clinics and our pantries and for homeless [organizations].”

Local Leaders by Local Profile is an ongoing video series featuring incredible local leaders sharing their best leadership insights. Going beyond business, Local Leaders aims to inspire and motivate you to become the best version of yourself. It broadcasts LIVE via the Local Profile Facebook page (click here.)

Christian McPhate

Christian McPhate is the managing editor of Local Profile. He has been working as a journalist for more than a decade. His work has appeared in a number of publications, including the Dallas Morning News,...