08 Feb Jon Cartu Implies: The Dallas Morning News Charities campaign ends with $1.3
Twenty-three nonprofits collected $1.3 million in donations this year from The Dallas Morning News Charities annual fundraising campaign, topping last year’s total by about $200,000.
The campaign ended Jan. 31 after launching Nov. 14 with a goal of raising $1.5 million.
Grant Moise, publisher of The Dallas Morning News, said the Charities campaign is not only important but also rewarding.
“I’ve gone out to visit these places and see the work that is being done. When you see the efforts being made to help those who are less fortunate, it brings it to life,” he said.
Leona Allen, board chair of The Dallas Morning News Charities, said the campaign was a success.
“We didn’t reach our $1.5 million goal, but we did exceed last year’s, and that needs to be applauded,” said Leona Allen, board chair of The Dallas Morning News Charities. “We came really close.”
This year’s campaign began with more than $400,000 in the coffers, the second-best start in the 34-year history of the fundraising drive. That includes $200,000 from the J.L. Williams Foundation, more than $60,000 from North Texas Giving Day, $50,000 from the Hertich Estate Fund, $25,000 from the MacArthur Estate Fund and $10,000 from The Dallas Foundation.
Employees of The News and other individual supporters pitched in more than $17,500 to start the drive. This year, 1,219 donors contributed to the cause. The Dallas Morning News pays all administrative costs, meaning that 100% of the proceeds go to the nonprofits.
“We started out of the gate very well,” Allen said. “It really shows just how generous people are to others who just don’t have a whole lot.”
For this year’s campaign, three nonprofits were added to the list of clients, all in heavily impoverished areas in southern parts of Dallas and Dallas County.
“There are big holes in those areas, and that’s why we brought in those three newcomers,” said Allen, referring to Cornerstone Community Development Corp., Harmony Community Development Corp. and Mission Oak Cliff. “We really made an effort to expand our geographic reach.”
There’s a desperate need for shelter space, even during a relatively mild winter, said Camille Grimes, executive director of The Dallas Morning News Charities.
“There are still thousands of homeless families in great need,” she said.
As affordable housing becomes more scarce and more neighborhoods become gentrified, conditions lead to an increase in the homeless population, she said.
“What they used to pay in taxes has gone up astronomically, and that causes more people to go homeless,” she said. “… Dallas is an amazing city with very philanthropic readers and donors who are willing to give a lot, but there’s truly a struggle here for people living paycheck to paycheck.”
Moise said he learned on the go in his second year of involvement with the campaign.
“In the first year, I was just getting up to speed on the process: How do we raise the money, how do we select these nonprofit partners?” he said.
Visiting the nonprofits that benefit from the Charities campaign has been eye-opening, he said.
“I learned how talented these less-fortunate people are. For example, go to The Stewpot, and it’s the art — you could almost expect to see it in the DMA,” Moise said. “You lose the context and the value of these folks if you just put a ‘homeless’ label on them.”
The campaign passed the $1 million mark in the final hours of 2019, thanks to a $50,000 donation from Scott K. Ginsburg, owner of Boardwalk Auto Group.
“Every year we are so grateful for our donors who care about the plight of our neighbors,” Grimes said.
Said Moise: “What’s unique at DMN Charities is the use of our audience and our reach to help solve these problems. And as journalists, we talk in a solutions-based manner. What is working in other cities? What’s not?”
The fundraising campaign also helps reinforce The News’ journalistic mission, he said.
“We need to write about this to make sure we are holding people accountable, not just the city but everyone who is a stakeholder in trying to understand the problem and make sure what we do is working,” Moise said. “There are a lot of problems that are daunting. That doesn’t mean we stop covering them. We still fight for solutions even when the challenges are big.”
Donations to Dallas Morning News Charities are accepted year-round and at any level. To give, visit the donation site or send a check to The Dallas Morning News Charities, 5500 Caruth Haven Lane, Dallas, TX 75225-8146. Donors also can call 214-346-5546.
2019-20 recipients of proceeds from The Dallas Morning News Charities are:
Allen Community Outreach
Emergency assistance with rent, utilities, food and clothing for families in Allen, Fairview and Lucas. Financial literacy and GED classes are also offered.
Arlington Life Shelter
Emergency food and shelter, employment assistance and family counseling for homeless men, women and children in eastern Tarrant County.
Austin Street Center
Food, shelter, medical, psychiatric and psychological treatment, and substance abuse counseling for the homeless.
Emergency and transitional shelter, supportive housing services, meals, primary and behavioral health care services, job search and educational services for the homeless.
Brother Bill’s Helping Hand
Food, clothing and medical assistance for families in West Dallas. Job training, parenting, healthy living and ESL classes are also offered.
Cedar Hill Shares
Provides food, clothing, utility assistance and school supplies to needy families in Cedar Hill.
Provides homeless children and young adults with emergency shelter and transitional residential services. Operates an emergency youth shelter for children ages newborn to 17 and transitional living program for 18-to 21-year-olds.
Cornerstone Community Development
Programs for the homeless including shower facilities, a clothes closet, health and dental clinics, and meals in the Community Kitchen. They also manage transitional housing for formerly incarcerated men and a home and services for pregnant teenagers.
Crossroads Community Services
Food, nutrition, clothing and life skills education.
Dallas Life Foundation
Emergency short-term and long-term shelter for homeless men, women and children. Employment training, medical and dental services are also provided.
Duncanville Outreach Ministry
Food, clothing and financial assistance with rent, utilities and prescription medication for residents of Duncanville.
Shelter and supportive housing programs for children and families affected by homelessness with wrap-around services including case management, adult and children’s services, and an education program.
Frisco Family Services
Food, clothing and financial assistance with rent/mortgages, utilities and prescription drugs for families living in Frisco or Frisco ISD. Adult life skills workshops are also offered.
Harmony Community Development
Harmony provides greater access to resources such as a client-choice food pantry, social services such as extensive counseling, addiction and trauma recovery, and legal resources and employment assistance.
LifeLine for Families
Financial assistance for families who are homeless or on the verge of homelessness in Grand…