A global pandemic isn’t going to stop a city routed in its commitment to philanthropy from raising money for important causes this holiday season. In fact, the need for empathy and kindness is greater than ever. And even though we might not be able to gather for glamorous galas or fancy fundraisers, people in our community still need our help. Here are 10 local charities that you may or may not be familiar with that could use your support this holiday season if you are able to give a little extra this year.
1. The Birthday Party Project
This joy-sparking organization has been the go-to gang for hosting monthly birthday parties at homeless and transitional living facilities in Dallas and across the country for the last decade. The pandemic has shifted their focus temporarily to “Birthday in a Bag” which gifts these same children a package of goodies that allows the kids to see that their community is thinking of them on their special day. For $50 you can gift a birthday in a bag and help make the day of a child who otherwise might not receive any gifts.
2. Ronald McDonald House
A storied local tradition, the 2020 Trains at NorthPark show did choo-choo along with plenty of COVID-19 safety measures in place this season. If you aren’t planning to head to NorthPark Center to check out the trains this year, your donations to the Ronald McDonald House are still being graciously accepted online as a means for the organization to raise crucial funds that provide lodging for 39,000 families to date whose children are receiving care in the Dallas-area. And while the actual cost per night to house a family is approximately $130, no one has ever been turned away due to the inability to pay.
3. The Crystal Charity Ball
Long known as the Grand Dame of all Dallas charity events, this organization raises funds for a variety of organizations. And while the ball was cancelled this year, the group is still as committed as ever to providing financial assistance to its 2020 Beneficiaries which include Ability Connection, Catch Up & Read, Center for Vision Health, Children’s Medical Center Foundation on Behalf of Children’s Health, Foundation for the Callier Center for Communication Disorders, Healing Hands Ministries, Mommies in Need, INC., and the North Texas Food Bank. Since 1953, this fierce, female-led organization has distributed nearly $150 million to Dallas community organizations.
4. Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center
This group works alongside public and private agencies to investigate, prosecute, and provide healing services for child abuse cases in Dallas County. Join this organization’s Holiday of Hope campaign by shopping an Amazon or Walmart Wishlist online or giving a monetary donation. Children are gifted a pajama set, a book, and age appropriate toys, and the suggested monetary amount is $150. Are you looking to sponsor or underwrite a philanthropic event in 2021? Art for Advocacy is set to host its annual event on April 24, 2021, co-chaired by Abby Evans, Dawn Hennessey, and Ellis Thomas, to celebrate the healing power of art while raising funds and awareness for the Center.
5. Children’s Craniofacial Association
This powerful organization gives hope to those living with facial differences. Since a live Gingertown was not in the cards this year, NorthPark Center partnered with its beneficiary to raise money by doing an online sweepstakes. And while this exciting event was a great success given the COVID-19 circumstances in which they were forced to work around, the funds raised pale in comparison to those that the exhibit would typically attract. In fact, they recently released information that they are facing a 37 percent shortfall. You can help close this gap and support their work by giving a monetary donation.
6. The Family Place
Stopping family violence—physical, sexual, emotional, financial— is the plain and simple goal of this powerful organization that has helped thousands in the Dallas community since its inception in 1978. The organization’s abuse hotline has seen greater than normal call volume during the pandemic and those interested in helping are urged to do so by either making a monetary donation or shopping an Amazon Wishlist that will go directly to the shelters.
7. Keeping Families Connected
This local non-profit provides free transportation to and from correctional facilities for families of incarcerated loved ones. Lack of money and distance are often the reasons family members don’t visit their loved-ones as often as they would like, and KFC aims to fill that gap. “At KFC we don’t believe the bars have to become barriers,” says the organization’s found Letitia Scott.
8. West Dallas Community School
Since its inception in 1995, this organization has provided private Christian education for the children of this community that is considered to be one of the most economically, socially, and academically challenged neighborhoods in Dallas. Using a wholistic model of education, the school tends to the intellectual, spiritual, moral, and physical well-being of its of its students. Education is offered for students from Pre-K through 8th grade and has experienced a 99 percent high school graduation rate. One hundred percent of the student body receives financial aid which makes community fundraising vital to the success of the program.
9. Equality Texas Foundation
The Equality Texas Foundation works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Texans through education, community organizing, and collaboration. You can help the organization by becoming a volunteer, pledging to fight against hate crimes, discriminatory laws, efforts to undermine marriage equality and more, as well as making a monetary donation.
10. DFW Rescue Me
DFW Rescue Me is a foster-based dog rescue group in the Dallas area with the mission to give a “new leash on life” to lost, abused, and abandoned dogs by giving them a new home. To get involved in DFW Rescue Me, you can donate, foster dogs, or become a volunteer.