Give back in 2019 with these Dallas social service nonprofits
If giving back is on your New Year's to-do list, then consider donating to one of Dallas' many social service-oriented nonprofits. These organizations may differ in their missions, but they are all working hard to create safer, healthier, more inclusive city for all.
Throughout the past year, CultureMap has been highlighting organizations that make our communities a better place as part of our new Dallas Charity Guide, presented in partnership with Frost's Opt for Optimism campaign. The guide is a handy resource for anyone looking to give back.
As you embark on a new year, you might consider supporting one of the many charities and nonprofits that work within the Dallas community. Know of one we missed? Tell us here.
Aberg Center for Literacy
MISSION: The Aberg Center for Literacy is building richer lives, stronger families, and better communities through programs in English fluency, Spanish, and English high school equivalency preparation; early childhood education; and family literacy. The dual generation approach combats poverty with a model that provides parent education and intergenerational learning to help parents increase earning power and children overcome delays to be on grade level by third grade.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Aberg Center for Literacy relies on the community's support — as volunteers, event participants, and general supporters — to address the vast literacy needs of DFW. All the adult education classes are led by dedicated volunteers, and the early childhood education program relies on volunteers to support the work of its staff. Volunteers also help with planning fundraising events. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know your area of interest.
BIG EVENT: The center has two signature events: The fall fundraiser, Legacy of Literacy Breakfast, continues to be successful in growing and attracting additional sponsors and attendees. 2018's breakfast, featuring keynote speaker Dr. John McCaa, took place November 14, 2018 at the Belo Mansion. The spring fundraiser, ¡Pachanga! is set for April 27, 2019 at Seven for Parties. It will be an evening filled with celebration, including dinner, a variety of live entertainment, an auction, and a raffle.
Agape Resource & Assistance Center
MISSION: Agape is a holistic, cutting-edge, innovative, servant ministry of peace and justice. It's committed to providing critical housing and life skills that empower women and their children to transform from homelessness, crisis, and poverty to self-sustaining, fulfilling lives.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Agape offers a variety of ways to get involved that include childcare, tutoring, and financial education. To learn more, head here.
BIG EVENT: Agape hosts the annual Timeless Love Gala, which provides single-mom families transitional support to empowers them to create self-sustaining lives. Please head here for more information.
Allies in Youth Development
MISSION: Allies in Youth Development is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established in 2011 based in Mansfield. They provide donors, advocates, and volunteers to rescue orphans from a future of despair, and provide them with human connections, life skills, and a pathway to education. They make a difference through training in-country volunteers for mentoring programs, human trafficking prevention programs, and humanitarian aid. Allies serves in six countries: Russia, Moldova, Ukraine, South Ossetia, Romania and, most recently, Vietnam. They operate in 27 orphanages across these countries, which serve 2,000 orphans. They also serve to empower adoptive families and single moms.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: People can always donate their used or new goods, and they are always looking for volunteers to pack boxes, sort donations, make cards, or put together toiletry kits. They also encourage people to become monthly donors to help sponsor the Allies Mentoring Program. Just $12.50 will provide for an orphan in the program for a whole month.
BIG EVENT: The inaugural Russian Ball was at the Hilton Anatole on November 3, 2018. Teas with Tatiana also raises awareness about human trafficking and what Allies' mission does in aiding prevention efforts.
Austin Street Center
MISSION: Founded in 1983, Austin Street Center is an emergency shelter that serves men ages 45 and older and women ages 18 and older. Each person who finds shelter there is provided showers, clothing, meals, and a safe place to sleep. Once their basic needs are met, they can begin working on other aspects of their lives that will help them transition out of homelessness.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: The best way to get involved is to either volunteer at Austin Street Center or donate to support program and operational costs. Contributions make a significant impact in the lives of men and women who find shelter under their roof. Donations of clothing, towels, blankets, and food items are greatly appreciated.
BIG EVENT: Every year, Austin Street Center hosts several events to connect with its community and spread awareness about homelessness in Dallas. The No Place Like Home event is an annual vacation home silent auction with great food, drinks, and opportunities to win amazing getaways.
Austin Street 101 is an opportunity to learn how you can get involved. Humble Beginnings is the annual luncheon held each spring, and features some of the biggest names in sports in conversation with Norm Hitzges. Night with Norm is the annual dinner event held each fall. Also, the Norm-a-Thon is an 18-hour radio broadcast marathon featuring Norm and Donovan on Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket to support Austin Street Center.
Belle & Sparrows
MISSION: Belle & Sparrows is a by-women, for-women nonprofit that reaches women both locally and globally. It stands in the gap for marginalized women around the world by teaching them skills for economic sustainability; providing encouragement as they brave the struggles of addiction and/or incarceration; helping them overcome the trauma of being trafficked or escaping the sex trade industry; helping them find their worth after exiting an abusive relationship; and sharing a Bible study, time of prayer, and sharing of testimonies.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Volunteers are the heartbeat of the ministry. Current needs include unGALA volunteers, administration, hospitality, and social media. Head here to learn more and fill out a volunteer form.
BIG EVENT: In typical Belle & Sparrows fashion, unGALA is an uncommon take on the traditional gala. The night promises incredible experiences, connections, and inspiring stories, with some of Collin County's best food, drinks, and music along with speaker, author, and teacher Dr. Jackie Roese and emcee Keisha Jones, founder of Encourage Ministries. The funds raised from the (brief) live and silent auctions are catalytic to Belle & Sparrow's future plans.
MISSION: Cafe Momentum transforms young lives by equipping the community's most marginalized youth with life skills, education, and employment opportunities to help them achieve their full potential.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: You can visit the restaurant for dinner any Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night.
MEMBERSHIP: You can join the Momentum Society with a gift of $5,000.
BIG EVENT: Once a month, the group hosts Eric Nadel's Sunday Supper Concert Series, featuring one or two new artists for an acoustic set. Pitmasters Picnic is also held every year in the fall.
MISSION: The mission of ChildCareGroup (CCG) is to champion a strong early childhood system that teaches children and parents, trains early childhood professionals, and assists families. Founded in 1901 to care for the children of women who worked in the cotton mills of Dallas, ChildCareGroup is today one of the nation's most comprehensive and respected child care organizations.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: CCG has a diverse set of engagement opportunities for volunteers.
BIG EVENT: The Great Big JAM! usually occurs in April and is a magical way for little ones to start out the day — all without having to get out of their pajamas. The Great Adventure Hunt is a fun and clever scavenger hunt that typically takes place in January. The Hunt is a change of pace from a traditional gala, where you can ditch the tuxedo and come in your casual clothes and comfortable shoes.
MISSION: CitySquare fights the causes and effects of poverty through service, advocacy, and friendship. From its beginning in 1988 to present day, CitySquare has grown into a broad community development organization offering a comprehensive array of social services that address four key areas related to the persistence of poverty: hunger, health, housing, and hope.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: CitySquare requires a minimum of 40 volunteers a day to fight poverty in Dallas. If you are interested in getting involved, you can attend an orientation (conducted during lunch hours twice a month) or tour (once a month on Thursdays and Saturdays once a month) and fill out the application. If you want to get started volunteering right away, you can complete the food pantry volunteer application and get right to work — no orientation required.
MEMBERSHIP: Friends of CitySquare contribute a monthly donation and dedicate 15 hours per year to fighting poverty. Monthly memberships range from $5 to $200.
BIG EVENT: The group's biggest fundraiser event, A Night To Remember, happens each year in September. This year, the event took place at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory on September 15 with an unforgettable performance from country music legend Reba McEntire. For more info, head here.
Community Council of Greater Dallas
MISSION: Since its founding in 1940, the Community Council has been dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in North Texas, enabling each individual to achieve his or her full potential.
The Community Council determines priority and issues solutions in the human services arena, convenes partners to significantly impact service delivery, and increases awareness of and access to services. In total, the agency serves over 500,000 requests per year for social services of all types.
Community Council is also the home of the Dallas Area Agency on Aging, which encompasses numerous services for seniors and the disabled including MyRIDE Dallas, Texas Healthy at Home, and local implementation of an evidence-based strategic partnership with Stanford University for chronic disease management.
Community Council is the lead agency for a highly successful Community Youth Development Program, which targets post-secondary readiness and crime prevention and also provides the local area 2-1-1 Information Referral Service. In addition, the agency provides healthcare navigator services for Enroll Texas, CHIP / Children's Medicaid, and a number of behavioral health interventions for youth, seniors, and working families.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: You can volunteer as a mentor to seniors, youth, or college student; join a coalition group; or become an advisory board member.
BIG EVENT: The 2018 Community Impact Awards Luncheon on November 8 was themed A Tale of Two Cities: Reshaping the Possibilities. This luncheon recognized top leaders and agencies who are positively making a difference in our communities. To become a future event sponsor or to purchase a table, please contact email@example.com.
Crystal Charity Ball
MISSION: Since 1952, the sole purpose of The Crystal Charity Ball has been to aid, support, and make contributions to children's charities in Dallas County. As a nonprofit organization, independent of any national affiliation, members of The Crystal Charity Ball Committee have raised more than $143 million for more than 140 worthy beneficiaries over the past 65 years. To see the full list of beneficiaries, click here.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: You can help support the beneficiaries by making an underwriting gift, purchasing a children's book page, donating to the silent auction and special gifts, purchasing contribution tickets, or attending the Ten Best Dressed Luncheon. Fore more information on how to get involved, click here.
BIG EVENT: The Crystal Charity Ball is known as the "cap" to Dallas' yearly society season, but the Ten Best Dressed Luncheon is another big event in the fall.
Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity
MISSION: Through affordable homeownership, education, empowerment, and individual and corporate support, Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity is able to transform lives, revitalize neighborhoods, and build a better Dallas for everyone.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Donate, become a sponsor, volunteer, and speak up for homeownership with city and community leaders.
MEMBERSHIP: Habitat Young Professionals is a group that works to support the mission of Habitat for Humanity with a fresh approach to developing strong social networks. Coming from a variety of professions, backgrounds, and interests, HYP Dallas members are the next generation of leaders who work to advocate for affordable housing, volunteer to build homes, and raise funds to support Habitat for Humanity. An annual membership is $50.
BIG EVENT: The Dream Builders Dinner was held on October 17 at the Statler Hotel, with special guest speaker Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez. Head here for future information.
Dallas Autumn Ball
MISSION: The Dallas Autumn Ball believes that giving back to the community should be more accessible and affordable to young adults. Founded in 2013, the annual Dallas Autumn Ball is an inclusive, black tie event for civic-minded young adults to unite in the name of giving back and celebrating charity in a festive, philanthropic environment. The Dallas Autumn Ball has donated over $120,000 since inception to directly benefit the Dallas education organizations.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: The Dallas Autumn Ball offers various donation opportunities, all explained here.
BIG EVENT: Keep an eye on upcoming dates for the Ball and other service events with an email subscription that you can sign up for here.
Dallas Cotillion Club
MISSION: In 1944, the Dallas Cotillion Club (DCC) was founded as the Junior Arts League of Dallas, focused on serving the Dallas community and connecting young women with common interests. Today, as one of the premier social clubs for women, the Dallas Cotillion Club remains focused on similar initiatives. DCC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of young professional women devoted to promoting volunteerism and developing the potential of women.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Whether it's participating in volunteer events for its beneficiary, Genesis Women's Shelter, joining the gala committee, attending social events, or partaking in any number of interest groups, Dallas Cotillion Club has multiple ways to get involved in the broader Dallas community.
MEMBERSHIP: Membership opens twice a year: once in the summer and once in the winter. A voting process takes place after the initial nomination, followed by a new member meeting explaining the various events and groups you can get involved in throughout the year.
Summer membership dues cover a full calendar year of events (summer to summer), including happy hours, volunteer opportunities, committee memberships, the annual gala, and more. Winter membership dues are augmented to cover only winter and spring season events.
BIG EVENT: DCC's signature event is its annual gala, which takes place each spring. Tickets are included with membership dues and additional tickets are available to the public for purchase.
Dallas Historical Society
MISSION: The Dallas Historical Society is a cultural resource and museum that collects, preserves, exhibits, and gives context to the rich history of Dallas and of Texas, and gives heart and shape to that community's future. The Dallas Historical Society is also the steward of the Hall of State in Fair Park.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Members allow Dallas Historical Society to continue its mission, but there are also many volunteer opportunities throughout the year for individuals to become more deeply involved and help the organization continue its mission.
For more information or to volunteer with Dallas Historical Society, please contact Nora Ochoa at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 214-421-4500, extension 110.
MEMBERSHIP: There are several tiers of membership.
BIG EVENT: Each autumn, the Dallas Historical Society hosts the Awards for Excellence in Community Service luncheon. Outstanding individuals are selected for this honor from nominations solicited from the Dallas community. The recipients are chosen for their contribution to the quality of life in Dallas in nine categories: arts leadership, business, creative arts, education, health/sciences, humanities/history, philanthropy, sports leadership, and volunteer community leadership. They go along with the Jubilee History Maker award, honoring those whose gifts of self have enhanced the quality of life in Dallas in more than one category of civic leadership.
The Dallas Historical Society curates and hosts the State Fair of Texas exhibit each year at the Hall of State. It also provides several free programs from March-November, such as An Evening With!, Brown Bag Lecture Series, and Pour Yourself into History. An Evening With! and Brown Bag Lectures focus on Dallas or Texas-centric topics, and Pour Yourself into History is a monthly happy hour around town to socialize and hear the history of a venue or area.
Dallas Hope Charities
MISSION: Dallas Hope Charities serves all individuals no matter where they are on their journey, with the hope that their lives will be transformed. As the outreach arm of Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ, the Dallas Hope Charities mission is to mobilize and inspire a vibrant, inclusive, and progressive volunteer force to bring tangible positive transformation to the lives of all who are marginalized.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Volunteer for one of DHC's many outreach programs, including the first LGBT-focused youth shelter in Dallas: Dallas Hope Center. Donations are also appreciated.
Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce
MISSION: Established in 1918, the Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce (DJCC) is the city’s premier network for young professionals between the ages 21-41. They offer diverse opportunities for personal and professional growth through professional development, networking, and philanthropy. Through philanthropic projects and annual signature events, they make a powerful impact on the community by volunteering and fundraising for several charitable organizations.
MEMBERSHIP: Membership into the Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce costs an annual fee of $150 per person. Membership perks include volunteer opportunities with many diverse charities across Dallas. For more details, visit here.
BIG EVENT: DJCC offers a range of events that members can attend throughout the year. For more information, visit here.
Feed My Starving Children
MISSION: As a Christian nonprofit organization, Feed My Starving Children is called to feed God's starving children who are hungry in body and spirit. This means reaching the hard-to-reach people and places, the "least of these." They will be found, and they will be fed.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: The best way to get involved at FMSC is to come to its food packing site in Richardson and volunteer to help pack life-saving meals for hungry children around the world. It's a two-hour commitment that includes a fun-filled session of education, activity, and a satisfaction of a task that truly makes the difference in children's lives. You can register to volunteer here.
Although the Richardson site hosts packing sessions throughout the week, there are also other locations around DFW at various times throughout the year that allow for people to participate in"MobilePacks" — events that last for one to three days.
Frisco Family Services
MISSION: Frisco Family Services is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax-deductible organization that has for 24 years helped members of its communities who are facing hunger, homelessness, and other urgent needs improve their quality of life and achieve self-sufficiency.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: There are many ways to get involved, from volunteering to making a donation. There are ongoing volunteer opportunities at the food pantry and resale store, as well as for the seasonal programs: Summer Lunch Program, Back2School Fun Fair, Thanksgiving Turkey Drive, Holiday Store, Senior Bells, and much more.
If you are unable to volunteer, you can get involved by making a donation to the agency or to one of the specific programs.
BIG EVENT: Each spring the group hosts Gala ONE, representing ONE community, coming together for ONE purpose, having ONE big impact. A few of the ways you can support the gala are through sponsorship opportunities, purchasing a ticket to attend, volunteering, or donating auction items. For more information, please email email@example.com.
The Mayor's Golf Classic is held at Stonebriar Country Club each June. Golfers of all skill levels are invited to join FFS for a beautiful day of golf, food, and fun. In addition to awards and special recognition for the top three teams, there are great prizes for the longest drive, closest to the pin, a putting challenge, and much more. For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or head here.
Genesis Women's Shelter
MISSION: The mission of Genesis Women's Shelter is to provide safety, shelter, and support for women who have experienced domestic violence, and to raise awareness regarding its cause, prevalence, and impact through a variety of services that include emergency shelter, transitional housing, and counseling services.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Whether it's preparing dinners, hosting donation drives, or providing structured play for children while a mother is in counseling, Genesis Women's Shelter has multiple volunteer opportunities.
MEMBERSHIP: Genesis Young Leaders (GYL) is a group of young professionals, both men and women, who stand up to help stop domestic violence in the Dallas community. Founded in 2001, Genesis Young Leaders are an invaluable component in supporting the mission of the Genesis Women's Shelter and promoting domestic violence awareness to other like-minded young professionals.
The mission of GYL is to eliminate family violence through volunteerism, education, and community awareness. As a part of Genesis Young Leaders, members take part in networking events, happy hours, a summer barbecue, and a fall festival, and host the GYL Masquerade.
BIG EVENT: Genesis Women's Shelter's inaugural First Ladies' Bruncheon was held in the fall of 2017 and was an instant success. The sold-out event was a celebratory affair to recognize the women and men of faith who stand up against domestic violence within their communities.
The annual Genesis Women's Shelter Luncheon also invites a keynote speaker to provide words of encouragement and support while fundraising for the organization. Past speakers have included Hilary Swank, Maria Shriver, and George W. Bush.
MISSION: The nonprofit Heart House provides safety, education, and opportunity to refugee and underprivileged children, as well as provides interventions and support services to move students from a mindset of chaos to an oasis of calm.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Volunteers can apply to help out after school, during the summer, and for special events, and can do so individually, as a group, or as part of a corporation. Head to the website for more information and the application. Donations support the life-changing, holistic approach that is unique to Heart House. Through the Head, Heart, and Hands (H3) program, the after-school and summer programs provide homework assistance, mentoring, counseling, and protection from negative influences. Your gift can help support the 130 refugee and underprivileged children of Vickery Meadow.
BIG EVENT: The annual Heart of a Champion luncheon is held each summer. In 2018, the luncheon generated more than $57,000 in revenue for Heart House's programming, community outreach, and engagement to support the refugee and underprivileged children of Vickery Meadow.
Heart of Dallas Young Professionals
MISSION: Heart of Dallas Young Professionals is composed of young professionals aged 25-40 in the sports and entertainment industries throughout the Dallas area. The organization encourages a community focus that highlights initiatives in line with its parent nonprofit organization, Heart of Dallas, which strives to reduce the homeless population in the city.
MEMBERSHIP: If you’re interested or have questions about becoming a member of the Heart of Dallas Young Professionals, please contact Hunter Harvin at hharvin@DallasCowboys.net. Members are expected to contribute at least $100 annually.
BIG EVENT: The programming goal is three events per quarter, geared toward professional and community development. To learn more, click here.
HERitage Giving Fund at Dallas Women's Foundation
MISSION: Founded in August 2017 during Black Philanthropy Month, HERitage Giving Fund at Dallas Women's Foundation encourages philanthropy in the African-American/Black community by contributing in a strategic and meaningful way, and by bringing a new source of funding to nonprofit organizations serving African-American women and girls throughout the North Texas area.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Gifts totaling $1,000 or more annually entitle you to vote on the grants to be distributed annually by the HERitage Giving Fund. Head to the website to donate, or email HeritageGivingFund@gmail.com for more information.
Hope Supply Co.
MISSION: Hope Supply Co.'s mission is to meet the critical needs of homeless and at-risk children across North Texas by providing necessities including diapers, clothing, school supplies, toys, and programs to enhance their lives.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Getting involved with Hope Supply Co. is easy and fun. Warehouse volunteers are a vital part of the mission and perform tasks such as packaging, labeling, and receiving of inventory. The family-friendly volunteer opportunity welcomes children ages 8 and up (ages 8-12 require adult supervision). You can also schedule a volunteer shift for your corporate, school, or community group. Sign-up online or email email@example.com.
You can also get involved by hosting a donation drive. The group is always in need of critical items such as diapers and toiletries for babies and teens, as well as seasonal items like swim gear (towels, flip flops, sunscreen, etc.) and school supplies. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Please note that they accept new items only.
BIG EVENT: Hope Supply Co. hosts two signature events each year. The fall fundraiser, Supply Hope!, is an evening event featuring a beautiful backyard setting, cocktails, tasty bites, and a live auction. The last Supply Hope! was October 18 at the home of Lisa and Clay Cooley.
Craig Miller's Swing for Hope Golf Classic is their annual golf tournament held in April at the Las Colinas Country Club. It is sponsored by 1310 The Ticket and Briggs Equipment.
In My Shoes
MISSION: In My Shoes is the only community living program in Dallas that provides support specifically toward pregnant, homeless women, while offering life, parenting, and job skills. All women who are struggling with homelessness, faced with the decision of bringing a child into this world, and are in need of a a strong support system from peers and professional counselors, are welcome.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Individuals, groups, and families are encouraged to make or bring meals for Meals for Moms — check the Facebook page for a signup link. On the third Saturday of each month, the residents, staff, and volunteers set aside time to take care of the facilities.
BIG EVENT: Trivia Night is the annual spring fundraiser that gets bigger and better every year. Create a team of eight people and put your thinking caps on for seven rounds of trivia fun with bonus rounds in-between. Nosh on pizza, beer, and wine as everyone battles for the coveted title of Trivia Night Champs. The awesome silent auction items give others a chance to feel like winners.
International Rescue Committee, Dallas
MISSION: The International Rescue Committee responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. In Dallas and 24 other cities around the United States, the IRC resettles refugees, providing critical services to help them become thriving community members.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Volunteer as an individual or a group; email VolunteerDallas@Rescue.org for upcoming information sessions. Donate new or gently used items; email DonationsDallas@Rescue.org for more information on current in-kind items needs. Join the young professionals network, GenR: Dallas; email GenRDallas@Rescue.org for more information. Donate your financial support; visit Rescue.org/Dallas to make a financial contribution.
MEMBERSHIP: The young professionals network, GenR, requires annual dues (that are tax-deductible) of $125. Members have access to monthly newsletters, monthly happy hours, quarterly meetings, quarterly book clubs, volunteer events, and discounts to the IRC annual fundraiser.
BIG EVENT: GenR: Dallas hosts the annual Force For Change fundraiser in October, showcasing the curated HOME photo exhibition in the exclusive Conduit Gallery in the Design District. The image collection represents a small cross section of the IRC's work, highlighting its humanitarian efforts across the globe and in the United States.
MISSION: This group's mission is to promote and develop projects that stimulate growth and improve the lives of those living in low-income, impoverished areas. They aim to do so by focusing on humanitarian projects that provide basic necessities, such as water and healthcare, in these communities. To ensure sustainability of projects, they use collaborative approaches with local community members who identify the projects and programs that they need assistance with. They then monitor and follow up on the completed projects and sustainable programs.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Individual donations of any amount are critical to helping JB Dondolo further their mission, making it possible to cover the cost of providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) products, materials to refurbish the clinic, and training on sustainable programs.
BIG EVENT: The Equanimity Awards Benefit Gala takes place in July and awards changemakers in the community while raising funds. Your ticket includes entertainment, refreshments, and dinner. Awards are presented throughout the evening to honor citizens who are using their platforms to make change in the world.
Junior League of Dallas
MISSION: The Junior League's mission is to promote volunteerism, develop the potential of women, and improve the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Approximately $1 million and more than 130,000 volunteer hours are returned to the community.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Each dollar given to the community through the JLD is tripled in value by their volunteers' time. Since they only send grants to the agencies in their Community Program — where the dedicated members volunteer — your investment gets more than tripled.
MEMBERSHIP: Membership info is available on the website. Please contact email@example.com if you have further questions.
BIG EVENT: The annual Milestones Luncheon in the fall brings in a big-name speaker, while the Auction Party helps raise further funds.
MISSION: The Katy Trailblazers is a new young professional group that was formed to help spread awareness, gain new members, and raise funds for Friends of the Katy Trail.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: To get involved with the Katy Trailblazers, you can become a member, donate, or volunteer.
MEMBERSHIP: To officially become a Katy Trailblazer, you will need to join as a member and be sure to denote you'd like to be a Trailblazer.
BIG EVENT: The Katy Trail hosts the annual Katy 5K to benefit Friends of Katy Trail. Click here to learn more.
Lone Star Justice Alliance
MISSION: The mission of Lone Star Justice Alliance is to redirect youth and young adults out of the Texas justice system and into community-based treatment programs, thus increasing public safety and saving taxpayer dollars.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Interns usually volunteer for a semester at a time, while other volunteers help with coordinating events and donation campaigns.
BIG EVENT: The Second Look Summit brings together families and friends of individuals who are incarcerated, where they share stories and hardships, and talk about what the organization does.
Men of Nehemiah
MISSION: The Men of Nehemiah is a Christian community service movement designed to rebuild the lives of families that have been torn apart by the vicious onslaught of poverty, homelessness, substance abuse, crime, and violence. Initiated in South Dallas, the primary ministry is a comprehensive discipleship and addiction recovery program for men, particularly men who are homeless and/or formerly incarcerated.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: TMON believes that creating an effective system for volunteer engagement and involvement is directly connected to its goals of leveraging tight resources, maximizing community involvement, and advancing organizational growth and development. You can also donate to The Men of Nehemiah here.
MISSION: Mercury One is a nonprofit humanitarian aid and education organization focused on restoring the human spirit. Its initiatives include providing programs to individuals to advance the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for communities to help themselves, as well as assisting our nation's veterans, providing aid to those in crisis, and rebuilding and restoring the lives of Christians and other persecuted religious minorities in the Middle East.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Volunteer opportunities are constantly evolving and involve veteran events, holidays, help with beneficiary events, disaster relief, and more.
BIG EVENT: Its major fundraiser, the M1Ball, happens each year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This fabulous and fun event features a VIP reception, silent auction, a seated three-course dinner, spirited live auction, and live entertainment.
Mercury One hosts the Mercury Museum, an especially significant curated pop-up museum featuring items from Mercury One's permanent collection of historical artifacts throughout our nation's history and American pop culture from the 20th century.
Mosaic Family Services
MISSION: Mosaic Family Services supports, educates, and empowers the multicultural individuals and families of North Texas. They are dedicated to serving survivors of human rights abuses from around the world and within their community, and create access to opportunities for their clients, empowering them toward independence.
Mosaic Family Services hopes to equip future leaders with the skills to impact their own diverse communities for a stronger, more vibrant North Texas. Their services include shelter, legal representation, mental health programs, and community education.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Volunteer opportunities are varied and include working at the shelter, in the office, or in the community. All volunteers must fill out a volunteer application.
BIG EVENT: The Mosaic Family Services Annual Gala is a celebration of the work the group has accomplished and the people who make that work possible. The festive and fun-filled evening is a chance to gather with friends and celebrate the resiliency of survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence.
North Texas Food Bank
MISSION: The North Texas Food Bank (NTFB) provides access to more than 190,000 meals each day for hungry children, seniors, and families across a 13-county service area. In 2017, NTFB and its feeding network provided access to almost 70 million meals. To combat increasing food insecurity in North Texas, the Food Bank recently launched a 10-year plan to provide access to 92 million nutritious meals annually by 2025. NTFB is a member of Feeding America, a national hunger relief organization.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: There a variety of ways to get involved wtih NTFB, from working at the community pantry or distribution center to helping NTFB's nutrition services programs by teaching a Cooking Matters class, distributing food assistance materials, or translating nutrition workshops. To register as a volunteer and sign up for an experience, head to the website.
BIG EVENT: NTFB's annual Empty Bowls event raises both funds and awareness for the organization. In addition to soup and other bowl-friendly fare from over 20 North Texas restaurants, attendees can select a handcrafted bowl from some of Texas’ finest artists as a memento of the day.
Oak Lawn Park Conservancy
MISSION: The Oak Lawn Park Conservancy creates and maintains formal, manicured spaces for peaceful public enjoyment as well as for public and private events. In 1995, the Dallas Tavern Guild, Oak Lawn Forum, the Oak Lawn Committee, Turtle Creek Association, and Dallas Southern Memorial Association formalized their coalition and created the Lee Park and Arlington Hall Conservancy, modeled after the Central Park Conservancy in New York.
The nonprofit Conservancy assumed responsibility for the renovation, development, and conservation of the historic Arlington Hall site and started by raising $3 million for the renovation. The plans were sensitive to the Texas Historical Landmark status and approved by the Dallas Landmark Commission. After completion of the Hall, the Conservancy turned its attention to the surrounding parklands. The current project is designed by Armstrong Berger and includes new features to the portions of the park contiguous to Arlington Hall. The Oak Lawn Park Conservancy is focused on thoughtfully developing and enhancing areas of the park so that people can more comfortably connect with nature and each other.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: The Conservancy raises funds to provide the special attention required to preserve this Texas Historical Landmark and 20-acre park, home to 1,500 trees, almost four miles of path, and thousands of visitors each year. The annual budget for caring for the park and hall does not include city funds. Private donations, memberships, and events are responsible for the work it takes to keep both beautiful.
MEMBERSHIP: By becoming a member of The Conservancy, you are helping to care for 20 acres of urban green space where the Turtle Creek Corridor, Uptown, and Oak Lawn come together. Members gain discounted access to fun events, a discount on the rental of Arlington Hall, and a complimentary ticket to a festive holiday party. Every membership is tax deductible as allowed by law.
BIG EVENT: Each year more than 4,000 people gather in Oak Lawn Park for the Conservancy's Easter in the Park, an afternoon of festivities including The Conservancy Pooch Parade, live music, an Easter egg hunt, a special appearance from the Easter Bunny, and a variety of food trucks. A portion of sales from the food trucks are donated to The Conservancy. The Conservancy Pooch Parade meanders down Turtle Creek Boulevard, with winners selected by a panel of local celebrity judges. Registration is $10 in advance per costume entry, and day-of registration is $15.
Our Friends Place
MISSION: Our Friends Place is a Dallas-area transitional living and outreach program dedicated to helping young women break the generational cycles of abuse, neglect, poverty, and homelessness through empowering self-reliance and independence.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Volunteers are instrumental in serving the mission of changing the lives of young women. For current or upcoming OFP volunteer opportunities please visit Voly.org. Our Friends Place relies on the support of donors to help provide resources for young women suffering from abuse, neglect, poverty, and homelessness.
BIG EVENT: For the past 30 years, Our Friends Place has been dedicated to improving the lives of young women in the Dallas area. To celebrate this incredible milestone, everyone comes together for an evening of fun and charity at the 30th Anniversary Gala.
MISSION: Promise House moves youth in crisis toward safety and success, leading the charge to end youth homelessness in North Texas. Its free programs include life-saving emergency shelter, transitional housing, pregnant and parenting teen support, counseling, education, and outreach services.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Groups of people can get involved by volunteering with the youth — hosting pizza nights, game nights, or other engaging activities.
BIG EVENT: Promise House hosts two signature events each year: the Golf Class and the Sleep Out.
Each spring, Promise House hosts a golf tournament to raise much-needed funds for the youth they serve. The Golf Classic provides an important opportunity for corporations, small businesses, and individuals to support its mission, and is a day full of fun and community collaboration as the supporters spend time together, enjoying a round of golf and engaging with the group's mission.
For the Sleep Out, community leaders are invited each fall to sleep outside at Promise House with only cardboard and a sleeping bag. Each sleeper commits to raising at least $5,000 through their social network — increasing both awareness and funds for the homeless youth they serve. While this could never replicate the experience of a young person on the streets, the event does provide participants a chance to learn, firsthand, about some of the challenges they face.
Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas
MISSION: The Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas, which has been in continuous operation since 1968, is located in Dallas, but they answer calls throughout DFW, as well as calls for two national crisis lines. Each month, 1,500 people in crisis call the center (214-828-1000) to speak to a trained, caring counselor. Any time, day or night, someone always answers. In addition, the Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas offers a survivors of suicide a support group, crisis debriefing services, and in-service training.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Training classes for the crisis line are offered a minimum of twice a year. The extensive training requires attendance at classes for 10 consecutive weeks, one evening a week. After the training and internship is completed, volunteers are asked to commit to one three-to-four-hour shift per week for at least six months. Shifts are available 24 hours a day. If you are interested in volunteering to be a crisis line volunteer, call 214-824-7020, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
BIG EVENT: A chance meeting between Margie Wright, executive director of the Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas, and Yvonne Crum took place at a charity event. This meeting lead to Margie asking Yvonne to help raise $25,000 by organizing an event around the issue of suicide that potential donors would want to attend.
Crum realized the best way to involve the community in raising awareness and funds was to select a dozen women annually to serve as fundraising ambassadors. These ambassadors, or Fashion Stars, work tirelessly to promote and sell raffle tickets for The Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas' annual Fashion Stars for a Cause, which is a celebration of fashion and compassion. Since the beginning of Fashion Stars, more than $2 million has been raised to provide hope and save lives.
Texas Trees Foundation
MISSION: Simply put, the motto of the Texas Trees Foundation is "The Greening of North Central Texas." The foundation sustains a tree-planting initiative for neighborhood parkways and medians, schools, and other public open spaces; a tree-growing facility to assure a healthy supply of trees for the future; and education programs to teach the importance and benefits of maintaining a healthy urban forest.
The Texas Trees Foundation aims to increase the tree canopy in North Central Texas, which will lower temperatures, reduce pollutants in the air, and create a healthier environment for Texas residents to work and play in.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: The best way to get involved is to volunteer to help plant trees. You can also sign up for planting events, or sign up to be a volunteer without committing to the events currently listed. Interested volunteers can also reach the volunteer coordinator, Marc Beaudoing at email@example.com. In addition to individuals who want to volunteer, many companies have partnered with the Texas Trees Foundation to have planting days for their employees.
Texas Women's Foundation
MISSION: Texas Women's Foundation invests in women and girls to empower women's philanthropy and build a better world. In 2013, Texas Women's Foundation began a comprehensive fundraising campaign, the Unlocking Leadership Campaign, to improve the future of North Texas by investing in the economic security and leadership potential of women and girls with an ambitious $50 million goal.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: There are many ways that Texas Women's Foundation invites you to make an investment in advancing the lives of women and girls in our community. All gifts — whether through events, endowments, or joining a giving society — make a ripple effect by transforming the lives of individuals, families, and communities.
MEMBERSHIP: The XIX Society — named for Texas Women's Foundation's 19 founders — is a giving society for philanthropists who believe that the surest way to create concrete solutions in our community is by investing in women and girls. By contributing annually at one of the XIX Society levels, members are partnering with Texas Women's Foundation to unleash the power of the ripple effect, and their gift is an investment in women's economic security, leadership, education, health, and safety. Benefits include networking opportunities and being able to participate in the selection of the XIX Society grant recipient.
BIG EVENT: Featuring a top-notch speaker, the Annual Luncheon attracts more than 1,500 of the community's most influential business and philanthropic leaders, decision makers, and individuals, and is one of the top luncheons in Dallas. The other event, Leadership Forum & Awards Dinner, recognizes leaders who have positively impacted the lives of women and girls with the Maura Women Helping Women and Young Leader Awards.
MISSION: Bought by the City of Dallas in 1909, today's Oak Lawn Park has been in use as a park since at least 1892. Over $8 million in private funds has been raised and invested so far in new gardens and other park amenities. The Conservancy continues to raise funds for the thoughtful development of the park. Through the years, the park has been home to movie nights and picnics, and was a focal point of the 1970s Dallas hippie culture. It has been, and will continue to be, a greenspace for gathering.
Built in 1939, Arlington Hall was originally used as a "field house" that included lockers for recreation and housed USO Dances and Red Cross Blood Drives during wartime. Generations of weddings, receptions, and other events were held in the hall, though limited city funding and maintenance caught up with the building. For over 30 years, Arlington Hall, and its surrounding public park area had suffered significant neglect and decay. Several neighbors and five community organizations came together to create The Conservancy (formerly Lee Park & Arlington Hall Conservancy), so that initial funds could be raised, construction implemented, ongoing maintenance performed, and revenue-generating events and programs executed
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: The annual budget for caring for the park and hall does not include city funds. Private donations, memberships, and events are responsible for the work it takes to keep both beautiful.
MEMBERSHIP: Join others who believe that this park and hall deserve an elevated level of care. Become a member of The Conservancy and show how much you believe in the past and the future.
BIG EVENT: From sampling the best in Dallas food, beverage and entertainment to supporting good causes and making new human and canine friends, Oak Lawn Park offers a breadth of recreation. Join in for teas, luncheons, informative and entertaining speaker series, parties, neighborhood events, and more.
MISSION: The Gatehouse is a supportive living community where women — single or with children — in crisis receive safe refuge, ample time, practical resources, and healthy relationships to discover new paths for permanent, positive change. On 61 acres in Grapevine, 96 apartments span four neighborhoods, where families participate in their individually tailored journey through the Independent Life Program.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: If you're interested in getting involved with The Gatehouse, the first step is to attend a one-hour informational gathering about the history, vision, and plan for the Gatehouse community.
MEMBERSHIP: Circle 58 is a unique circle of women who support The Gatehouse by re-gifting some of what they’ve been given so others receive a hand up when they need it most. Women of all ages are invited to join the Circle, and it can also be a unique way to honor other women in your life with a membership.
BIG EVENT: The Dallas Cowboys and the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Foundation underwrite the annual Gatehouse Get in the Game luncheon. The event features notable local influencers and community members, including a panel of Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl champions who will advocate for a hand up to those who need it most. Get in the Game is held on a Monday in October at AT&T Stadium and features top-notch speakers such as former Dallas Cowboys and Ring of Honor recipients Bob Lilly, Roger Staubach, and Drew Pearson in 2017, coach Jason Garrett with Ret. Admiral William H. McRaven in 2016, and Jason Witten in 2015.
The Hope Center
MISSION: The Hope Center is a one-of-a-kind 501(c)(3) collaborative Christian nonprofit center to 40-plus Christian nonprofits. THC offers half market-rate rent to its tenant nonprofits who share the love of Christ in North Texas and around the world.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Donate money or gifts-in-kind here.
BIG EVENT: Critical Conversations Speaker Series: A speaker series focusing on how Christians are to respond to the trials of our current culture with Biblical truth and love.
National Day of Prayer: In accordance with the nationwide celebration, the National Day of Prayer is an annual observance, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. The Hope Center hosts a special time of fellowship and prayer over the seven prayer pillars. This annual free event is held on the first Thursday of May.
The Magdalen House
MISSION: The Magdalen House's mission is to help women achieve sobriety and sustain recovery from alcoholism at no-cost and based on 12 step spiritual principles. It is the first and remains the only facility in Texas offering these programs at no cost to all alcoholic women and their families.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Some volunteer opportunities include attending education classes, workshops, and meetings, and helping out families involved with alcoholics. Call 214-324-9261 for more information. Donations are also always appreciated.
BIG EVENT: The annual fundraising dinner is held every year. On October 11, 2018, at FIG, "Leave a Legacy Dinner: An Evening with Elizabeth Vargas" welcomed former 20/20 news anchor as the keynote speaker. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 214-764-0793.
The Real Estate Council Foundation
MISSION: The Real Estate Council Foundation sparks community transformation through good works in four key areas: housing, job creation, education, and the environment. Since its inception in 1994, the foundation has contributed more than $12 million in grant funds to more than 100 nonprofit community organizations supported by pro bono professional services, work from members, and their companies.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: You can get involved by joining the Real Estate Council, a commercial real estate trade organization whose philanthropic arm is the foundation.
MEMBERSHIP: While the foundation does not have any membership fees, dues for the Real Estate Council membership organization start at $325.
BIG EVENT: FightNight, Giving Gala, and Casino Night all annual events which benefit the foundation.
The Salvation Army
MISSION: The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church, with the mission to care for the poor, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, clothe the naked, love the unlovable, and befriend the friendless.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: The Salvation Army needs volunteers for its many events — sign up to help on the website. To those who want to positively affect their world, the Salvation Army is the charity that maximizes contributions and monetary donations.
The Wilkinson Center
MISSION: The Wilkinson Center's mission is to transform the lives of Dallas families by providing pathways to self-sufficiency with dignity and respect. It helps families face critical life challenges including food insecurity, lack of education, economic instability, unemployment, and underemployment. All the programs are provided free of charge.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: The Wilkinson Center provides opportunities for individual and small group volunteers in their various programs, including food and emergency services, adult education, and family enhancement programs. Head here for more information and to fill out an application.
MEMBERSHIP: The Young Friends of Wilkinson Center was established in 2011 and has raised over $115,000 since its inception. They are a group of dynamic young professionals committed to building sustainable resources that empower Wilkinson Center clients to become self-sufficient and improve their lives.
BIG EVENT: Launched in 2012, The White Party is the largest fundraiser for The Wilkinson Center. Hosted by Young Friends, the evening features live music, food, drinks, and a signature color of attire.
Women's Council of the Dallas Arboretum
MISSION: Founded in 1982 to support the Dallas Arboretum, a major goal of The Women's Council of the Dallas Arboretum has been the design, construction, funding, and endowment of A Woman’s Garden at the Dallas Arboretum.
MEMBERSHIP: Membership is offered at a variety of different levels. To learn more and join, head here.
BIG EVENT: For over 30 years, the Mad Hatter's Tea has been an ongoing fundraising event sponsored by the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Monies raised grow and maintain A Woman’s Garden, a major garden at the Dallas Arboretum.
Over 450 guests, some from as far away as California, plan their trips to Dallas not only to take part in the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party — many in wild and wonderful over-the-top hats — but to view the glorious springtime azalea displays and flowers that grace the Dallas Arboretum. This fabulous and fun party includes a champagne reception in Ginsburg Plaza and a seated luncheon under elegantly draped tents.
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
MISSION: The United Way of Metropolitan Dallas tackles complex social problems by surrounding North Texans with over 200 local programs in the areas of education, income, and health — the essential components of a thriving community. Instead of just addressing one issue, like hunger or homelessness, the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas treats 360 degrees of need.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: There are many volunteer opportunities with The United Way of Metropolitan Dallas that span their different impact areas. To get involved, start by taking a look at the calendar of upcoming events.
BIG EVENT: At the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas' annual Live! In the Park health and wellness fair, Klyde Warren Park comes alive with healthy activities and music for kids of every age. Learn about fun and easy ways to stay fit as a family while enjoying face painting, crafts, giveaways, music, and fitness activities throughout the park.
MISSION: Unlikely Heroes' vision and mission are global: to rescue, restore, and rehabilitate child victims out of slavery. Since 2011, they have rescued hundreds of children. Their journey to freedom starts in one of Unlikely Heroes' five restoration homes located around the world.
Experienced Unlikely Heroes teams are on the ground in the United States, Mexico, Thailand, and the Philippines, providing the very best in restorative care, safe housing, education, life skills, medical care, counseling, stability, and love to every single child they care for.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Gifts to Unlikely Heroes help make it possible to give each rescued child food, shelter, therapy, life skills, clothing, job training, and medical care.
BIG EVENT: The annual Recognizing Heroes Awards Dinner and Gala is a star-studded red carpet charity benefit featuring live musical performances, a benefit auction, and exclusive VIP celebrity meet-and-greet.
VNA Meals on Wheels
MISSION: VNA Meals on Wheels provides hot, nutritious, freshly prepared meals five days a week to Dallas County residents who can't provide for themselves due to illness, advanced age, or disability. These meals contribute to the overall health and well-being of participating seniors, including those with chronic illnesses that are affected by diet, such as diabetes and heart disease, and frail seniors who are homebound. Without VNA Meals on Wheels, these seniors would go hungry.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Currently, more than 2,500 qualifying seniors have requested meals but are not being served due to lack of funding and volunteer support. Sadly, based on current statistics, that number is only expected to grow. Click on the website to volunteer in many different capacities, such as delivering food or preparing meals. You can also click here to donate to Meals on Wheels.
MISSION: The mission of WiNGS is to empower women, fight poverty, and impact generations. Through a tailored suite of innovative services, women build confidence and skills on their path to a new life as they start families, work toward financial security, or grow small businesses.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Show your support for women with a one-time or monthly donation to WiNGS — sponsorship opportunities are available too. Spread the word by inviting a WiNGS Ambassador to speak to your favorite club, affinity group, association, or church. You can volunteer by mentoring an aspiring entrepreneur, coaching a mom working toward financial freedom, or teaching a woman who's ready to grow her business skills.
BIG EVENT: The annual Mentors & Allies Awards Luncheon in May brings together more than 400 of Dallas' most prominent citizens, including leaders in the corporate and philanthropic communities to increase awareness, recognize achievements, and raise funds to support women and their families in need.
The Women's Enterprise Showcase, held in October, is a kinder, gentler version of Shark Tank, featuring presentations by WiNGS clients to a panel of Dallas business leaders. An audience of about 75 people have the opportunity to hear three outstanding pitches from women in the program, then the selected women give three-minute elevator speeches about their business to an audience of business leaders and executives.
Youth With Faces
MISSION: This mission of Youth With Faces is to give youth in the juvenile justice system the skills needed to break the cycle of incarceration and create positive futures. They believe in the potential of these youth and give them the opportunity to learn and practice critical social, job, and life skills. These are essential to their success when returning to their families and communities.
First launched in 2001 to provide materials and meals to the youth in Dallas County’s Youth Village, Youth with Faces began expanding its scope to include rehabilitation programs in 2008. Today, they have expanded to serve the residents of both Medlock Residential Treatment Center and Letot Girls’ Residential Treatment Center, and impact the lives of approximately 200 youth annually.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED: Youth With Faces offers many opportunities for individual volunteers and groups, including working with their youth (which includes assisting with career classes, conducting mock interviews, and participating in the speakers program) and other support such as helping organize and beautify Youth With Faces spaces and holding a clothing drive.
BIG EVENT: Five of Dallas’ finest chefs prepare a multi-course, farm-to-table meal paired with select wines at Youth With Faces' annual fundraising dinner, Field & Vine.
We're constantly updating our Charity Guide, so if you have new information or current details about an organization's big event, please let us know by emailing email@example.com