Dispatch from the Twitterverse

Our favorite Dallasites on Twitter right now, the philanthropy edition

Our favorite Dallasites on Twitter right now, the philanthropy edition

To avoid feeling like a failure only a few weeks into January, I do something a little different. In lieu of resolutions, each year I pick a theme and apply that to my everyday life. Any time I’m at a crossroads or have a decision to make, I remind myself of my theme and go that route. This year, it’s “do more.”

Relax more, challenge myself more, explore more, love more, write more, travel more — see how that works?

So, this month, I decided to do a little hunting for Twitterers who carried that theme as well. On this list, you’ll meet some organizations and people who go that extra mile and “do more” for the greater good of Dallas.

Ronald McDonald House of Dallas epitomizes “do more.” Families stay here when their child needs medical treatment. The treatments vary, but the experience these families go through does not. 

Did you know Dallas has the only Ronald McDonald House in the country that provides three meals a day every day? And it does more than just that. From therapy dogs and volunteers to celebrities who pop in to say hello to the kids, this place does so much more than just provide a room. And, for that, it’s at the top of the list.

I made a reference to the Prison Entrepreneurship Program when chief development officer Jeremy Gregg hit the stage at the TEDxSMU conference in early December. These folks do cool things, not just more things.

They take prison inmates, gang leaders, drug dealers and violent offenders and turn them into entrepreneurs. The program has a 100 percent employment rate within 90 days of leaving the program and a 5 percent return-to-prison rate. 

The American Heart Association is headquartered in Dallas and, throughout the year, the organization does more by bringing awareness to all things heart-related. This is especially evident on February 1 or, as it’s known in these parts, “National Wear Red Day.”

Created to drive massive awareness around the No. 1 killer of women, National Wear Red Day is catching on like wildfire. Don’t be the one person out at lunch not wearing red. (Trust me. I forgot last year.)

Founded in 2002, Education is Freedom works to help young people get to college. Because education is freedom! The organization provides comprehensive college access services to change these kids’ lives — lives that would be very different if they didn’t get the support they needed to knock down some very profound barriers.

The process works. Education is Freedom currently serves 23 high schools and six middle schools in the Dallas area. In 2012, they sent these kids to Georgetown, MIT, Rice, Howard University, Texas A&M, University of Texas — an impressive list, indeed.

Hopefully your new year plans include getting more involved in our community here in Dallas. This is a great starting point, but I barely scratched the surface. Follow these four organizations on Twitter, volunteer with them, join them, like them on Facebook. I don’t care which one; they’re all amazing.

Your only assignment here is to just “do more.”

Go Red for Women, American Heart Association
Are you ready to Go Red on February 1? Photo courtesy of American Heart Association
Dallas Zoo visits Ronald McDonald House
The Dallas Zoo recently visited Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. Ronald McDonald House of Dallas/Facebook
Prison Entrepreneurship Program
A volunteer with the Prison Entrepreneurship Program coaches one of the participants. Photo courtesy of Prison Entrepreneurship Program