By AMANDA KIMBLE
NORTH TEXAS (September 21, 2016) – It’s a single day that can make a big difference for area nonprofits, including four Erath County organizations. North Texas Giving Day multiplies monetary support and allows donation-dependent nonprofit organizations to reach a world of potential donors through an annual online giving event.
The 2016 internet-based fundraiser will be held from 6 a.m. until midnight this Thursday, September 22.
Each of the Erath County participants – Foster’s Home for Children, Choices Life Resource Center, STAR Council on Substance Abuse and Community Outreach Housing – have a unique mission and client base. But they all have something in common, the need for financial support to better serve clients.
Donors from the local area, contributors from across the state and nation and benefactors from around the world will come together for the eighth annual North Texas Giving Day. The event has a successful history including more than $119 million raised for nonprofits across the region in seven years and $33 million distributed last year.
More than 2,000 certified nonprofit organizations have been approved to take part in this year’s fundraising campaign. In addition to direct support, they could benefit from $2.2 million in bonus funds and prizes.
When contributors make a monetary donation of $25 or more through www.NorthTexasGivingDay.org, the donations are amplified by bonus funds and prizes, and donations received during certain time blocks qualify the nonprofits for chances at additional boosts.
Monies collected by the organizations chosen to take part in the campaign must be used as general funds, and cannot be disbursed for special projects or improvements outside of regular, recurring expenses.
Foster’s Home for Children
For Sherwood and Myrtie Foster’s Home for Children and the children who call the Stephenville facility home, operating funds are a daily necessity, according to Lacey Barton, vice president of development.
Daily operations at the facility are like providing for the daily needs of any other residence and its occupants – times 12. The Stephenville campus includes residential homes where children, newborn to 18 years old, reside with house parents and foster or biological siblings.
“Our general expenses are our greatest expenses,” Barton said. “Our electric bill is astronomical, and then there are things like doctor visits, medication and gas for our vans.”
Individual donors are the nonprofit organization’s lifeblood and credited with success of Foster’s Home, which first opened its doors to children in 1960.
Foster’s Home is participating in North Texas Giving Day for the third year, and Barton said the event opens doors to new donors who may not otherwise know about the local organization.
“North Texas Giving Day offers us a whole new generation of donors,” Barton said, adding the competitive, online format appeals to younger generations and others whose lives may be too busy to search out worthy causes and organizations independently. “We can now look at our reports and see there are donors who have only contributed through giving day.”
The fundraising site allows donors to seek out organizations by county or category, such as those that serve children, provide social services or address housing needs.
Choices Life Resource Center
Big things are happening at Choices Life Resource Center.
The Christian ministry is dedicated to preserving the value of human life by providing abortion alternatives, practical assistance and education to the women and families in the Cross Timbers area.
Services provided by the organization are free and confidential and include pregnancy testing, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, diagnostic ultrasounds, parent education that allows participants to earn maternity and baby supplies, community referrals and more.
The walls have been framed, the foundation has been poured and contractors are aiming to have the roof installed before fall weather arrives. Ashley Graves, executive director, said the services provided reach thousands of clients each year, and she hopes to see them delivered from Choices’ new facility in early 2017 or sooner.
As progress on the facility at 775 South Harbin Drive in Stephenville continues, Graves said Choices intends to use funds collected through North Texas Giving Day to continue to provide services to new clients while ministering to existing participants.
In 2015, Choices administered 318 pregnancy tests with 166 positive results. More than 100 of the women classified as “abortion vulnerable” and all but three of them chose to deliver their babies.
Meanwhile, more than 740 parenting classes were held last year, with attendees being awarded almost 16,000 boutique items and almost 20 cribs.
Choices also shares abstinence education with area high school and college-aged students and saw more than 2,300 participants in the 2014-15 school year. Through the education program, it was determined that 22 percent of students were sexually active and 69 percent expressed a desire to commit to abstinence until they were married.
STAR Council on Substance Abuse’s mission is to provide substance abuse treatment to individuals, empowering them to choose a substance-free lifestyle, and to provide education and alternative activities in schools and community settings that promote healthy life choices.
The nonprofit also works to reduce the likelihood of alcohol and drug abuse in the communities it serves.
Current needs of STAR Council include funding for the expansion of educational offerings to underfunded or excluded populations. The organization hopes to provide the broadened client base with anger management, parenting skills and substance abuse/awareness education.
The nonprofit also hopes to replace outdated equipment and technology to improve staff efficiency and effectiveness.
Community Outreach Housing
Community Outreach Housing offers quality, reduced-rate housing to full-time college students and low-income families.
Qualified applicants pay a monthly lease, which includes bills and lawn care services. The nonprofit aims to fill the affordable housing gap while helping renters prepare to own a home.
To make the mission possible, the housing ministry is calling on donors to provide financial support that will be used to compensate skilled laborers and maintain the nine properties the organization owns in Earth County.
The nonprofit’s founders said as the organization continues to grow and there are plans to purchases additional single-family rental properties, it needs funds for renovations and quality improvements on each new property.
How it works
Anyone with a credit or debit card and access to the internet can participate in the online giving event, organizations cannot donate to themselves.
To donate or make a gift, visit www.NorthTexasGivingDay.org anytime between 6 a.m. and midnight this Thursday, September 22. Search for your favorite nonprofits on the homepage, enter your credit card information and hit “Submit.”
Donors who would like to give to more than one organization can save time and use the multi-give donation form on the homepage, entering their credit card information only once.
All donations will be paid to the chosen nonprofit minus a 5.09-percent fee, which includes a credit card transaction fee and a portion of the processing fees. But, contributors who use the donation form on a nonprofit profile page will have the option to cover the fees.