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Nonprofit Matters: Sept. 8, 2014

North Texas Giving Day hopes to break records again After setting a national record-smashing 75,000 donations totaling $25.2 million last year, North Texas Giving Day is back – slated for Sept. 18 – with the hope that area donors will outdo themselves and give even more to benefit North Texas nonprofits. Created by Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation and the Center for Nonprofit Management, North Texas Giving Day is an online giving event that provides people in North Texas the opportunity to raise money for local charities. The effort also gives nonprofits the opportunity to gain exposure to – and start relationships with – new donors while spreading awareness of their causes. Donations for this year’s sixth annual event on Sept. 18 can be made from 6 a.m. to midnight to more than 1,600 certified nonprofits listed on the new website www.NorthTexasGivingDay.org. Donations $25 and above will be boosted by $2 million in bonus funds and prizes. In just five years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $60 million into the North Texas community. In 2013, more than 1,350 area nonprofits benefited from the event.

Gill Children’s Services taps Salavarria The board of directors of Gill Children’s Services has hired Peyton Salavarria as its new executive director. She replaces Amanda Stallings, who now serves as the executive director of the JPS Foundation in Fort Worth. Salavarria brings experience in the nonprofit sector, creating marketing campaigns, branding strategies and community awareness. She recently served Communities In Schools of Greater Tarrant County, where she was the director of events and marketing. Salavarria has a marketing degree with an emphasis on nonprofit organizational studies from the University of Oklahoma. Founded in 1979 by Martine H. Ginsburg and Virginia H. Richards, Gill Children’s Services serves as a funding source of last resort, helping Tarrant County children whose medical, dental, social, psychological and educational needs have not been met by other community resources.

SafeHaven announces Legacy of Women honorees Fifteen women will be honored by SafeHaven of Tarrant County during the 22nd Legacy of Women luncheon on Sept. 26 at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel. Nominations are solicited in arts, business, education, health and human services, and volunteerism and an honoree is selected in each category from Arlington, Fort Worth and Northeast Tarrant County by an independent selection committee. The 2014 Legacy of Women honorees in arts are Martha Fredrick, Mainstage Classic Theatre; Amy Adkins, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Association; and Connie Nichols, Arts Council Northeast Tarrant County. In the business category, the honorees are Linda Dipert, Women Inspiring Philanthropy and Dan Dipert Travel; Bobbie Edmonds, Law Offices of Bobbie Edmonds; and Cyndi Miller, Miller Public Relations. Those honored in education are Beth Anderson, Berry Elementary and Anderson Elementary, Arlington; Rebecca Brumley, Red Oak Foundation; and Sharon Mayes, Penrose Foundation. Health and human services honorees are Joan Bergstrom, Women’s Health Services; Barbara Board, Community Storehouse; and Christine Quatro, Varsity Orthopedics. Rounding out the list in the volunteerism category are Kay King, Lauri Lawrence and Laura Hill.

Goodwill adds two donation sites Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth has added two attended donation centers (ADC) to the Fort Worth area. The 1,540-square-foot ADC at 596 Altamere Drive in west Fort Worth began accepting donations from the public on Aug. 2. A second 1,197-square-foot ADC location at 3250 Hulen St. in south Fort Worth will open later this month. “Goodwill puts 93 cents of every dollar earned by the sale of donated goods back into programs and services that help the greater Fort Worth community,” said David Cox, Goodwill’s president and CEO. “Through education, training and career services, we helped 42,768 local individuals with disabilities or other barriers to work gain independence in 2013. We change lives through the power of work.”

Fort Worth Academy certified as a Common Sense School Common Sense Media, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids and families thrive in a world of digital media and technology, has certified Fort Worth Academy as a Common Sense School for educating its students to be safe, smart and ethical digital citizens. Fort Worth Academy has been using Common Sense Media’s research-based digital literacy and citizenship resources, which teach students, educators and parents skills related to Internet safety, protecting online reputation and personal privacy, what to share and what not to share, managing online relationships, and respecting creative copyright. The free resources are currently used in more than 65,000 classrooms nationwide.

Texas Trust supports Arlington Collegiate High The inaugural class of 2018 from the Tarrant County College Southeast/Arlington ISD Collegiate High School received a $125,000 scholarship fund from Texas Trust Credit Union. The new school allows students to earn a high school diploma and up to 60 college credit hours simultaneously. The school is a partnership between the Arlington ISD and Tarrant County College Southeast Campus.

Lost Boy raises funds for Sudan homeland Gatjang Deng is a survivor – and his goal is to help his fellow countrymen survive and thrive amid the violence and suffering in war-torn South Sudan. Deng was 10 years old in 1989 when he was forced to flee his home village of Old Fangak. He escaped with thousands of other youngsters – a group of about 20,000 young males known as the “Lost Boys.” Only about half of them survived. Many of the boys were shot by rebel forces, drowned in the river or were eaten by crocodiles before they could reach safety. Separated from his family, Deng was brought to the United States, one of an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 Lost Boys resettled by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Today, Deng lives in Fort Worth and works as a patient care technician at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth while studying government and politics at Tarrant County College. “My experience is what gave me a voice. I don’t want this to happen to other children. I don’t want my people or the children to grow up the way I did,” Deng said. In addition to people being displaced and suffering and dying from malnutrition, many areas of Sudan are plagued by diseases and illnesses including cholera, malaria, typhoid fever and diarrhea, all of which can be caused by contaminated water. “It’s all preventable. It’s a sanitation problem. It’s a lack of clean water,” Deng said. Two years ago, Deng established Village Help Foundation, a nonprofit based in Fort Worth. His goal is to bring health and wellness back to 22 villages in South Sudan by drilling water wells for clean water and delivering critical medicines and supplies for the ill. Each well costs $14,000 to drill. To date, two wells have been installed. Deng has taken his message to area churches, businesses and civic groups and has raised $5,700 but those funds were used for medical supplies instead of wells. “We want to build water wells first,” he said. “Then we can build more clinics, and orphanages and schools.” Anyone interested in inviting Deng to speak or anyone interested in donating to his cause can contact him at 817-420-4085, or Village Help Foundation, P.O. Box 121971, Fort Worth 76121. Send nonprofit news to Betty Dillard at bdillard@bizpress.net  

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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