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Monday, January 25, 2021

Nonprofit Matters: BNSF donates $3 million to support transitioning troops

BNSF donates $3 million to support transitioning troops The BNSF Railway Foundation presented a check for $3 million on July 24 to the USO that will support USO hiring initiatives for active duty troops transitioning out of the military. The pledge represents a three-year commitment to the USO’s mission to support military veterans and marks BNSF’s becoming the primary sponsor for the USO program. BNSF has a long tradition of hiring veterans through its military recruiting program. In 2013, more than 1,200, or 26 percent, of all its new employees were veterans. The Fort Worth-based company currently employs more than 7,500 veterans, or nearly 17 percent of its total workforce, according to a company news release. “Working with the USO is something we are extremely proud of and fits well with our longstanding commitment to hire military veterans,” said Carl Ice, president and chief executive officer of BNSF Railway. “Some days our team is asked to operate in adverse conditions that can require quick thinking and an unwavering dedication to the mission. The men and women of the United States military know what it means to be mission-focused and bring experience and training that adds so much value to the work we do.” Specifically, BNSF’s donation will provide support for USO/Hire Heroes USA Transition Workshops and USO/Hire Heroes USA Career Opportunity Days. These programs include practice interviews, resume preparation and networking opportunities to help veterans find jobs.

FWISD program focuses on students’ emotional health A two-year pilot project between the Fort Worth Independent School District and the Momentous Institute will start in August to help pre-kindergarten students develop skills to handle crises before they arise. The Momentous Institute, powered by the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, serves children and families through mental health and education programs. The project is funded by an $870,000 grant from the Sid Richardson Foundation with the district contributing $54,600. For the next two school years (2014-2016), pre-K classes in select Fort Worth ISD schools will learn strategies to help them grow academically and socially. The project includes training for new pre-K teachers as well as ongoing training and coaching throughout the academic year.

Parenting Center launches free in-home program Registration is now open for a new, free in-home parent education program offered by The Parenting Center in Fort Worth. Called Home Visiting, Education and Leadership (H.E.A.L.), the program uses the SafeCare Curriculum to teach skills such as child behavior management and planned activities, home safety training, parent training on how to create healthy parent-child interactions, and child health care education. Bliss Coulter, former family life educator at The Parenting Center, is the program director for H.E.A.L. The curriculum provides 18 to 22 weeks of training to parents with children from birth to age 5. During 60- to 90-minute weekly home visits, trained parent educators conduct baseline and follow-up assessments, observations and trainings with parents. The Parenting Center was awarded the four-year H.E.A.L. grant in June from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services Commission on behalf of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. For more information on the H.E.A.L. program, visit www.theparentingcenter.org/heal/

YWCA’s Power Lunch starts third year More than 12,500 sandwiches have been served and hundreds of women and children have been helped thanks to a sandwich delivery venture run by YWCA Fort Worth & Tarrant County. YWCA celebrated its Power Lunch program’s second anniversary in July. Catering to the businesses of Sundance Square, the social enterprise provides boxed sandwiches and platters of sandwiches delivered by bicycle. Proceeds from the sandwiches benefit programs serving low-income and homeless women and children. Power Lunch also makes a difference by employing women transitioning out of homelessness at the YWCA. “Our goal in employing our clients is to start them on a path of financial self-sufficiency,” said Carol Klocek, YWCA executive director and CEO. “By providing employment, training and a fair wage, we’re giving these women the tools they need to succeed.” Klocek said several of the women employed through the program have found full-time jobs, using the skills they learned through Power Lunch. This fall, Power Lunch will add new items, including a dill shrimp salad, Italian steak salad, gluten-free cranberry walnut cookies and soups. View the full Power Lunch menu at http://www.powerlunchfw.com/ or www.ywcafortworth.org. This summer, the Junior League of Fort Worth Inc. provided a $30,000 grant for curriculum support through supplies and materials and 500 volunteer hours from its members to the YWCA for a Summer Scholars Program designed to combat summer learning loss. YWCA and JLFW launched the program for 3- and 4-year-old pre-K students in 2013.

FWHA fund honors retired president The Fort Worth Housing Authority established the Barbara Holston Education Fund, a nonprofit organization, to honor the agency’s recently retired president and CEO Barbara Holston. The fund recognizes Holston, who retired in June after 24 years of service to the agency, and will provide financial assistance through scholarships and grants to FWHA clients that will help them cover expenses of academic studies and vocational training, including tuition, books and materials, course fees, supplies and tools. Holston implemented several resident education and support programs that assist them in acquiring job skills and the training necessary to become self-sufficient and even achieve homeownership. “The fund is a living tribute to Barbara’s dedication to helping people help themselves by supporting their efforts to acquire the education and skills to achieve a better life,” said Naomi W. Byrne, FWHA president and CEO.

Tarrant cancer program receives grant The W.B. and Ellen Gordon Stuart Trust, JPMorgan Chase Trustee, awarded a $30,000 grant in support of the American Cancer Society’s patient navigation program at JPS Center For Cancer Care. The funds will be used in Tarrant County to help guide low-income patients along their cancer journey, including providing free wigs, informational brochures and rides to cancer treatment. The American Cancer Society has patient navigators at 125 hospitals, treatment centers and other health care settings through the U.S. JPS Center For Cancer Care has the only ACS patient navigator in Tarrant County. Send nonprofit news to Betty Dillard at bdillard@bizpress.net  

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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