North Texas Day of Giving 2014

will donates
There’s a Jake and the Neverland Pirates Bucky Buggy in that bag, guys. He meant it.

This past spring, an old friend’s new baby was born under distress. He found his family at the Ronald McDonald House, his precious infant in NICU. Doing only what we knew we could to help, a group of us gathered together a gift basket of goodies. I asked my then 3-year-old to come with me to deliver and play with big brother while me and my friend’s family chatted. I was met with the ever-present, “Why?”

I could see in his face that he was having trouble understanding my “We help our friends and our community, especially in times of need” spiel. He was more interested in staying home and playing with his trains. What had I done wrong? I was comforted by the wonderful (award-winning, even) director of Will’s school, Trinity Lutheran Children’s Center. A 25-year veteran, Ms. Diana Smith reassured me, telling me that kids simply aren’t born with an altruistic nature. Especially at three, it’s still all about them. But that it will come.

Fast-forward a few months later, and my little one was packing some of his toys to donate to Catholic Charities. I was very proud. I was also reassured. While altruism might not be innate, it’s definitely teachable.

Today marks the 6th annual North Texas Day of Giving, an online monetary giving event that simplifies the process of researching and finding causes close to your heart. The website provides a comprehensive list of 1,600 certified nonprofit local organizations — ones throughout your community that offer everything for help for those in need to funding for the arts. Catholic Charities is on that list, so is the Ronald McDonald House. Today, from 6 a.m. to midnight, you can go to the site and make a donation. Last year, the event raised $25.2 million.

When you do find an organization you are passionate about, be sure to get the kids involved. Let them know why you support this program and why you think it’s important to donate to it. It’s definitely a teachable moment.

round north texas day of giving 2014Here are some other programs close to our hearts at FWMB that we would love for you to check out! We would also encourage you to check out our 2013 list as we know these organizations still want and appreciate your support:

1. Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star‘s mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. One of our own contributors volunteered for multiple years with this organization and speaks of the changes it made in both the children and her life.

2. Fort Worth Pregnancy Center encourages, through education and outreach, the recognition of human life from the moment of conception and to minister in the name of Jesus Christ to women and men facing unplanned pregnancies.  A faith-based organization that not all might agree with their views, but no one could argue the good they do to support young mothers at a turning point in their lives. They not only provide access to healthcare but also classes and assistance with obtaining the items needed for themselves and their future children.

3. Cancer Care Services provides help and hope to cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and their families through direct financial, social, emotional and spiritual programs, activities and services. The diagnosis of cancer is, for lack of better words, devastating.  People receive this diagnosis and are overwhelmed with where to turn next.  CCS directs people to knowledge about their disease and treatment, they connect them not only with professionals but also others who are also battling cancer or those that have conquered it.  To have a service that can be a place to turn to, immediately upon being delivered this news is incredible.  They do great things for families dealing with this illness that affects so many.

4. KERA (North Texas Public Broadcasting) is a community-supported, non-profit media organization that serves North Texans through public television, radio and multimedia resources that educate, inspire, and enrich lives. NTPB focuses on the these core content areas: children and families, arts and culture, and news and information. Let’s be honest….Daniel Tiger, Wild Kratts, Sesame Street, Dinosaur Train, Word World, Curious George… moms we can appreciate quality shows that might not always be entertaining to us (sorry, Calliou, you know I am talking about you) but expand the minds of our children.  This is something we shouldn’t take for granted and should so our support for something we enjoy daily!

5. United Community Centers is a non-profit agency in partnership with United Way of Tarrant County, the United Methodist Church and other foundations and grantees that empowers individuals, strengthens families and enriches communities at three neighborhood centers.  These neighborhood centers (all in Fort Worth) provide assistance to teens that are at risk of dropping out of school, after school care and summer camps for kids that would otherwise be left alone (and at this care they are helped with homework and their education expanded on and encouraged), and community outreach (distribution of school supplies, thanksgiving baskets and Christmas gifts to families in need). Mobile medical clinics are brought in and tax preparation help for low-income families.  UCC provides various meal services to those in need.

6. Real School Gardens‘ mission is to create learning gardens that grow successful students. They build outdoor classrooms in low-income schools and provide three years of teacher training proven to boost academic achievement. School gardens also help children build healthy habits, teamwork skills, and stronger relationships with the world around them. They currently partner with 100 elementary schools, reaching more than 55,000 children and 3,500 educators with daily access to outdoor learning.  In a time where technology is taking over and learning is taught mainly thru screens and in a classroom, there can be nothing more valuable than getting them outside, where they can learn with hands-on experience!

7. Ladder Alliance provides women victims of domestic violence or low-income women with the tools to lead self-reliant, independent and successful lives.  The Ladder Alliance provides classes to women (and some are now open to men) to gain skills to further themselves in their work/careers; organizations such as Safe Haven, ODWIN (Opening Doors for Women in Need) and Catholic Charities team up with them to support getting women back on their feet and leading independent lives.  They recently adopted a GED preparation course that we know is changing lives. They also run the Success Store which is filled with donated professional clothing from the community to help women get past a barrier many face of not having the proper attire for a certain position. For those of us career women turned stay-at-home-moms who have a closet full of unused suits and professional attire, I would HIGHLY encourage you to check this out.

8. Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth provides a supportive home-away-from-home for families of children receiving medical treatment in area hospitals. As mothers, we feel for families and other moms who are struggling as they care for sick children.  We are so fortunate to have Cook Children’s in our hometown but there are MANY who travel from far away with their babies to receive treatment at our incredible hospital.  The Ronald McDonald House provides an incredible opportunity for families to remain close to their ill children and still have their other children with them and most importantly not worry about the financial burdens of accommodations (when the medical care finances will be worrisome enough).

9.  Community Hospice of Texas‘ mission is to provide compassionate end-of-life care and services.  Choosing hospice care is a positive step in affirming the value of life―even during life’s final months. Community Hospice of Texas offers expert care, support, guidance and is with you and your family every step of the way. At these critical times of our loved ones lives it is critical to have guidance to support ones family and decisions.

10. The Fort Worth Public Library‘s mission is to benefit both the Fort Worth Library and the Fort Worth community by providing resources that support building and infrastructure improvements, educational programming and collections of interest to the local community.  Sure, you can pull up in book you want on your kindle in a heartbeat but nothing can substitute taking your child to a story time or the first time they walk in and see the shelves upon shelves of books and their eyes get as big as saucers.  Reading to our children and passing on a love of reading is so important and it all begins with our public library system.

All of these organizations have needs beyond financial. Fort Worth Moms Blog encourages you to find a cause you are passionate about and find ways to give back with your time as well!

Who are you supporting today? Leave a comment and tell us about more great non-profits in the Fort Worth area!

**FWMB was not compensated for this post.

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Jennifer and her hubby, Michael agree that Fort Worth is the best place to have a family. For the past two decades Jennifer has been writing about her loves — music, food and Fort Worth — for local newspapers, magazines, websites and weeklies. This is her first opportunity to write about a new love, her son Will, and the influence his arrival has made on her view of the world … especially Fort Worth. Keeping him in mind, she has unlocked little treasures and adventures she didn’t know existed in this town and continues to discover great gems to share with her little one. She lives in the Cultural District with Michael, Will and her favorite girl — her lab, Tatum.



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