The annual Dallas Morning News Charities drive raised more than $1.2 million to help the homeless and the hungry this year, as many continue to struggle with the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic.
A separate COVID relief campaign distributed more than half a million dollars in 2020. Taken together, the $1.72 million haul represents the second-highest amount raised by the organization in its 35-year history.
“This has been a time of challenges like no other, when it’s easy to get mired in hopelessness,” said Leona Allen, deputy publisher of The News and board chair of Dallas Morning News Charities. “But the generous donors to our charities this year and every year prove that helping each other can give us the most hope of all.
“Coming together builds the resilience we need to get through all we’re facing.”
The campaign launched in November with $463,753 in previous donations. The J.L. Williams Foundation contributed $200,000 and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas gave a $75,000 gift. Members of The News and Belo + Company donated more than $18,000.
More than 1,600 donors gave money during the fall campaign. Last year’s fall campaign raised $1.3 million from 1,219 donors.
The donations flow to 23 charities in the region. The Dallas Morning News Charities covers all administrative costs to ensure every donated dollar benefits the nonprofits.
The Dallas Morning News Charities funnels donations to several nonprofits, a mix of shelters, emergency service providers and rehabilitative programs.
Camille Grimes, executive director of The Dallas Morning News Charities, said the gifts translate into more services, food and housing for those in need.
“And the offshoot of each donor’s gift is the supplemental provision of hope that confirms people are not alone or forgotten,” she said. “And many people care deeply for others enduring hard times.”
Pastor Chris Simmons, who leads the Cornerstone Community Development Corporation, said money the organization received from the Dallas Morning News Charities this year helped them meet the increased demand for services spurred by the COVID-19 crisis.
His group serves impoverished neighborhoods in South Dallas, with the goal of disrupting cycles of poverty. Even before the pandemic, members of Simmons’ community were grappling with hunger and homelessness.
“The pandemic, it made a bad situation worse,” Simmons said.
The organization used to serve about 6,500 meals a month. The demand has grown to roughly 13,000 meals. More and more people are also coming to the group for coats and gloves to help them stay warm through the winter, too.
“We wouldn’t have had the resources to meet those needs if it wasn’t for the Dallas Morning News Charities funds,” Simmons said.
The group could always use more help, he said, adding that the number of volunteers working this year dropped off, too. Volunteer ranks are often filled by retired people, but the elderly are at a particular risk of serious COVID-19 complications.
Grant Moise, publisher and president of The News, said donors this year showed that “their generosity is limitless.”
“During a challenging time in our economy, it could be tempting for some to not give back to our community,” he said. “However, our donors showed that being a citizen means giving to those less fortunate regardless of their circumstances.”
This year’s campaign launched Nov. 12 and ran through Jan. 31. Donors can contribute to the Dallas Morning News Charities year-round.
2020-21 Dallas Morning News Charities recipients
Allen Community Outreach
Emergency assistance with rent, utilities, food and clothing for families in Allen, Fairview and Lucas. Financial literacy and GED classes are also offered.
Arlington Life Shelter
Emergency food and shelter, employment assistance and family counseling for homeless men, women and children in eastern Tarrant County.
Austin Street Center
Food, shelter, medical, psychiatric and psychological treatment and substance abuse counseling for the homeless.
The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center
Emergency and transitional shelter, supportive housing services, meals, primary and behavioral health care services, job search and educational services for the homeless.
Brother Bill’s Helping Hand
Food, clothing, medical assistance to families in West Dallas. Job training, parenting, healthy living and ESL classes are also offered.
Cedar Hill Shares
Provides food, clothing, utility assistance and school supplies to needy families in Cedar Hill.
Provides homeless children and young adults with emergency shelter and transitional residential services. Operates an emergency youth shelter for children ages newborn to 17 and transitional living program for young adults ages 18 to 21.
Cornerstone Community Development
Programs for the homeless including shower facilities, clothes closet, health and dental clinics, and meals in the community kitchen. They also manage transitional housing for formerly incarcerated men and a home and services for teenage pregnant girls.
Crossroads Community Services
Food, nutrition, clothing and life skills education.
Dallas Life Foundation
Emergency short-term and long-term shelter for homeless men, women and children. Employment training, medical and dental services are also provided.
Duncanville Outreach Ministry
Food, clothing and financial assistance with rent, utilities and prescription medication for people in Duncanville.
Shelter and supportive housing programs for children and families affected by homelessness with wraparound services, including case management, adult and children’s services, and an education program.
Frisco Family Services
Food, clothing and financial assistance with rent/mortgages, utilities and prescription drugs to families living in Frisco or Frisco ISD. Adult life skills workshops are also offered.
Harmony Community Development
Harmony provides greater access to resources such as a client-choice food pantry, social services such as extensive counseling, addiction and trauma recovery, and legal resources and employment assistance.
LifeLine for Families
Financial assistance to families who are homeless or on the verge of homelessness in the Grand Prairie ISD. Life skills training is also provided.
Mission Oak Cliff
A drop-in center for the homeless that includes daily lunches, showers, a clothing closet, client-choice pantry and hygiene as well as access to counseling and advocacy services and classes such as ESL, nutrition and citizenship
NETWORK of Community Ministries
Food, clothing, financial assistance for rent and utilities, as well as a children’s clinic and comprehensive seniors net program for those 60 and older.
North Texas Food Bank – Food 4 Kids
Food 4 Kids program provides weekend food assistance for elementary school children at risk of being chronically hungry.
Faith-based organization that specifically serves the unsheltered homeless in Dallas. Food, showers, clothing and resources.
Our Daily Bread
Noon day meals, weekend snack pack program, bus passes, counseling, personal care items, limited health screening and referrals, phone answering service and mailing address for homeless in Denton County.
Shelter, food, clothing, counseling, educational services and transitional housing for homeless, runaway and at-risk teens.
Sharing Life Community Outreach
Food, clothing and financial assistance for rent and utilities, educational programs and job skills training for low income residents in southeastern Dallas County.
Urgent and long-term assistance to the homeless and at-risk families; meals; ID documentation; representative payee program; dental, medical and mental health services; job assistance and inner-city youth programs.
To donate or to learn more
Visit dmncharities.com. Tax-deductible contributions can be mailed to The Dallas Morning News Charities, 5500 Caruth Haven Lane, Dallas, TX, 75225.