It is time for a breather! Serve Denton has been preparing for our annual gala, Celebration, for quite some time. With the great success of the event behind us, now we can truly celebrate. The success of the event is due the work and dedication of our awesome board, staff, volunteers, and our Super Volunteer – Priscilla Sanders, co-founding board member. It is also largely due to our supporters who came to the event and helped raise funding so more people in Denton County can become self-sufficient.
Denton Calvary Academy (DCA) has agreed to purchase all the property on the west side of Nottingham Drive and W. University Drive from Denton Bible Church (DBC).
Serve Denton currently leases a 32,000 square foot building on this property with a 20- year lease from Denton Bible Church. The agreement includes a significant termination fee that DCA will pay Serve Denton. This will enable Serve Denton to pursue other real estate options to advance its mission of supporting nonprofits that open doors for people in need to become self-sufficient. Serve Denton has formed a search committee to look for other potential properties to purchase, renovate and operate in a similar manner to what it does at its present facility.
As part of this agreement, Denton Bible Church will transfer the ownership of The Wheeler House to Serve Denton. This facility provides space for healthcare services, homeless street outreach, and transitional housing for women and children in need. Since Serve Denton has been staffing and operating the facility since its initial opening, the transfer of ownership gives Serve Denton more latitude for development and expansion of that mission. This transfer represents a significant gift to Serve Denton.
Concurrently, Pat Smith, Serve Denton’s Executive Director, has been generously loaned to the organization by Denton Bible Church for over two and a half years. He has given notice of his desire to step aside so the board of directors can hire a full-time executive director. A search committee composed of Tim Crouch, Larry Parker and Rebecca Stanley will lead the effort. Pat Smith is deeply committed to Serve Denton’s success and will remain a board member. The board anticipates making a hiring decision by March. Pat will remain the executive director until someone is hired and assumes that position.
For more information about Serve Denton, email email@example.com.
Human Trafficking in Denton
When you think of human trafficking, you probably think of a few different things. The first could be history—you know that the buying and selling of humans has happened since—well, since always.
But you may not think it happens so much now, and where you believe it does happen is influenced by the second thing that comes to mind when you think of trafficking: Hollywood.
Movies like Taken brought a very specific, problematic kind of trafficking to light, which focuses most Americans’ attention to trafficking overseas. What you’re unlikely to think of is North Texas. You’re unlikely to think of people living in places like Southlake and Denton being trafficked, but the reality is this: it does happen here, and it happens often.
Vision Gets Involved
That’s why Vision Ministries has decided to host Human Trafficking 101: Our Children at Risk. We sat down with Carrie Powell, Women’s Coordinator at Vision Ministries, to talk about this community awareness event to understand more about what folks in Denton can get out of attending this seminar series.
What’s important to know, first and foremost, is Vision Ministries is not an organization that combats human trafficking directly. Vision Ministries is an outreach of Denton Bible Church that helps people get on their feet and get connected to the church and a faith community through programming and providing food, clothing, and other essentials.
As Carrie puts it, Vision is a “comfortable place” that the community relies on. They serve a diverse group of clientele and work with a faithful core of volunteers. They are eyes in the community, and what they see is a growing human trafficking problem.
Responding to a Crisis
In response to this, they’ve decided to jump into the fight against human trafficking. One way is through participation in the Denton County Human Trafficking Coalition, hosted and facilitated by Serve Denton. The coalition is a space where agencies that serve possible victims of human trafficking can come together to learn more about the issue and work collaboratively to stop trafficking in Denton County and surrounding areas.
Human Trafficking 101 is one of the efforts being made collaboratively to educate the community about what’s going on in Denton County. Over the course of four sessions, different agencies in North Texas that combat human trafficking in a variety of ways will present the community at large with information about how to recognize and report human trafficking as well as how to get involved as volunteers.
Carrie says they decided to hold the event because Vision is committed to taking ownership of Denton’s problems. “I’ve lived in Denton for 20 years. I feel like this is my town,” she says. According to her, initiatives like Human Trafficking 101 create the kind of awareness that “takes idleness and turns it into action.”
And there is a lot of action to be taken. North Texas is home to a growing number of agencies related to human trafficking and are always in search of new volunteers for a wide variety of needs; anything from writing to women who live in shelters to renovating group homes to participating on intel teams that use social media to find potential trafficking victims and perpetrators.
Human Trafficking 101 will take place over the course of four nights from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Denton Bible Church, located at 2300 E. University Drive Denton, TX:
To learn more about the Denton County Human Trafficking Coalition, please email Katelynn Blasavage at firstname.lastname@example.org.