125,432 people qualify as food insecure in Denton County alone. That’s 15% of our county’s population without proper access to food.
December 20th marked the culmination of 21 months of effort for Health Services of North Texas, Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County, Denton Community Food Clinic and Serve Denton. We closed on a $9.5 million deal that will enable each agency to accomplish some of its strategic goals that most likely would never have been achieved by the organizations working independently.
We are so excited to welcome Recovery Resource Council (RRC) as our newest partner agency! Celebrating its 60th anniversary, RRC aims to promote wellness and recovery from alcohol, addiction and/or mental health issues. They strive to foster a community of support and care for those in need. At their Serve Denton location, they will be strictly working with veterans.
Serve Denton is pleased to announce and welcome our new Collaboration Program Manager, Danita Summers! Danita comes to the Serve Denton staff bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience, and we are so excited to have her. As Collaboration Program Manager, Danita will develop and oversee all programs that involve collaboration between Serve Denton and one (or more) of Serve Denton’s tenants and nonprofit partners. In addition to facilitating collaboration efforts, Danita will support coalitions, manage and interpret data, and act as the staff liaison to the board’s Collaboration Committee. Danita is originally from Omaha, Nebraska. She went to college there as well, graduating from the University of Nebraska at Omaha with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Immediately after graduating, Danita went to work for the Union Pacific Railroad in the finance department. During part of this time, Danita owned an event planning business, which she operated on the side. In December 2015, Danita relocated from Nebraska to Houston, Texas, where she served a term as an AmeriCorp member at College Forward. Additionally, Danita has her own nonprofit that she started called GRACE.Empowered (she’ll tell us a bit more about that later in this post. Keep reading!).
We asked Danita to answer some questions about herself! Let’s see what she said:
What are you passionate about?
I'm passionate about spreading the love of Jesus, wherever I'm at, whatever I'm doing.
What is the most interesting thing you've done or that has happened to you?
Experiencing Alaska, I was on a mission trip and it was the most beautiful place I have ever experienced.
How did you hear about Serve Denton?
I was looking for places to possibly volunteer at and somehow stumbled upon Serve Denton. From there I followed on Instagram, which is where I saw the job posting!
Can you tell us a little about the nonprofit you started?
GRACE.Empowered is focused on helping youth development organizations in small ways, such as assisting them to purchase a set of children's Bibles. I love to volunteer, but I know that time and/or distance doesn't always allow this to happen. By selling items, such as t-shirts, on an e-commerce site, I can raise the funds to help fill small needs.
What are you most excited about with this position?
I'm excited to assist nonprofit organizations in a different capacity, as well as work with other organizations to pursue helping others together.
We’re really excited to see the great things Danita will accomplish in her position. Welcome to the team, Danita!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Serve Denton is excited to welcome four new board members to the 2017 Serve Denton board of directors! The new board members include Cynthia Foster, Roxanne Del Rio, Desiree Patterson and Charles Crouch. Safran HR Manager Cynthia Foster has been a contributing member on the Serve Denton Communication Committee in 2016 as an independent and critical thinker. Roxanne Del Rio is the North Central Texas College Dean of Strategic Student Initiatives & Multicultural Outreach. Roxanne’s relationship building, follow-through, and problem-solving skills will be real assets to the Serve Denton team. The Crouch Group Account Executive Charles Crouch was previously the Serve Denton student board member and has now accepted a full position on the board of directors. Desiree Patterson, a Sports Nutrition graduate student from Texas Woman’s University is an honors student and the new student board member. Desiree is passionate about research and helping people make lifestyle changes to live better lives. We are so pleased to have these individuals on our team!
Additionally, Serve Denton also appointed a new chair, vice chairs and treasurer for the upcoming year! The Crouch Group President, Tim Crouch, is the new Board Chair. Tim Crouch has served on the board since our inception and continues to be a Serve Denton advocate. Denton Depot Owner Larry Parker moved up from Second Vice Chair to First Vice Chair. Guaranty Bank & Trust Vice President of Marketing Michele Barber is the new Second Vice Chair. DATCU Chief Financial Officer Melanie Vest is the new Treasurer.
We are looking forward to a great year full of a powerful and positive future! We now have 41 board members who are experts in many different fields such as banking, legal work, government, ministry and education. Thank you to the new and existing board members for your willingness to serve the community in this unique way. For the full list of board members, click the button below:
"Human trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transporting, or procurement of a person for labor or services for the purpose of involuntary servitude, slavery, or forced commercial sex acts, or simply put, trafficking is modern-day slavery."
January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and in support of this effort, the Denton County Human Trafficking Coalition (DCHTC) is hosting an EXPO! Anyone who is interested in learning more about human trafficking prevention is invited to join us this Saturday, January 14, from 2:00-5:00 p.m. at Serve Denton.
The main purpose of the event is to bring together agencies, organizations and ministries under one roof to spread awareness about trafficking and domestic/child abuse.
There will be two speakers from Homeland Security Investigations as well as people attending from Cooks Children's Medical Center and the local school districts. Nationally-recognized speaker, Ashleigh Chapman, founder of the Alliance for Freedom, Restoration and Justice, Inc. and the Engage Together Initiative will be the keynote speaker. More than twenty community organizations will be present, and you can come alongside these agencies to help end human exploitation in Denton County.
Did you know that Texas is at the heart of human trafficking in the United States?
Texas has the second highest number of calls to the National Human Trafficking Resources Center in the nation. You know what's even more heartbreaking? The North Texas area is second in the nation for the number of trafficking victims reported. These statistics are the reason over fifteen organizations joined together to create the DCHTC and why this EXPO is taking place.
This Tuesday, January 10, at 6:30 p.m., Mayor Chris Watts will proclaim Saturday, January 14, 2017, Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the City of Denton. The coalition would like to invite you to attend this proclamation to stand before the council as this proclamation is being read.
DCHTC Chair Carrie Powell says, "This is a huge step for our fight to eradicate trafficking in our county."
Serve Denton, 5 Star Rental, Legacy Church-Argyle and Denton Jazzercise are coming alongside the Denton County Human Trafficking Coalition to sponsor this event. For more information about the coalition, contact DCHTC Chair Carrie Powell at email@example.com or like the DCHTC Facebook Page by clicking HERE.
Denton County Human Trafficking Coalition EXPO
Date: Saturday, January 14, 2017
Time: 2:00-5:00 p.m.
Place: Serve Denton, 1980 E. University Dr., Denton, TX 76209
If you would like to sign up to attend the event, click the button below. You can be a part of the first community event in Denton County that is helping fight against human trafficking!
Back in September 2016, Serve Denton helped the Little Free Pantry (LFP) project make its way to Denton, TX. This project is a full-circle community effort to help those who aren’t able to easily meet everyday food and personal needs. People can approach the LFP at any time of day to take anything they need or leave helpful items.
Serve Denton Communication Program Manager Brooke Hawkins said, “The Little Free Pantry in front of the Serve Denton office is constantly being restocked. We go out there during the week, and it is completely empty a day or two later.”
The project has expanded to Lewisville, TX, because of Mr. Vaughn. He decided to sign up because he lives close to the Salvation Army and already has a Little Free Library on his lawn. One family who lives on a road in a low-income area saw the story on FOX 4 News. They didn’t have much money to give but decided they could join the effort by putting one in front of their business to help make a difference.
Businesses, nonprofits, churches and community members can sign up to host a LFP on their property. If people are unable to host one, they can still join the project by stocking any of the currently installed pantries. A list of pantries can be found at http://bit.ly/LFPlocations.
For more information about the Little Free Pantry project, visit http://bit.ly/LFPproject or like the Little Free Pantry Facebook page by clicking the button below.
[button url="https://www.facebook.com/LFPdenton" color="gray" customcolor=""_top" custom_class="" ]LFP Facebook Page[/button]
A new year brings new possibilities, opportunities, and resolutions that (admit it) we’ll all probably break at some point. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still strive to improve yourself and your community early and often in 2017, and volunteering is the perfect place to start. Maybe you’re looking for a new place to put in volunteer hours, or maybe you just want to mix things up a bit. There are endless ways to serve Denton, and as an artistic city, we pride ourselves on the theater, film, and music that happen all around us. As we welcome another trip around the sun, let’s highlight some ways to support and Denton arts in the new year.
The Campus Theatre
This historic bastion of Denton culture is always looking for helping hands on any number of the productions it puts on year-round. Interested in graphic design? Call, email (or walk to) the theatre and offer your assistance! What about costume creation or set construction? Those activities are available for volunteers, too! It’s almost always showtime at The Campus Theatre, and you can be a part of the big production
This gem inspires Denton residents of all ages to adopt creative, environmentally friendly sustainable behaviors, and you can be a part of their ongoing mission to keep Denton and the world as green as possible. Help out in the store on Bell Avenue by assisting the team with organizing, packaging, and pricing, or join the community engagement and street team to spread the word about SCRAP! The environmental organization also allows volunteers to assist with birthday parties and other special events. To learn more about this unique nonprofit, visit their website at scrapdenton.org.
Greater Denton Arts Council
Want to support Denton art but unsure of where to begin? GDAC is the place for you. Brush up your interpersonal skills while becoming an expert with the docent program, or volunteer to work at special events! If you’re up for it, the Council also accepts interns every semester. Learn more at dentonarts.com/volunteer.
If none of the above do the trick for you, or if you want to support the arts but are too slammed to offer more than a weekend, then there are two festivals this spring that just might be the perfect fit for you.
Denton Arts and Jazz Festival
The Arts and Jazz Fest (April 28-30) is dedicated to introducing arts to children, and you can be a vital part of that mission by helping teach sculpture and drawing classes in the children’s art area! Go to dentonjazzfest.com to learn more about that and other service opportunities at the festival.
Thin Line Fest
Thinline.us has a detailed list of all the diverse ways festival volunteers can lend a hand to this year’s free fest (April 19-23). Those opportunities include designing posters and other materials, assisting with venue management, helping with video and photography at the event itself, and many more! The ever-evolving Thin Line merges photography with music and film to put on the ultimate art show, and you can merge your specific skill set with your passion for local and national art to help put on one heck of a show!
Denton will keep on hummin’ (and painting and filming) in 2017, and the time is now for you to be a part of the music! While you think about those resolutions, remember to consider the many ways you can give back to our town.
Blog Author: Serve Denton Communication Committee Member Tyler Hicks
Serve Denton currently partners with ten local nonprofits with NewDay Services being one of those! They started officing with us back in June of 2014 and have made a significant impact in our community.
What is The Fatherhood EFFECT Program?
In 2016, they expanded their programs in Denton and began the Fatherhood EFFECT program. The Fatherhood EFFECT stands for Educating Fathers for Empowering Children Tomorrow. This is a partnership between the Department of Family and Protective Services, Prevention & Early Intervention Division (PEI) and NewDay Services for Children & Families.
The purpose of this program is to help fathers and other family members improve their relationships with their children, family sustainability, and to increase their economic stability. This is done by connecting the fathers and other family members to a variety of community services and through intensive mentor-navigator engagement provided by NewDay Services.
The Impact of the Program
Since starting the program in Denton, they have served 20 dads, which has positively affected 48 kids in our community. Their Fort Worth program has served 58 dads, affecting 81 kids. Altogether, NewDay Services has made an impact on 78 dads and 129 kiddos solely with their Fatherhood EFFECT program!
NewDay Services began working with Michael (name changed to protect privacy) at the beginning of October. At that time, he was unemployed, without a vehicle and struggling to pay his rent. Marc Thompson and David Taylor with NewDay Services stepped in to help connect Michael with a permanent job so he could start consistently paying rent. He now has a plan in place to purchase a vehicle by early 2017 and move out of the extended stay hotel his family has been staying in with his wife and four children. They are on a really positive path as a family but are still struggling to pay for anything other than necessities, such as Christmas gifts.
How Subaru Got Involved
This December, Huffines Subaru hosted a toy drive for Serve Denton as part of their "Share the Love" campaign. In turn, Serve Denton was able to give many of the toys to NewDay Services to pass along to this family for Christmas. We loaded them up with Star Wars Legos, a coloring book & pencils, family games, and other items to fill their Christmas with some normalcy this year.
This is the perfect example of how people can become self-sufficient when agencies are willing to collaborate together! The Serve Denton mission is coming to life more and more every day. For more information about NewDay Services, email Marc Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Serve Denton honored Denton County Young Professionals at their board meeting on Thursday, December 8, 2016. DCYP not only supports Serve Denton’s programs and events, but they have become faithful advocates of Serve Denton’s mission. In 2015, DCYP gave all of their membership dues to The Wheeler House, making it their charity of choice. The Wheeler House is a transitional housing facility for moms and kids in a housing crisis run by Giving Hope, Inc. and an affordable health clinic run by Health Services of North Texas, all managed by Serve Denton.
One of DCYP’s members and a Serve Denton board member, Alex Lee, raised money to compete in the Texas Water Safari. He donated all of the proceeds to help Serve Denton build a pergola at The Wheeler House - Helping turn the transitional housing facility into a home for the moms and kids. Every month, DCYP consistently shows up to volunteer at the Denton Mobile Pantry, which is organized by the Denton Hunger Coalition and Tarrant Area Food Bank and hosted by Serve Denton.
This past summer, DCYP planned a sand volleyball tournament at Bahama Buck’s to support Serve Denton and the Denton Community Food Center. They organized the tournament as well as recruited sponsors and volleyball teams for the event.
DCYP provides educational, social, networking and volunteer opportunities for Denton County professionals aged 21 to 40. To learn more about DCYP, visit their website by clicking the button below. You can also attend one of their weekly coffee events every Wednesday (except the first week of the month) and monthly mixers the first Thursday of every month.
[button url="http://www.dcyp.org" color="gray" customcolor=" custom_class="" ]DCYP Website[/button]
This Christmas season, Huffines Subaru Denton chose Serve Denton as the local charity of choice for their 2016 “Share the Love” campaign! From November 17, 2016, to January 3, 2017, Subaru will donate $250 to Serve Denton for each Subaru vehicle sold or leased at Huffines Subaru Denton located at 5150 S I-35 Exit 461, Denton, TX 76210.
More Ways Subaru Will Support
Huffines Subaru Denton has been a supporter of Serve Denton since 2015. Along with generously contributing financially to Serve Denton, Subaru management and employees will be volunteering at the January Denton Mobile Pantry, a free monthly food pantry with Tarrant Area Food Bank and the Denton Hunger Coalition that takes place in the Serve Denton parking lot!
Their employees will also be partnering with experts from Texas Woman’s University to build a professionally designed butterfly garden at The Wheeler House, a Serve Denton project. The Wheeler House is a transitional housing facility for moms and kids in a housing crisis managed by Giving Hope, Inc. and an affordable health clinic managed by Health Services of North Texas. Subaru’s experts will help make The Wheeler House a zero landfill facility by developing a variety of practices that will be taught to the families.
More Ways You Can Support
Aside from purchasing or leasing a car from Subaru, another way you can get involved in the “Share the Love” campaign is by downloading Subaru’s recording of, “Put a Little Love in Your Heart.” This song was recorded by an amazing cast of people whose lives have been positively affected by this yearly event. All profits from this song will go toward Subaru’s national charity partners whose mission is to provide services to those in need.
We are so grateful to have been chosen as Subaru’s charity of choice and are looking forward to the many ways they will help us make an impact on the city of Denton! Since "Share the Love"’s inception in 2008, Subaru and its retailers have donated almost $90 million towards organizations that provide services for those in need. The “Share the Love” campaign is more than just purchasing a car; it’s about making a positive impact in the world and in local neighborhoods.
For more information about the ‘Share the Love” campaign, email co-founding board member Priscilla Sanders at email@example.com.
This Thanksgiving, LSA Burger Co., Barley & Board and Serve Denton partnered up to present #GivingThanksgiving. This is the second year Serve Denton has organized the event, contacting local nonprofits like Giving Hope, Inc. and Denton Christian Preschool to collect names of people who were homebound for the holiday and would be in need of a Thanksgiving meal.
Since our inception, Brookshire’s Food & Pharmacy has been partnering with Serve Denton, providing major donations and becoming one of our top sponsors. This is why we named them our November Business Partner of the Month! They have continued to support our organization and events throughout the past few years, as well as occasionally providing food and drinks for our committee meetings and workshops. This past summer, Brookshire’s supported Denton County Young Professionals’ Sand Volleyball Tournament, which benefited Serve Denton and the Denton Community Food Center. Brookshire’s didn’t just financially support the event, but they joined us for the all-day tournament, providing cold bottles of water, pre-cut fruit and protein bars to all the participants.
Brookshire’s not only plays a huge role in many of our events but also contributes through our gift card program, ScripZone. When Serve Denton supporters purchase Brookshire’s gift cards through ScripZone, Serve Denton receives a portion of the proceeds.
We have so much gratitude for their constant support and eagerness to get involved with our organization. Their support helps enable us to fulfill our mission to support other nonprofits that open doors for people to become self-sufficient. Brookshire’s has been a loyal contributor of Serve Denton, and we look forward to many more years of working with them.
Thank you Brookshire’s for being our partner in self-sufficiency and for your commitment to giving back!
For more information about partnering with Serve Denton in the future, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 940-735-3234.
Serve Denton is partnering with Give10Back.org to present “Shop Serve Denton!” This is an opportunity for people to save between 50 and 75 percent on online products from places such as Amazon, Best Buy and Target. Give10Back.org is a charitable initiative of Discount Truckloads, a business that receives customer returns, closeouts, overstocks, shelf pulls and clearance items from big retailers. You might be familiar with AmazonSmile, which is the same Amazon you know and love, but you get to choose a charity for a portion of your purchase to benefit! Serve Denton is currently one of the almost one million charities signup up for this program, but nonprofits only receive 0.5 percent of each sale minus rebates, taxes or service charges. This is where Give10Back.org unloads their generosity.
Give10Back.org donates 10 percent of the proceeds from each sale to a charity.
From Wednesday, November 9, 2016, through Sunday, January 15, 2017, Serve Denton is the beneficiary! There are fifteen product categories such as toys & video games; electronics & office supplies; kitchen & household items; and sports, fitness & outdoors. This is a great opportunity to buy Christmas gifts at significantly discounted rates while supporting a local nonprofit at the same time!
Visit Give10Back.org to browse the selection of items, which is constantly being updated when new truckloads arrive. For more information about Shop Serve Denton, contact Priscilla Sanders at email@example.com.
[button url="http://www.give10back.org" color="gray" customcolor="" custom_class="" ]SHOP NOW[/button]
We talked with Tracy Maddoux from Denton County MHMR about the LOSS Team, which is a program that provides immediate support and resources to suicide survivors (someone who has lost a loved one to suicide) as close to the time of their loss as possible. Suicide survivors volunteer to be part of the LOSS Team, which brings a different sense of comfort and hope that mental health professionals can't provide. Denton County is fortunate to be one of two counties in Texas that have a LOSS Team in place. They are fully funded by grants and donations, so if you would like to support their program, you can donate by clicking the button below.
[button url="http://www.dentonmhmr.org/LOSS/" color="gray" customcolor="custom_class="" ]Donate to the LOSS team[/button]
If you’re a Topgolf fan and Serve Denton’s mission tugs on your heart, we have the perfect opportunity for you!
For those who have never experienced Topgolf, check out this video below to learn how it works. You can also check out Topgolf’s FAQ page by Clicking Here.
On November 3, Topgolf is hosting Serve Denton’s third-annual golf tournament from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.! All proceeds will benefit Serve Denton to help lower overhead costs for local nonprofit agencies that office with us so more of their money will go toward their mission.
Each bay accommodates four to six golfers and costs $500. This will include unlimited soft drinks and appetizers, so you won’t be leaving hungry!
Individual golfers can also register for $100 a piece. All participants will receive a Lifetime Membership card, which allows participants to keep track of their score. The card also provides free golf clubs for adults (men and women) and kids. They even have clubs for you lefties out there.
We will be having some fun competitions throughout the afternoon, with great prizes for individuals and teams! Some of these competitions include: Longest Shot, Hole-In-One, Best Overall Team Score, Best Individual Score, Battle of the Banks, Car Race, Beat the Pro, Top Lady’s Score and more! The nine winners will compete for prizes such as rounds of golf for four, steak dinners and a Yeti cooler. There will also be 15 silent auction items with packages including rounds of golf for four and themed baskets.
We will have three sponsorship opportunities: Champion, Eagle and Birdie.
Here’s the cool part, the Champion ($5,000) level sponsor will receive a one-year Topgolf Corporate Platinum Membership valued at $5,225! This sponsor will also receive two platinum bays to accommodate four to six people. Your company logo will be placed on Serve Denton’s website and social media platforms, your company banner will be placed at Topgolf during the event, and your logo will be displayed on seven of Serve Denton’s private lounge T.V.s.
The Eagle ($2,500) and Birdie ($1,000) sponsorships include premium bays along with highly visible advertising opportunities for your company.
The fundraiser will take place at 3760 Blair Oaks Dr. The Colony, TX 75056. We would love to have you be apart of our first Topgolf Tournament. If you want to sign up, just click on the button below!
[button url="https://servedenton.kindful.com/" color="gray" customcolor="" custom_class="" ]Sign Up[/button]
Denton is in a labor-short fall, which means we don’t have enough qualified people to fill the available jobs. There is such a demand for people with talent and skill that companies are waiting to find the right candidates. There are also plenty of people who currently have a job, but want to move on to a better opportunity. Then there are some who have recently been laid off or have been job searching for far too long. The Denton Community Job Fair worked to solve these problems by connecting qualified job applicants with top-notch companies.
There were 167 job seekers who visited with 28 hiring employers and nonprofit agencies. How did they say it went? Well, we sent out a survey to get some feedback, and we were more than pleased with the results.
Twenty-five percent of the people had an on-spot interview, and two people were hired the day of the event. A handful of people were hired at a later date or had interviews set up for later on. Most people left with three to nine leads, and a few even left with TEN leads. Over seventy percent of the job seekers rated the event very good or excellent, and over seventy percent of the hiring employers rated the quality of candidates a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale.
One bank had fourteen qualified candidates, and UNT had as many as eleven job openings. One company had been waiting a FULL year to find a bilingual therapist, and thank goodness for the job fair because they finally found one - The perfect candidate for the job!
We look forward to putting on this event again next year! If you would like to be involved as a hiring employer or sponsor, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will make sure information is sent your way. If you attended the job fair and have suggestions for next year, please let us know by using the email above.