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More Employed in Denton County

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.

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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.

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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!

If you are still looking for a job, UPS and Sonic told us they are constantly hiring, so give them a call or check out their websites for available positions.

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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 ckuban@servedenton.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.

 

Parks Foundation Provides Scholarships for Wheeler House Kids

There are currently 11 kids living at The Wheeler House ranging in ages from one to 14 years old. The Denton Parks Foundation stepped in to provide ongoing scholarships for these kids to attend their programs all year round! The shift to an indoor childhood has accelerated in the past decade, with huge declines in spontaneous outdoor activities such as bike riding, swimming and touch football, according to the National Sporting Goods Association.

Surveys by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the CDC found that a child is six times more likely to play a video game on a typical day than to ride a bike.

These statistics show the importance of getting our kids to play outside and enjoy the outdoors. The Denton Parks Foundation has stepped in to help with this.

The Denton Parks Foundation organizes the Fourth of July Liberty Run; Paddle, Pound & Pedal Challenge; Reindeer Romp; and plenty of other programs. They head up an ongoing project that allows people to purchase trees in memory of someone, living or deceased, to be planted in Legacy Forest. The Lake Forest Park on Ryan Road, commonly known as the “Dog Park,” is also a project of theirs!

They kept two summer camps from shutting down due to a federal funding cut by raising $20,000 so kids from low-income families wouldn’t have to miss out on the opportunity to develop problem-solving skills, build self-esteem, life skills and pro-social behaviors.

"The building blocks of self-esteem are belonging, learning, and contributing. Camps offer unique opportunities for children to succeed in these three vital areas and even beyond home and school,” said Michael Popkin, Ph.D., family therapist and founder of Active Parenting.

The Denton Parks Foundation serves our community well by making our city beautiful, but also generously providing a way for the little ones at The Wheeler House to experience the beauties of childhood. 

For more information about The Wheeler House, click on the button below. To contact the Denton Parks Foundation, email their executive director Molly Tampke at molly@dentonparksfoundation.com.

Welcome Born2BFree to the Serve Denton Family!

We are very excited to announce Born2BFree is officially our newest partner agency! They teach teens and young adults important life skills so they can better transition from the teenage and young adult years to a life equipped with self-confidence. Born2BFree was established in 2009 and received their 501(c)(3) status in October 2013. Their goal is to come alongside parents, churches, schools and universities to provide social, spiritual and emotional support for teens and young adults.

Our goal is to see young men and women set free from the negative influences of peer pressure, gangs, drugs, alcohol and other temptations so that they may develop more positive lifestyles as they gain new friends and mentors to encourage them in their daily lives.”

Born2BFree Executive Director, Priscilla Brooks, said they previously leased an office in Denton, but it was primarily funded through her own personal funds. When she transitioned from her full-time job as the senior paralegal at the Criminal District Attorney’s office to working full time with Born2Bfree, they had to downsize to working from home. Priscilla said, “This is another reason why Serve Denton is such a blessing for us.”

One way Born2BFree carries out their mission is through hosting FREE workshops, conferences and activities for those ages 13-35 years old. Some events are age specific while others are gender specific. These conferences allow professionals in the community, such as pastors, counselors, staff at schools and colleges, to share their knowledge and connect with these young people. The settings at the events are friendly and open while still allowing for the teens and young adults to connect with like-minded people their age.

There are plenty of success stories that come from Born2BFree’s efforts, one being of a young man who faced truancy violations, dropping out of school early. He didn’t value his education in the least. He was exposed to positive role models at Born2BFree, where he was also connected with other nonprofit organizations. These relationships proved successful, giving him the encouragement he needed to start school again. He gained the self-confidence to not give up on himself, which led him to schedule to take the SAT test and visit several college campuses. We are happy to say he is scheduled to graduate in June 2017!

When speaking about the benefits of partnering with Serve Denton, Priscilla said, “Born2BFree is excited about collaborating with the other nonprofit organizations connected with Serve Denton…We will also be able to better serve young people once we have an office space to accommodate our needs in order to expand our services and move full speed ahead.”

To connect with Born2BFree, visit their website by clicking the button below, email born2bfree@born2bfree.org or call 940-239-2660.

 

[button url="www.born2bfree.com" color="gray" customcolor="" iconcolor="white"="_top" custom_class="" ]Born2BFree Website[/button]

Little Free Pantries are Coming to Denton!

This fall, Serve Denton is helping start a project called The Little Free Pantry!  

What is The Little Free Pantry?

The Little Free Pantry was an idea that started in May of 2016 in Fayetteville, AR, to support those dealing with food insecurity. The goal of this project was to bring the community together to provide easily accessible foods and goods to local individuals in need.

In most food pantries, you may be required to fill out an application or bring a photo ID. They also have set hours of operation restricting individuals looking for food support. The Little Free Pantry provides 24/7 access to food, without having to fill out any information.

With multiple locations, more people have an opportunity to obtain these goods if unable to walk or drive to a local food pantry center. The convenience of this project insures that everyone has access to free food and useful items no matter the circumstance.

 

Why Set up Little Free Pantries?

According to the Feeding America: Map the Meal Gap, approximately 115,480 individuals living in Denton County suffer with food insecurity. Out of that number, 41,140 of these individuals are children. This large amount of people needing assistance justifies the importance of this project.

 

How to Get Involved

Argyle Young Men’s Service League will take care of the installation and construction of the pantries. Once they are operational, there will be a need for sponsors to maintain and stock the units. Sponsors may include businesses, churches or nonprofits in Denton County.

Items that can be placed in the pantry may include canned goods, personal care items and paper goods. During cold weather months, pantries may also be stocked with mittens, gloves and scarves. Sponsors should have a group of individuals such as co-workers or members of an organization to continuously supply these pantries.

The Little Free Pantry project will create an environment that not only sparks up conversations but bring community-wide awareness to this issue.

We do not know the exact amount of people in Denton who are food insecure, but we do know those people are out there. Serve Denton hope this project will provide a new source of food for that unknown group of people in need and bring light to this issue while unifying our community.

If you or your organization is interested in sponsoring a Little Free Pantry, contact Serve Denton at info@servedenton.org.

 

[button url="https://docs.google.com/a/servedenton.org/forms/d/17DX0wZMYPCOyzXjcy2cLiwQGkU05iuDazTUAIpCK9d4/edit?userstoinvite=bjhardesty5@gmail.com&ts=57fe637f&actionButton=1#response=ACYDBNhUQjgQvBGqpB79YcAjiMdOG2kEe3Bu2an-MaOMW-jg2RaiFERfoFvusQ" color="gray"="_top" custom_class="" ]LFP Application[/button]

 

This is a video highlighting the woman who created the first Little Free Pantry!

The Fatherhood EFFECT Podcast

We talked with two mentor navigators from NewDay Services' Fatherhood EFFECT Program, which is a class that gives male caregivers the skills they need to become more involved and stronger dads. They meet at Serve Denton every Saturday morning to go through the curriculum. Check it out!

Connecting Those Who Need Jobs With Job Openings

There are around 728,000 people in Denton County, with an unemployment rate of 3.2% (April 2015). This means about 23,322 people are unemployed. And when we say people, we could be talking about your aunt, best friend, neighbor or the man you just walked across the crosswalk with. Serve Denton is entering into this space by providing a job fair for the Denton community. The purpose of this event is to connect people who need jobs with businesses who have job openings!

Local nonprofit agencies like Vision Ministries, Health Services of North Texas and Giving Hope, Inc. will also attend the job fair to provide information about their services to job seekers. These local businesses and nonprofit agencies will be giving 20-minute seminars throughout the day on topics like Banking 101; Your Resume is a Marketing Tool, Not a Biography; How to Apply & Interview for Jobs; and Getting a Job with a Troubled Past. There will also be an interview room on-site for employers to go through the interview process with applicants. The faster we can help people find jobs, the better.

We want all job seekers to be able to take part in this event, so there is no cost to attend. Job seekers are encouraged to dress professionally and bring plenty of copies of their resume!

For more information about the job fair and sponsorship opportunities, please click on the button below or email Joye Williams at williams_joye@yahoo.com.

[button url="http://servedenton.org/dentoncommunityjobfair/" color="gray"" custom_class="" ]Learn More[/button]

 

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Census Bureau 

Our Aunt Bertha: No Ordinary Aunt

Aunt Bertha is Serve Denton’s special aunt that helps people find the care they need in difficult times. Aunt Bertha is the Aunt we all had growing up. She tells it like it is. She’s the first one to give you a high-five when you make the honor roll. She’s the friendly face that won’t judge you when you get in trouble. She’s who you call or visit during those times when you get real with yourself. You see, Aunt Bertha is not a real person but a company whose mission is to make human service program information more accessible to those in need in order to help more people reach self-sufficiency. Aunt Bertha picks up where Uncle Sam leaves off by making it easy to find food, health, housing and education programs based on need.

It began with a simple idea – that every person and family should have one place online where they can find help in a time of need – and they’ve been transforming the way social services information is organized and delivered ever since.  For people in need, Aunt Bertha is building the country’s most comprehensive online directory of social service organizations. By putting the information in their hands, they’re bringing dignity to the experience of finding help. And for organizations offering help, they are giving them tools and insights to deliver the right services to the right places and to do more with less.

She (Aunt Bertha) may not save the day – that’s up to you – but she can give you some perspective with a clear set of eyes and a full heart. – Founder, Erine Gray

By organizing the world’s human service program information, people can easily find out which programs they qualify for in a matter of seconds. Aunt Bertha also helps human service organizations administer programs better by offering easy-to-use web-based case management software.

Aunt Bertha is all about trying to help people understand options that are out there for people with low income. In the United States, there are 89,000 government organizations, over a million public charities and more than 300,000 congregations. Many of these organizations offer programs designed to help people with food, health, housing or education needs. But navigating through the information available can be intimidating – and all too often people give up and fall further into crisis.

Serve Denton is fortunate to have Aunt Bertha as one its strategic partners. They have helped us think through many issues and brought a capability to Denton County that few places have.

This June and July, they embedded some of their team with key nonprofits across Denton County to learn how to make Aunt Bertha easier to use for case workers and provide the functions those people wish they had. At the same time, they spent time with people called “seekers” who are searching for help.

They collected data during the monthly mobile food pantry and are using it to refine the system. All in the hopes of empowering everyone to find help when they need it and use their time efficiently rather than driving all over town asking for help and finding they need to go someplace else.

Serve Denton partnered with Aunt Bertha to create CAReS. It is the same database, just geared toward Denton County social services. Click on the button below to check out the website!

We look forward to continuing the collaboration and seeing Aunt Bertha grow in its use.

[button url="https://cares.auntbertha.com" color="gray" customcolor="""_top" custom_class="" ]Visit CAReS[/button]

Does Human Trafficking Happen in Denton?

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.”

Taking 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:

• September 8 - Traffick911 • September 15 - 4the ONE • September 22 - Poiema Foundation • September 29 - Refuge for Women

To learn more about the Denton County Human Trafficking Coalition, please email Katelynn Blasavage at kblasavage@servedenton.org.

The Creative Mind Behind The Tiny House Project: Hannah Rodriguez

This summer, we had the privilege of having Hannah Rodriguez intern for Serve Denton. She is leaving us this week to finish her last year of the interior design program at the University of North Texas. In just a short three months, she helped start an initiative here in Denton, one with the word “tiny” in the name, but no tiny task at all – the Tiny House project. She is one of the reasons the conversation about legalizing tiny houses in Denton has been brought to light. Instead of me blabbing on about what she accomplished this summer, I’ll let her answer the questions!

What was your role at Serve Denton?

Conceptual Synthesis. So my job was essentially to explore and sort through tons of ideas with the help of my team and put together the most helpful ones.

From there, I tried to figure out how these ideas are represented and felt in the built environment. How can a house or a neighborhood embody a holistic community environment—what does that physically look like? How does someone build that? What is it in the physical environment that makes people want to interact? My job was to figure that out.

What have you accomplished so far?

I created a site plan and five preliminary tiny house designs. To do this, I collaborated with many homeless outreaches and tiny house owners in DFW.

With the generation of this visual starting point, I think I’ve been able to foster a strong sense of unity within the team and that is something I’m extremely proud to have been able to create.

[button url="http://docdro.id/wFKCiL7" color="gray" customcolor="" iconcolor="white="_top" custom_class="" ]Final Site Plan[/button]

What have you learned?

  • I learned a lot about Denton and it's people.
  • I learned that people aren’t what they look like and shouldn’t be measured by my own standard of living.
  • I learned how to learn from opinions with grace and an open mind rather than allowing different viewpoints to offend me. I think I’ve fully grasped the power of positivity in the face of negativity.

What do you see happening with tiny houses (in Denton) in the future? 

Denton is full of unique individuals who are unafraid to venture outside of norms. I think this is the perfect city for tiny houses to flourish. A lot of what I’ve done, I see as not simply for one demographic or one crisis, but as laying a foundation upon which anyone can build. I think people, especially in Denton, are starting to look around and realize they don’t need a lot of (fill in the blank) to have a full life. Tiny houses in all their forms are perfect for that kind of idea, and I think they’ll catch on once the initial step is taken.

Any cool stories/ experiences/ people you've met? 

I’ve met and worked with several city officials, which I kind of find cool because I’m a bit of a nerd. I’ve hung out with Alexis and Christian from the Tiny House Expedition which was one of the coolest tiny house experiences I’ve had so far. Also, everyone at Serve Denton is so inspiring. They are literally always stoked by making an impact in people’s lives.

I’ve met lots of homeless residents. I made a really cool homeless friend named Michael who always reminds me that God loves me which is super encouraging. I’ve spent a lot of time at the library which is always filled with homeless people on the weekends.

Any Final Words?

I sought out this internship because I wanted to help people. What I got out of it was a VIP ticket to a new world. At the beginning, I was really challenged by my unconscious misconceptions of people who aren’t like me. I don’t think I’d ever really taken the time to think about homelessness before. I knew it was a sad thing, but I never really thought about why. Growing up, homeless people were kind of the epitome of stranger danger, and I never really thought about why. It has been truly eye-opening to now be in a position of service to people I’d always kind of pitied from afar.

I’m just at the edge of my seat in anticipation for the day I get to come back to Shiloh Village and be able to meet someone and ask them how they like their house. I mean, hopefully, they don’t hate it. Haha! That’d be pretty depressing.

But seriously, that day is literally the day of my dreams.

Lunch with a Leader Podcast

We interviewed Amber Shattuck from Communities in Schools North Texas to talk about a new mentoring program coming to Denton called Lunch with a Leader, which focuses on leadership development in a small group atmosphere. If you want to get involved, email Amber at volunteer@cisnt.org.

"Homelessness in Denton Part 2" Podcast

This is the second segment of our "Homelessness in Denton" episode! We talked to Leslie Wisenbaker, the chair of the Denton County Homeless Coalition, and Michael Pirtle, the director of Vision Ministries, about what is already going on to alleviate homelessness in Denton and what the community can do to help.

The World Seemed Right That Day

There are just some people in life that amaze you. The people who are given nothing and are thankful for everything. The people who care for their families so selflessly without much concern for themselves. The ones who keep fighting even when life seems to be against them. One of the moms who moved out of The Wheeler House this last month is one of those people for us.

Background

Giving Hope, Inc. works primarily with the families at The Wheeler House. We help run the facility and occasionally get the joy of interacting with the families. When this family moved to Texas, they had little to nothing. The truck that they had was repossessed because they were late on their payment due to lack of resources. Not only was their vehicle taken from them, but the Christmas gifts they had been given were in the back of the car.

As you can imagine, this was devastating to this family.

They moved here hoping for a fresh start and new opportunities. They eventually found that here in North Texas. During their stay at The Wheeler House, Giving Hope, Inc. worked with the mom to help her find a job, childcare and other necessary resources the family needed. This family found hope, understanding and love from these staff members at Giving Hope, Inc. After staying at The Wheeler House for six months, they were able to move into a place of their own. They rejoiced as they sat around their first dining room table to have a meal.

The Barrier 

There was still one major barrier for this family – their lack of transportation. To take her kids to childcare, to go to work, to get groceries, this mom had to take all of her kids with her on a bus or walk if it was close enough. She did this without complaining, doing whatever she needed to do to take care of her family.

The Gift

This last week, one of our donors contacted us to let us know they wanted to donate their car to us. This was perfect timing. We knew right away where that car was meant to go. On Saturday, July 23, the Serve Denton staff pulled the car up to the family’s home. She thought we were coming over to bring her some paperwork, little did she know what was waiting for her!

As she walked outside, she tried to figure out what was happening. Right when she turned the corner, she saw the black car by the curb, and she burst into tears! It was one of those times where the world seemed to be right, even just for a moment. She cried as she sat in the driver’s seat, leaning her head against the wheel and thanking God for this gift.

She said the first trip her family was going to make was to church the next morning.

A Way of Life Changed

This family’s way of life will change because of the generosity of one person, who gave to Serve Denton, and allowed us the blessing of giving this gift to a family in need.

This helps lighten the load for Giving Hope Inc. because they had been having to help with a lot of transportation during these past months when a bus route wasn’t an option. This allows them to be freed up to help other clients.

This was the fruit of collaboration between agencies and the generosity of the Denton community.

What the Heck is this North Texas Giving Day Thing?

In the nonprofit world, North Texas Giving Day is like Christmas. Not only because everyone looks forward to it, but because it is full of presents! So, if you aren't in the nonprofit world, you are probably feeling out of the loop. We will explain everything you need to know.

Simply put, if you want to donate to a nonprofit, North Texas Giving Day (September 22) is the day to do it. This is why:

 

What is North Texas Giving Day?

North Texas Giving Day is an online giving event for people across the nation (and the world!) to come together to raise as much money as possible for North Texas nonprofits on one day: September 22, 2016. When you donate on this day, your donation gets an added boost. Bonus funds are added to every donation, which means your donation can go further!

When is North Texas Giving Day?

Giving Day 2016 is Thursday, September 22, from 6 AM Central – Midnight.

Where is North Texas Giving Day?

North Texas Giving Day is an online event. Most of the activity will take place via this NorthTexasGivingDay.org website.

How Do I Donate? 

Click the button below to find the Serve Denton giving profile, but remember, you can only donate on September 22. We also want to encourage you to donate to another nonprofit as well! Our mission is to support other nonprofits, so we want to do that on Christmas...I mean North Texas Giving Day too.

[button url="https://northtexasgivingday.org/npo/serve-denton" color="gray" customcolor="" iconcolor="white" icon="500px"_top" custom_class="" ]Serve Denton Giving Profile[/button]

 

Here is a list of our tenant nonprofit agencies - They do BIG things for our community. Check them out!

[button url="http://servedenton.org/assistance-events-center/" color="gray" customcolor="" iconcolor="white" icon="500px"_top" custom_class="" ]Assistance & Event Center Nonprofits [/button]

[button url="http://servedenton.org/wheeler-house/" color="gray" customcolor="" iconcolor="white" icon="500px"_top" custom_class="" ]The Wheeler House Nonprofits[/button]

 

Jessica O'Bannon's Life Changed

When the counselor at her children’s school told her about The Wheeler House, Jessica O’Bannon’s entire life changed. Jessica is a single mother of five children, and when she left her home in Mississippi to come to Denton, TX, she was looking for a better life for her and her children. But, when her expected living situation didn’t work out, Jessica was forced to prepare her family for a life on the streets.

Jessica called The Wheeler House every single day until she got accepted because she knew this was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up. For Jessica and her family, The Wheeler House has been their clean slate. Throughout the last six months, her children have become more grounded in school, and Jessica has been able to pursue a diploma she has been working toward for ten years. “They have given us so much,” she said, “materialistic things, yes, but also their generosity, their love, kindness, their support…something I have not had in a very long time.”

Jessica and her family will be moving out of The Wheeler House at the beginning of July, and they are all very excited to start their new life in permanent housing. Jessica will be also be graduating in September 2016 with her diploma and plans to continue schooling to get her Associate degree so she can continue to provide for her family. “My five children are my motivation; they are the only motivation that I have because I am the only one that they have, so I have to keep going,” Jessica said.

Though Jessica and her family have experienced some roadblocks on their journey to a stable and healthy life, The Wheeler House has been an “amazing blessing” in allowing them to get settled in their new home of Denton, TX, and back up on their feet.

Think Big Build Tiny: Social Media Day

***Due to unforeseen transportation complications, Serve Denton has decided to postpone this event to the Fall. Complications out of our control have led us to believe that we can provide a better quality event later in the year. Please stay connected with Serve Denton and Denton for Tiny Homes for an update event date. Serve Denton is organizing a tiny house meet-up and three early childhood STEM education presentations on Social Media Day, the annual global event on June 30.

The first part of the event will be held at The Wheeler House located at 821 N Elm St., Denton, TX 76201, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Emily Roden from ReadyRosie, Angela Thomas from DISD and volunteers from Explorium Denton will be talking about early childhood STEM education. Serve Denton Board Member and ERA Cornerstone Relator Alex Lee will be grilling hot dogs, and free Beth Marie’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream will be served.

The second part of the event will be held at the Denton County Historical Park located at 317 W Mulberry St., Denton, TX 76201, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. This portion of the event is an opportunity to publicly start the conversation about tiny houses being an affordable housing option in Denton. There will be two tiny houses on display to be toured. Jennifer Rogers, the owner of a tiny house on a foundation in Lake Lavon, will be speaking about the community aspect of tiny house living. Abigail Bigelow owns a tiny house on a foundation in Deep Ellum and will be speaking about how she and her husband have overcome obstacles on their journey to tiny living.

For more information, contact Hannah Rodriguez at hrodriquez@servedenton.org.

 

Photo by: Shelter Wise

BBBS Success Story!

Little Sister, Kylor, and Big Sister, Diana, have been together for over a year and a half now enjoying many fun memories! The first time they met at Serve Denton in December 2014, Kylor was sporting a furry Russian Kubanka hat and brought cookies to share. Her Big Sister, Diana, studies at TWU where she is pursuing a PhD in Women’s Studies. She chose to become a mentor through BBBS after meeting another Big and their Little and seeing the impact she herself could make in a child’s life.  

Hitting it off from the beginning, they still have fun engaging in community events twice a month. Some of the activities include visiting the Denton Community Market, trips to Barnes & Noble, manicures, going to the movies, baking, bowling, playing with Diana’s pets and much more! During their time, Diana has helped Kylor improve her Spanish and has only added to Kylor’s confidence and self-esteem.

After the one-year mark, Heather Hutmacher, a BBBS staff member, asked the question, “What does Big Brothers Big Sisters mean to you?”

Kylor’s mother shared, "It's an opportunity to expose Kylor to other people like her Big Sister who are pursuing their doctorates, setting an example for Kylor that she can be a doctor too."

Kylor’s Big Sister, Diana, replied, “My Little makes me laugh and reminds me of the very important message that it takes a village to raise a child. I am happy to be a part of that village."

We are so proud to partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Denton County! They are doing BIG things for the youth here in Denton. Apply to become a Big by clicking the button below.

Welcome Kim to our Team

Kim Yarbrough is joining our staff as the director of operations, and we could not be more excited to have her part of our team! Kim and her husband Len were both born and raised in Denton, TX. For the last 26 years, her career has been in banking, working at First State Bank of Denton, AccessBank Texas and Point Bank.

She is a Mean Green Eagle, holding a BBA in Corporate Finance from UNT. Throughout her career, she has been involved in CASA, United Way and Relay for Life. She has followed Serve Denton for awhile now, connecting with our mission.

“I have found through my banking career that my true "joy" has been in helping people to better their lives and let the light shine through me, the love our Savior has for others. It has been a long term goal of mine to work with Serve Denton to help them achieve their mission,” Kim said.  

She is excited to be involved with Serve Denton to better our community and bring agencies together for easier access for the less fortunate. You can contact Kim Yarbrough at kyarbrough@servedenton.org.

Welcome Hannah to our Team

Hannah Rodriguez is joining our team for the Summer to help generate designs, construction documents, and presentation materials for a tiny house community in Denton. This project will not only benefit the chronically homeless in our city, but provide an affordable housing option for anyone. She will be working with a team of people and the city to generate zoning and coding variance proposals and getting plans approved for construction. Born in Virginia, Hannah has spent the last 13 years in the DFW area, where she currently attends the University of North Texas and studies interior design. Before UNT, she attended Southwestern AG University in Waxahachie, TX where she received an Associates of Arts in Bible.

Hannah heard about Serve Denton when she participated in a department-wide design charrette to help us transition our current facility into the framework of a shared colocation workspace. In search of an internship, she approached Serve Denton and found out about the tiny house project. She immediately knew it was a fit!

Hannah said, “I have followed the concept of tiny house living since it began as a grassroots movement several years ago. I was much more of a distant observer; however, until my brother wanted me to design him a tiny house as he was interested in living the kind of lifestyle tiny houses provide to their owners—a life unhindered by possessions and mortgages,” she continued, “I dove into the movement and construction methods at that point and it was only the beginning of my introduction to what a big change small spaces could make not just for my brother, but also for my community.”

Hannah is passionate about this project and believes the built environment can powerfully impact our mood and way of thinking. Hannah says, “Our mood impacts our view of life and the way in which we interact with others. And I believe that the manipulation of the built environment is just as key to community engagement as the stage set is to the theater.”

Excited to see the city through a different lens, Hannah is jumping right in! To contact her, please email hrodriguez@servedenton.org.

Tiny Houses: Coming to Denton?

We took a look at the tiny house lifestyle with Alexis and Christian from Tiny House Expedition. They built their own tiny house from scratch and have been traveling the nation to document the tiny house movement. Now let's bring it to Denton! Ever been curious how the bathroom works in a tiny house? And did you know Tony Hsieh, CEO if Zappos, lives in a tiny house in Las Vegas? 

“Tiny houses starts conversations and brings smiles.” - Alexis Stephens