Giving Is a Way of Life in Texas
Generosity is at the forefront of Texas values. The recent outpouring of donations and volunteerism following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey was a recent reminder of that. I personally knew several Fort Worthians who collected supplies and drove south, delivering them to perfect strangers.
North Texas Giving Day (this year’s is Thursday, September 14) is an annual example of how focused charitable giving efforts can really pay off. The online fundraising event has raised more than $156 million for North Texas charities since 2009. Having served on numerous nonprofit boards, I can tell you that this is an important fundraising event for many local charities and arts organizations. Think: Presbyterian Night Shelter, The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, The Fort Worth Arts Council, and countless others. I hope this article inspires you to reflect on the reality that so much of what we value in this city is possible because of generous Texans.
(I don’t presume to list, or even know, the charities that are in the most need with these highlights. I hope you’ll explore the causes you care about and find charities that support those causes.)
The Fort Worth Youth Orchestra
It has been announced before concerts in Bass Performance Hall, and I do believe it — Fort Worth has the highest-quality youth orchestra in the nation. Founded in 1965, the student ensemble has toured the world many times over, performing for heads of state and at community concerts. The performing arts group runs on a stable-but-tight budget. I can tell you that a donation here means a brighter future for classical music and hundreds of youths.
SPCA of Texas
Chances are, you’re curled up next to your fur baby right now. Mine, two felines, are as close as family. And well-pampered. I have a hard time thinking about the cats and dogs that aren’t so fortunate. SPCA of Texas runs crucial adoption, clinic, and animal cruelty prevention programs that aim to find brighter futures and happier times for all our furry friends. (Also, check out Mid-Cities Community Cats.)
The Welman Project
I stumble upon interesting groups working at The Weekly. Vanessa Barker and Taylor Willis provide supplies to bootstrapped public schools while cutting down on waste. The idea is as ingenious as it is simple: collect unwanted supplies from businesses and get them into the hands of school teachers. It is not a criticism of school directors but rather the reality of underfunded public school systems that many classrooms in FWISD lack adequate supplies. Barker and Willis have a large task on their hands, but I think they’re up to the job. The two founders are self-described as “tiny but mighty,” after all.
Disclaimer: I’m on the board of this nonprofit. And as per my duties, I’m going to tell you how great this group is! What makes Art Tooth so great is our focus on the future. The curators and arts directors in Art Tooth are all young artists themselves. They work at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and have been a part of the “art scene” for several years. And, yes, they know how hard it is for working artists to make a living in this city. Ergo, Art Tooth. In one year, the charity has curated shows, awarded a $5,000 microgrant, organized a large gala, and received critical acclaim for its programs. Follow ArtTooth.com for future events.
Scheduled Giving for North Texas Giving Day is now open, meaning you can schedule your donation payment early. Even if you don’t pay ahead, come September 14, you’ll begin seeing online posts about this important annual day of giving. Now you have a few days to think about which ones you’ll contribute to.
Edward Brown writes about music, arts, and news for a variety of publications. He’s an award-winning writer for the Fort Worth Weekly and volunteers for numerous Fort Worth nonprofits.