How quickly five years have passed…
The end of 2011 marked the end of our fifth year of operation as a foundation. We began with the formulation of our mission statement to serve God by serving others. This was, and is, our guiding principle; blessed by God, we seek to serve those in need in our community.
We were certainly novices in the early days but we enjoyed, then and now, the teaching and mentorship of our good and wise friend, Curtis Meadows, and we watched and learned from so many other experienced foundations, notably The Meadows Foundation and its warm and open program staff. As we learned, we enjoyed so many positive experiences with so many impressive organizations too many to list here, but all of which, collectively, have given us a sense of joy and appreciation for the service they have given to those in need. Thanks to all who have helped us along the way.
Our 2011 grants are listed in the following pages and all have their own stories, challenges and hopes for successes. We look forward to hearing more about them as time goes by. A few are notable because they tell a lot about our developing priorities.
We remain very interested in the welfare of children, particularly those who have been abused or neglected or who simply have been born into conditions that do not allow them to thrive. On the forefront of this very difficult work is the Institute of Child Development at TCU. In 2011, we were pleased to renew our partnership with the Institute and especially pleased to see the work they are doing with child welfare agencies, churches, counselors and others serving children in our state and across the country. The Institute’s Trust-Based Relational Intervention model for addressing the needs of foster and adopted children is being rigorously tested and applied by an increasing number of service providers. And the Institute’s leadership in implementing systems of trauma informed care continues to bring hope for children who are affected by traumatic events such as family violence and abuse.
Also at work for the same constituency is Children’s Medical Center where the dedicated team in the Foster Care Clinic is testing and applying an innovative program for the delivery of medical care to foster children in ways that affect the whole child and provide stability to the children and families served.
Good parenting, of course, is one of the keys to the growth and development of children and the prevention of abuse and neglect so we also note the terrific work of The ARKGroup, Dallas Concilio and the collaborative group of agencies working in the Bachman Lake area of Dallas with parents of pre-school children in that area. Our hope is that these and other efforts to develop new ways to effectively address the needs of our children will be successful and lead to the widespread improvement in the lives of those directly served and in the services delivered across our state.
We have also continued to assist those programs that promote in our youth the development of good moral character, personal responsibility and an appreciation of the value of hard work. The education of our youth is of course important and we applaud those who are raising the standards, expectations and performances of our schools. But more than this, we look for and want to support those who emphasize respect in the classroom, the value of hard work, the importance of honesty and personal responsibility, and the satisfaction that comes from achieving goals. This emphasis on character development can be seen in the halls of public schools such as those in the Uplift charter network and the Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, and in private schools such as West Dallas Community School, St. Philip’s and Bishop Dunne. We will continue to support programs that emphasize these qualities in our youth both in our schools and in the after-school and out-of-school time programs that are such essential parts of the youth development effort.
We made many other grants in 2011 and all are important. We believe each supported agency is worthy of our support and we thank them all for the hard work and dedication to the cause of improving the lives of people in our community.
One final note. In 2011, we continued our support of a small number of international programs of which International Justice Mission is one. Among other things, IJM has been hard at work for a number of years in actively and directly investigating instances in India involving human slavery and sex trafficking of young girls. This work has been instrumental in the rescue of hundreds of victims in some of the largest cities in India. Our grant in 2011 is designed to go farther; to help them transform the system of justice in India to actually eradicate these horrible practices. One might say this is an insurmountable task in a country as large as India. Recently, we were encouraged to hear that IJM’s work with law enforcement agencies in one of the large cities in India produced a rescue of 42 bonded laborers from a brick kiln. What is exciting to us is that this rescue stemmed not from IJM’s first investigation but from IJM’s training of the law enforcement agencies on the importance of working to transform their own cities; a testament to the power of God working through dedicated people seeking to serve God by serving others.
We have learned a lot in the last five years and I believe have matured in our mission and focus. We remain motivated by our faith and by the energy and perseverance of our partners who conduct the programs we so admire and touch the constituents who are in such need. Thanks to all of them for another fulfilling year.
Thornton Hardie, President