Foundation Response: Additional COVID-19 Relief Funds Awarded
June 26, 2020

Friday, June 26, 2020

The Rees-Jones Foundation COVID-19 Response

Although the urgent funding application is now closed, The Rees-Jones Foundation remains committed to the North Texas community. The Foundation is continuing to accept general requests for funding as we transition to addressing the needs of the community in the long-term. Between March 23 and May 17, The Foundation received, considered and acted upon 153 requests.

The Foundation continues to work closely with the Board to ensure that request decisions are timely and based on the evolving needs of the community.

The Foundation has awarded the following grants:

Dallas Academy – $60,000

Their mission is to restore the promise of full academic enrichment to students with learning differences. They do this by making meaningful connections with each student to overcome barriers to success. 

Funding will enable Dallas Academy to purchase laptops for their students and teachers as they continue e-learning. Through adapted classroom instruction, teachers are able to deliver uninterrupted specialized curriculum to their students with learning challenges. These curriculum adaptations and technology improvements will empower teachers and students when school resumes in the fall with distance learning. Funds will also be used as tuition assistance for students with high needs.

Hunger Busters (The Food Foundation) – $25,000

Their mission is to provide a much-needed third meal to food insecure children. They do this by serving healthy, fresh, high-quality meals made daily to students as they dismiss from school.

Funding will support Hunger Busters this summer as they continue to provide 2,000 meals each week to children. When schools and after school programs closed due to COVID-19, Hunger Busters launched alternate food distribution locations predominately in south and west Dallas. To package and distribute meals, HB is utilizing Get Shift Done, which connects those formerly employed in the service and restaurant industries with paying opportunities at nonprofits seeking to fill the volunteer workforce gap as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

Jonathan’s Place – $10,000

Their mission is to provide a safe place, loving homes and promising futures for abused and neglected children, teens, and young adults. Jonathan’s Place provides foster care and adoption services, residential therapeutic programs for girls, transitional living solutions for young women aging out of foster care, and operates an emergency shelter for newborns to kids age 17. 

Funding will enable Jonathan’s Place to continue operating their emergency shelter, girls’ residential therapeutic program, and transitional living program. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, youth are being educated “at home”. Accommodations for this, such as providing additional food, cleaning/sanitizing and expanded staff shifts, have led to an increase in unexpected operating costs.

Kyle’s Place Youth Shelter at Journey to Dream – $14,500

The mission of Journey to Dream is to embrace, equip and empower at-risk, victimized, homeless teens to overcome adversity and live purposeful lives.

Funding will enable JTD to purchase laptops for the 16 youth housed at their Kyle’s Place Youth Shelter so that these youth will have daily access to virtual learning platforms for summer school.

Juliette Fowler Communities – $25,000

Their mission is to provide choice, build community and create connections for the children, youth and aging. JFC serves older adults in residential environments with high-quality care including independent living, affordable senior housing, assisted living, and memory care. Children and youth are served by JFC through their foster and adoption program.

Funding will provide assistance with increased meal demand due to COVID-19 restrictions imposed on senior and youth facilities. The seniors residing at JFC, many of whom live on limited budgets and rely on family members, friends and volunteers to deliver groceries, are struggling to pay for meal service provided by JFC. In addition to assisting the seniors, funds will offset additional expenses required to supplement the loss of volunteers that bring meals each week to the young women who live in The Ebby House.

National Association on Mental Illness “NAMI” North Texas – $14,000

Their mission is to relieve the effects of severe mental illness on individuals, families and society through support, education, advocacy and research. NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization and advocates for access to services, treatments, supports and research.

Funding will support the shift to virtual support groups for persons with mental illness and their caregivers. This indefinite change in programming requires the purchase of computer hardware and software, as well as multi-media consulting services needed to maintain or exceed the level of service they were able to provide previously through in-person programming.

Sharing Life Community Outreach – $50,000

Their mission is to demonstrate compassion by effectively and efficiently providing dignified, benevolent services to families in need in southeastern Dallas, Rockwall, and Kaufman Counties. 

Funding will support their basic needs assistance programs, which provide food and emergency bill pay assistance to vulnerable families in southeastern Dallas County. Sharing Life is experiencing an increase in demand for both programs over the past seven weeks. Sharing Life has distributed food to more than 22,740 clients and provided over $110,500 in financial assistance.

United Way of Tarrant County – $100,000

Their mission is to provide leadership and harness resources to solve Tarrant County’s toughest social challenges.

Funding will support their initiative to feed 470 families living in low-income zip codes across Tarrant County. Fort Worth ISD noticed that many students previously identified as at-risk were not accessing food available at distribution sites. United Way of Tarrant County has stepped in to help FWISD receive bulk foods, repackage into meal boxes, and deliver to the families through the summer. These in-person deliveries also allow staff to check on the welfare of the families. This is made possible through the collaboration between Get Shift Done and UWTC volunteers.

T.R. Hoover Community Center – $10,000

Their mission is to strengthen, empower, and provide holistic, collaborative services that impact the south Dallas community through affordable housing, and economic and community development.

Funding will support their food distribution program, which serves families that have lost their jobs or are in general need of assistance. T.R. Hoover reports serving a high number of families that have never needed help before in addition to its traditional clients. This program is made possible through a creative partnership between T.R. Hoover, Big Tex Urban Farms, and CitySquare.

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Category: Grant Making
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