An annual fundraising event for nonprofits across North Texas began taking donations at the start of the month.
North Texas Giving Day is put on each year by the Communities Foundation of Texas with the 18-hour online fundraising event scheduled for Sept. 22. The foundation began accepting donations Thursday, Sept. 1, and will continue accepting them until Giving Day.
The foundation was first established in 1953 and professionally manages more than 1,000 charitable funds. The inaugural North Texas Giving Day was in 2009.
According to the Communities Foundation of Texas, North Texas Giving Day is the largest community-wide giving event in the United States. Since 2009, it has assisted thousands of nonprofit organizations in the area and raised over $441 million.
Last year, over 3,300 nonprofits were impacted by $66 million in donations received.
This year, several organizations in the Wylie, Sachse and Murphy communities are taking part in the annual campaign.
One of those organizations is 5 Loaves Food Pantry, located at 4401 Williford Road in Sachse. The pantry provides food, diapers, clothing and pet supplies to families in need in several surrounding communities.
According to the pantry, it provides 775,000 pounds of food annually.
The pantry’s goal for North Texas Giving Day is $70,000, which will go toward the purchase of a used refrigerated truck. The current truck has 360,000 miles and lacks cooling capacity.
It is also quickly approaching the point where repairs will cost more than the value of the truck.
Speaking at the Aug. 18 Sachse Economic Development Corporation meeting, 5 Loaves Director Audrey Wallace said having a refrigerated truck would allow the pantry to pick up fresh produce from other providers. It would also allow the pantry to stop at multiple locations while collecting food instead of having to drive back and quickly place food inside its on-site refrigerators.
“We have made some contacts with sources we can pick up refrigerated food from,” Wallace said. “We would be able to get some additional food to feed our families.”
In neighboring Wylie, Amazing Grace Food Pantry is seeking $500,000 to help with various improvements that will help expand its services.
Karen Ellis, the pantry’s coordinator, said the donations will help pay for improvements along Parker Road, where the pantry is located, by adding a turn lane into the pantry. Adding a turn lane will allow tractor-trailer trucks to deliver to the pantry.
“We’ll need to add a new entrance where the new turn lane will be plus increase [the amount of] parking for our growing number of clients,” Ellis said.
Along with road improvements, Amazing Grace would also like to add more freezer and refrigerator space to increase the amount of food it can store, she added.
The pantry is exclusively staffed by volunteers, said Ellis, adding that all donations the pantry receives go toward food or food storage.
Ellis said low-income families are allowed to come in and shop for food weekly, with each family leaving with approximately 100 pounds of food.
“We estimate a budget savings of $600 to ease the stress they may have about paying rent or buying food,” Ellis said.
In August, the pantry saw nearly double the number of families compared to 2021, also distributing close to double the number of meals.
In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue in Wylie is also participating in the annual event. They are seeking to raise $180,000 to build and upgrade some of the enclosures. One is for In-Sync’s “honorary cats,” ring-tailed lemurs named Mitzi and Loki; the others are for ligers Tabatha and Zachariah and a new home for three bobcats.
The nonprofit rescues and houses abused, neglected or unwanted exotic felines — including tigers, bobcats, ocelots and cougars — while providing them with necessary care. In-Sync has provided veterinary care, nutrition and habitats for dozens of exotic felines.
In-Sync has already raised $80,000 in matching funds, so donations will be matched dollar for dollar.
Another animal rescue nonprofit organization, Before the Bridge Dog and Cat Rescue is also participating in the annual donation day this year.
Before the Bridge currently houses 17 dogs, mostly bully breeds, and 15 cats, and is committed to providing a lovely home for companion animals. Annually, the nonprofit spends around $10,000 on veterinary expenses, according to its website.
The mission of the organization is to find a permanent home for the dogs and cats it fosters while providing for them until such a location is found.
On the North Texas Giving Day page, it lists the contributions will fund the purchase of food, medications, nutritional supplements and cleaning supplies.
A community musical group, the Wylie Community Band, is also participating this year with a fundraising goal of $3,000.
The band provides a creative outlet for professional and recreational musicians between the ages of 16 and 80 in Wylie and the surrounding communities. It also holds several performances in the community to foster an appreciation for concert band music.
The band’s fundraising goal will help cover the cost to rent performance venues, purchase percussion instruments not available at the high school and help co-sponsor “Wylie at the Meyerson” in March 2023. It will also cover the cost of the band’s marketing expenses and purchasing of music for performances.
In nearby Murphy, the Murphy Historical Society is participating in the annual giving day.
On its North Texas Giving Day page, it does not have a goal listed, but lists that its expenses are at least $10,000 per year to maintain three cemeteries. The maintenance covers landscaping at the cemeteries, repair and cleaning of headstones and any storm damage cleanup.
The historical society also maintains a display inside Murphy City Hall that shows different artifacts from the city’s past. It also maintains a storage space for the items but is looking to acquire a bigger space in which it will be able to store artifacts not on display.
In addition to funding, the nonprofit lists additional volunteers as a need to help maintain the facilities it oversees.
For more information on how to donate to area nonprofits or about North Texas Giving Day, visit northtexasgivingday.org/giving-events/ntx22.
Sonia Duggan contributed to this report.