Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday—kind of. Giving Tuesday normally takes place on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving; and it still will, on December 1. But with COVID-19 and the economic shutdowns, we need that help well before then. Hence, Giving Tuesday Now.
The campaign is basically, for one day, focusing the efforts that corporations, nonprofits, businesses, and individuals have led in an attempt to feed, clothe, shelter, and financially support the millions affected by the closure of (quite literally) entire industries. The Giving Tuesday website points out that, as an individual, you don’t have to give money or time to make a meaningful contribution: “You can give goods. You can give talent. You can give kindness. You can give a voice.” A text will do the trick. Giving Tuesday, quite simply, is about giving back, to the best of our abilities. Nobody can do nothing. (Disclosure: the wife of the editor of D Magazine owns a firm that does public relations for the Communities Foundation of Texas, the organization behind Giving Tuesday.)
First, make a contribution that’s meaningful to you. Decide if that means donating locally or on a larger scale. For example, if you’ve decided you want to help families requiring food assistance and elderly folks afraid to face the germ-infested supermarkets, you’ll probably want to donate to a food bank. The question then becomes: would you rather donate to the North Texas Food Bank or to a local food pantry? The former will stretch your dollars into more fishes and loaves. And yet there’s nothing quite like loving your (literal) neighbor as yourself.
If you want to donate money, you can find a directory of local nonprofits here; or, if you want to volunteer time, you can find a similar directory here. Here’s a list of ways to get involved in North Texas. We’ve created the following list—organized by the recipient sector of society affected by COVID-19—which provides a little more information. So that whether it’s cash to an arts organization or a box of surgical masks to a social service center sheltering 400 homeless men in place, tomorrow is a great opportunity to give the most that we can of what we’ve been given.
Serving Up Gratitude
Organized by the Thanks-Giving Foundation, which owns and operates Thanks-Giving Square, Serving Up Gratitude uses a $10 donation to buy a meal from a local restaurant and then donates it to a frontline worker. You can nominate healthcare workers or first responders to receive—or a restaurant to provide—the meal; you can also volunteer. Donate here.
Feed the Front Line Texas
Similar to Serving Up Gratitude, Feed the Front Line uses donations to purchase meals from one local restaurant per day. Then, they donate the meals to medical workers at a local hospital, such as UT Southwestern or Baylor University Medical Center, as our own Rosin Saez reported. Donate here.
Meal Train for Baylor University Medical Center
Speaking of Baylor, “everyone does appreciate every little gesture that people make, donating food or writing a card,” says Benjamin Morrissey, an emergency medicine physician at BUMC. This Meal Train, with the money you donate, does just that: Meals are purchased from local restaurants and donated to hospital workers in Baylor’s ER, ICU, and new containment departments. Heck, you can even write a note. Donate here.
The Dinner Bell Foundation
The Pecan Lodge’s Dinner Bell Foundation uses donated funds to, in turn, donate meals to frontline workers. (The foundation also uses the funds to help cover staff paychecks of restaurant partners.) Besides donating, you can order meals directly from a special menu, specifying what hospital team, first-responder station, or agency you’d like to feed. Donate here.
A volunteer at the Salvation Army’s Carr P. Collins Center helps with drive-thru grocery service. (Photo courtesy Salvation Army)
The Salvation Army Carr P. Collins Social Service Center (Medical District)
The Carr P. Collins Social Service Center continues to shelter 450 homeless guests in place. The additional costs associated with feeding and sheltering them, providing them with masks, and constantly disinfecting the center’s enormous complex have thinned the budget. Donate here.
Union Gospel Mission Dallas (West Dallas and Medical District)
Sheltering between 350 and 400 clients in place, the Union Gospel Mission has seen its operating budget increase by $24,000 per week—even as donations decrease. They need more masks and hand sanitizers, as well as financial support.
Austin Street Center (Downtown)
Sheltering and feeding more than double the normal number of daytime guests due to the shelter-in-place order, Austin Street needs hand sanitizer, masks, gloves, and clothing donations. Also, of course, financial support.
The Bridge (Downtown)
Still offering legal and mental health services to around 350 guests—and sleeping nearly 225, who are sheltering in place—as well as providing them with meals, masks, and hand sanitizer, the Bridge homeless shelter has had to cancel or postpone multiple fundraisers. Like every homeless shelter right now, they need masks, hand sanitizer, and great financial support to fill large holes in their budget. Donate here.
Darryl Ratcliff. Photo by Mei-Chun Jau.
The Arts Community Alliance
The Arts Community Alliance’s Emergency Arts Relief Fund will award up to $10,000 to small- and medium-sized, nonprofit, performing or visual arts organizations based in Dallas County. Eligible arts organizations must have an operating budget of less than $5 million and have lost revenue or needed to increase expenditures due to the coronavirus. Donate to TACA here.
Dallas Artist Relief Fund
Organized by Darryl Ratcliff, the omnipresent social practice artist and cofounder of Ash Studios, this GoFundMe aims to raise $20,000 for low-income, BIPOC (black/indigenous people of color), transgender, gender nonconforming, nonbinary, or queer artists affected by COVID-19 closures and cancellations. Artists will receive money in $200 increments. Donate here.
Creative Arts Center of Dallas COVID Fundraiser
For $50, you can purchase an original woodcut print. For $5,000, you can own some Carrera marble sculptures. Either way, 50 percent of the funds goes to the upkeep of the Creative Arts Center, a nonprofit that teaches classes and holds workshops in everything from fiber arts to mosaic-making. The other 50 percent goes to their Teaching Artist relief fund. Shop with a purpose here.
North Texas Cares
Most Dallas Arts District nonprofits are applying to North Texas Cares, says Lily Weiss, the executive director of the Dallas Arts District. A collaboration between United Ways and North Texas foundations, the North Texas Cares fundraiser seeks to support organizations that—in turn—support, and provide resources for, vulnerable demographics like low-income and low-access students. Donate to the North Texas Community Response Fund here (donations will be applied to North Texas Cares).
Or make a direct donation…
The Dallas Arts District website provides a direct link to nonprofit arts organizations within the Arts District. A direct donation to your favorite arts organization—whether it be the symphony, a museum, the opera, or one of Dallas’ numerous ballet companies and theaters—is the most efficient way to support it.
The National Guard stands ready to load boxes of food into vehicles at the North Texas Food Bank’s mobile pantry at Bowman Middle School in Plano. (Photo by Trace Miller)
The North Texas Food Bank
The North Texas Food Bank supports and supplies food pantries across 13 counties. With a mobile pantry, they also, every day, hand out food directly to those in need. One dollar equates to three meals. The North Texas Food Bank needs financial support.
Voice of Hope (West Dallas)
This small food pantry tucked away in a residential neighborhood has seen upwards of a 900 percent increase in households needing food assistance. “This community is the working poor. So, now they’re not working. Now they’re just poor,” says Debbie Solis, the director of family and community services. Voice of Hope needs financial support and in-kind donations of toilet paper and books.
White Rock Center of Hope (East Dallas)
On the corner of Garland and Peavy roads, the White Rock Center of Hope provides financial assistance, transportation assistance, clothing, and food to five zip codes around White Rock Lake. The center needs financial support, shelf-stable foods, gloves, and masks.
Crossroads Community Services (Oak Cliff)
Crossroads Community Services is on the frontline of a dramatic spike in demand at food pantries. The food pantry needs masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, volunteers, and financial support. One dollar provides four meals.
CitySquare (South Dallas)
On the border of Deep Ellum and South Dallas, CitySquare food pantry desperately needs in-kind donations shelf-stable staples like pasta, rice, and peanut butter, among other things. They also need financial assistance—you can donate generally or to their Emergency Relief Fund.
The Heard That Foundation is helping feed service industry workers who’ve been hit hard as restaurants and bars close.
In partnership with CitySquare, the pop-up kitchen, located near Deep Ellum, hands out meals to anybody who’s been furloughed or laid off because of the coronavirus. They’ve served over 21,000 meals as of April 27. Donate here.
Get Shift Done for North Texas
Created by two local businessmen, Get Shift Done is hiring laid-off hospitality industry employees to work shifts at local nonprofit organizations for $10 an hour. Donate here, via the Communities Foundation of Texas.
Kids Save Dallas Restaurants
The goal of Kids Save Dallas Restaurants? To raise $100,000 to purchase gift cards from various Dallas restaurants. The founders, Alexis Smith and Alex Perry, will then hand over the gift cards to DISD and the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, which provides healing services—and can now provide meals—to victims of child abuse. Donate here.
TX Restaurant Relief Fund
The Texas Restaurant Association and its Education Foundation organized this fundraiser, which is awarding independent restaurants across the state up to $5,000 to help them keep their heads above water. Donate here.
Thanks to Staff Meal, in-need hospitality industry workers can pick up free, chef-crafted meals every Saturday at the Irving Convention Center. Teams of chefs prepare the to-go packages, which contain four breakfast and four dinner servings. Preparing one meal costs little more than two dollars. Donate here.
Heard That Foundation
Formerly serving free dinners, five days a week, to food industry workers affected by the coronavirus economic blight, Heard That Foundation is now handing out “farmer’s bags,” containing fresh foods and ingredients from local farmers, ranchers, and bakers. They’re also giving relief funds—up to $500—to food industry workers needing help covering expenses such as rent and utilities. Donate here.
East Lake Pet Orphanage
The no-kill shelter’s largest fundraiser of the year (now online, for obvious reasons) ends tomorrow. A silent auction, they’re offering everything from a Mavericks-autographed basketball to pet junk food to four tickets for a self-guided tour of AT&T Stadium. You can also donate here. The money allows East Lake to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehouse stray and abandoned pets.
This small pet shelter is run by Lee Jamison and based in Oak Cliff. You can donate via Venmo (awwdoptable-inc), or PayPal or Zelle ([email protected]).