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Hurricane Harvey Recovery Update

On behalf of Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT), I would like to extend my deepest gratitude for your contribution in supporting individuals and families whose lives were uprooted in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

On behalf of Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT), I would like to extend my deepest gratitude for your contribution in supporting individuals and families whose lives were uprooted in the wake of Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

 

Your gift – when combined with hundreds of other gifts – enabled CFT to make significant and lasting investments to help thousands of individuals and families stabilize and rebuild after the storm. We are happy to share with you in this letter all that was invested in over the past year that your gift made possible.

CFT’s approach to using funds that come in for natural disasters is to provide support for the entire timeline of any disaster management effort – from immediate relief and recovery to reconstruction and rebuilding. Most disaster dollars are frontloaded to assist during the emergency humanitarian relief phase (with a focus on emergency food, shelter, water, sanitation, and health care). While this relief is critical, there is always a huge gap that remains to address rebuilding/repair needs and provide long-term support for affected families once the spotlight of news agencies have turned to other topics.

Post-Harvey, CFT has worked closely with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy to identify nonprofit organizations that have:

  • Experience: relevant, pre-existing presence in the affected location and strong understanding of the affected community
  • A Comprehensive Plan: aimed at providing both immediate and long-term support
  • Sustained Impact: a proven record of success helping families achieve sustained stability
  • Effective and Proven Partnerships: with local, regional, national, and international aid organizations to maximize the effectiveness of investment

After a thorough review of many quality organizations, CFT invested your dollars in 11 high performing efforts that collectively provide long-term, life-changing support for the many families affected by Hurricane Harvey. In addition, CFT helped coordinate two funds that provide support to thousands of Harvey-affected children.

The organizations and funds supported include:

  • Attack Poverty and All Hands and Hearts - providing repair and rebuilding services for nearly 350 homes and schools with significant internal damage - including those that required cleanouts, sanitizations, repairs, and elevations.
  • Catholic Charities Dallas - providing long-term case management and support for nearly 200 families now residing locally who were displaced because of Hurricane Harvey and who continue to need financial assistance, counseling, and/or help finding housing in North Texas.
  • Combined Community Action - providing emergency funding to stabilize families by ensuring they can pay for key building supplies, appliances, and utility deposits.
  • Good360 - providing critically needed products and building supplies - including shingles, mattresses, and mixed rebuild materials.
  • Harvey HELP Fund - providing over $1 million to colleges and universities across the state to provide emergency aid to students impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
  • Harvey KIDS Fund - providing over 76,000 students with mental health services, transportation assistance, instructional supports/programs, case management, and critical repairs and equipment upgrades at affected schools.
  • Help! I’m Hurting! - providing long term recovery assistance and rebuilding services to uninsured and underinsured families affected in the Port Arthur area. La Grange Area Family Recovery Team - helping low-income families in Fayette County (west of Houston) relocate to less flood-prone areas of the region.
  • Just Do It Now - supporting the repair and rebuilding of the Dawson Community Center, which provides essential community programs to vulnerable individuals and families in Wharton County (southwest of Houston).
  • The Disaster Leadership Team - utilizing funding to create an online searchable database of long-term recovery forms and documents for others across the region to use as they ramp up for the longer-term recovery process.
 

Additional details on the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, including a wider list of nonprofit organizations, impact stories, and additional ways to continue to be involved can be found here.

Once again, I want to express sincere gratitude for your gift and the concern for others it represents, as well as for your trust in CFT to diligently identify and wisely invest in the nonprofit organizations that are making the most significant impact within communities continuing to face post-Harvey adversity.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please do not hesitate to reach out. Thank you, thank you for being a part of the response community through your gift and your thoughts.

- Sarah Cotton Nelson, Chief Philanthropy Officer

Rockwall Grad First Recipient of James 5:1 Scholarship

Rockwall Grad First Recipient of James 5:1 Scholarship

Anonymous CFT donor awards $40,000 scholarship for Rockwall students to attend University of Texas at Austin


After losing his father, Ryan realizes that he could overcome obstacles. He becomes the first Rockwall High School recipient of the largest scholarship at CFT.

Nation's First District-Wide STEM program

Nation's First District-Wide STEM program

Educate Texas teams up with Texas Instruments Foundation to impact STEM in Lancaster ISD


A community rallies together and receives a substantial grant from Educate Texas and Texas Instruments Foundation that will change the way Lancaster ISD teaches STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

Time for Tier 1

Time for Tier 1

Swift Action Raises $4.245 Million to help UTD Advance to Tier 1


Through the use of government matching funds, we helped raise money to advance University of Texas at Dallas to a Tier 1 university in Texas.

Jan Pruitt Compares CFT to a Kitchen Table

Jan Pruitt Compares CFT to a Kitchen Table

Jan Pruitt, CEO of North Texas Food Bank, shares her perspective on CFT’s role in the community


North Texas Food Bank Executive Director, Jan Pruitt, gives a nonprofit angle on our impact and involvement with the community.

Giving Day Success: A Nonprofit’s Appreciation

Giving Day Success: A Nonprofit’s Appreciation

Giving Day sure beats hosting an event!


Bill Farrell, Development Director at Mercy Street, tells how his organization spend thousands of hours working on a fundraising event and raised the same amount as they did during North Texas Giving Day—with a small percentage of the effort.

Meeting Needs: Building for the Future

Meeting Needs: Building for the Future

Mabel Peters Caruth Center Opens in 2003


Mabel Peters Caruth wrote a new chapter in the family’s legacy of giving when she announced her bequest of $34 million to CFT, among the largest single charitable donation ever recorded in Dallas.

$15M to Dallas Police Department (DPD)

$15M to Dallas Police Department (DPD)


A $15 million grant from the W.W. Caruth, Jr. Fund at Communities Foundation of Texas to the Dallas Police Department (DPD) was the largest ever made from the foundation created by Will Caruth and entrusted to CFT, and also the largest grant on record made through a public foundation to a police department anywhere in the country.

The Ultimate Gift: Organ Donation

The Ultimate Gift: Organ Donation

Transplant Immunology Research Grant


In 2002, CFT honored the memory of Will Caruth with a $5 million gift from the W.W. Caruth Jr. Foundation Fund to establish a Basic Science Research Program in the Immunology of Solid Organ Transplantation at Baylor Research Institute.

Overflowing Gratitude: A Wave of Generosity

Overflowing Gratitude: A Wave of Generosity

Rosine Foundation Fund of CFT expedited the design and construction of SMU's Calatrava Fountain


Calatrava Fountain – 2001 In 2001, a $1.5 million gift from the Rosine Foundation Fund of CFT expedited the design and construction of a sculpture-fountain outside Southern Methodist University’s Meadows Museum.

Entertaining New Ideas: Cultural Change

Entertaining New Ideas: Cultural Change

Eisemann Center for Performing Arts opens in 2001 thanks to CFT fund holders


Eisemann Center for Performing Arts – 2001 Charles and Ann Eisemann are longtime supporters of the cultural arts in Richardson, especially the symphony orchestra. The Eisemann Foundation Fund of CFT granted $2 million to the city of Richardson to support a new performing arts venue.

Building Goodwill

Building Goodwill

Many CFT fund contribute to Goodwill Industries campaign


Goodwill Industries – 2001 When Goodwill Industries was in the midst of a $16.7 million building campaign in 2001, CFT decided to help. Goodwill’s capital campaign sought to raise money for a new facility that would triple to 3,000 the number of people served at its west Dallas facility.

Wings of an Angel: Transformed by Philanthropy

Wings of an Angel: Transformed by Philanthropy

Texas Discovery Gardens Butterfly Garden gets wings thanks to Rosine Foundation Fund for Texas Discovery Gardens at CFT


Texas Discovery Gardens Butterfly Garden 2001 Her mother’s passion for butterflies as well as education and conservation, inspired Mary Anne Sammons Cree to recommend a $2.5 million grant from the Rosine Foundation Fund for Texas Discovery Gardens.

In the Line of Duty: Honoring Fallen Heroes

In the Line of Duty: Honoring Fallen Heroes

CFT funds Dallas Police Memorial


Dallas Police Memorial – 1999 Dallas police officers, who have lost their lives serving the city’s citizens are honored at the Dallas Police Memorial. A grant from CFT was used to build and dedicate the memorial to our Dallas Police fallen heroes.

Dog Gone Generous: Pet Project

Dog Gone Generous: Pet Project

Phoebe Perry honors her husband with gift to SPCA of Texas


SPCA of Texas – 1998 The SPCA of Texas has a tough job -- caring for animals without the support of government funding. Generous contributions from CFT donors like Phoebe and Russell Perry help make the SPCA’s job easier.

Concerted Effort: Music to Our Ears

Concerted Effort: Music to Our Ears

Perot Fund at CFT gives Dallas Symphony Orchestra grant


Perot Fund Symphony Grant – 1985 Thanks to H. Ross Perot’s $10 million donation through a fund established at CFT, the community foundation became a player in the construction of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, named in honor Perot’s friend and business associate.