The Junior League of Fort Worth, Inc. (JLFW) makes a difference in the community by providing trained volunteers to non-profit agencies. Some of the agencies also receive funding for important projects. The following community agencies have been selected to receive Junior League funding and volunteers for 2018-2019.
MOTHERS’ MILK BANK
MORE ROOM FOR MORE MIRACLES: THE CAMPAIGN FOR HEALTHY BABIES
2018 – 2019
Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas (MMBNT) aims to improve the health and survival of infants through the safe provision of pasteurized donor human milk. MMBNT serves premature and critically ill infants whose own mothers’ milk is not available. The agency processes milk in its lab in Fort Worth for dispensation to vulnerable babies. The current lab space is designed to process 300,000 ounces per year; in 2016, MMBNT processed almost double that, 564,000 ounces. MMBNT is conducting a campaign to purchase, expand, and move into a larger facility. JLFW funds will underwrite the cost of the Community Education Room where breastfeeding education classes will be held along with Mothers’ group meetings. MMBNT now serves 6,000 infants per year, and the new site will allow for upwards of 9,000 infants to be served per year.
JLFW Volunteers will assist MMBNT in preparing for events and other projects related to outreach and setting up for the annual luncheon. They will have a visible role in planning and attending the Grand Opening events. In addition, they will assemble New Mom packets, which are distributed to hospitals, doctors’ offices, and other health-related locations.
2018 – 2019
Dignity Closet aims to help children improve basic hygiene, so they will succeed in school. Children lacking proper hygiene are teased and become social outcasts, which affects their self-esteem, ability to concentrate and desire to attend school. Many low-income families are food stamp recipients. Food stamps, however, do not pay for laundry soap, dishwashing soap, toilet paper, and other hygiene necessities that many of us take for granted.
JLFW funds will be used to purchase hygiene items for Dignity Closet packs. Packs include toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, combs, soap, laundry detergent, deodorant, and feminine hygiene products. JLFW volunteers will shop for items needed, sort them, prepare them and deliver them to schools. They will be distributed to students, as needed, per the school counselor, nurse and teachers. Currently, Dignity Closet is providing dignity supplies for 615. With the help from JLFW, the goal is to assist 1,667 students.
CRISTO REY FORT WORTH HIGH SCHOOL
CORPORATE WORK STUDY PROGRAM
2018 – 2019
Cristo Rey Fort Worth High School is a learning community that educates young people of limited economic means to become men and women of purpose and service. Through a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, integrated with a relevant work study experience, students graduate ready to succeed in college and in life.
The Summer Training Institute prepared the 84 freshmen for the Corporate Work Study (CWSP) positions they will hold during the 2018-2019 school year. JLFW’s funds provided the three-week training, as well as orientation for students and their CWSP mentors. The funds will also cover the transportation costs associated with students doing on-site orientations before the school year begins. JLFW volunteers assisted with the Summer Training Institute and work as mentors for the students during the school year.
DANIEL MIGAEL FOUNDATION
EYE BEEN FRAMED
2018 – 2019
The “Better Vision Better Hope” program provides access to free vision care (eye examinations and glasses) to several shelters, low income and uninsured communities in the Fort Worth area. Clear vision with new prescription glasses empowers individuals to achieve simply by removing this barrier which affects employment, academic and self-confidence. The Daniel Migael Foundation will partner with the League volunteers to run one-day vision clinics in collaboration with Union Gospel Mission, Homeless Connect, Rivertree Academy, the Como community and True Worth Place. The Foundation will also consider invitations to community events such as the Hispanic Wellness Coalition, MLK Center, Stop 6, Christ Chapel, back-to-school rallies, and Victory Temple ministries. A majority of JLFW funds will go to provide materials (540 frames and lenses). In addition, the Foundation now has the ability to test and diagnose diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in American adults. This disease is treatable but many low-income individuals go untreated because of lack of affordable access. JLFW volunteers will be trained to operate this machine and will work with Optometry interns to assist with examinations.
FORT WORTH DREAM PARK
UNIVERSALLY INCLUSIVE PLAYGROUND
Dream Park is a universally inclusive playground custom designed for children of all abilities. This playground will go above and beyond ADA guidelines and will be Fort Worth’s largest play space. Centrally located in Fort Worth’s Trinity Park, it will replace the park’s current playground with a state-of-the-art destination that is sure to draw families from all over North Texas. JLFW funds will be used to help purchase appropriate equipment and supplies needed to build the park.
Volunteers will help facilitate the upcoming events throughout the year including, but not limited to the following: Ground Breaking Ceremony, 2018 Clay Shoot (October 2018), Ribbon Cutting Ceremony (March 2019), Dream Park Play Club, Friends of Dream Park Event, Social Media Updates, and monthly email updates. Dream Park is volunteer driven and has no staff members. The Dream Park organization hopes to establish a long-term collaboration with JLFW to keep Dream Park a world class facility.
FORT WORTH DROWNING PREVENTION COALITION
SAFE SWIM PROGRAM
2017 – 2019
The mission of the Fort Worth Drowning Prevention Center (FWDPC) is to prevent drowning in Fort Worth by educating the community about water safety and equipping non-swimmers with life-saving skills. It is filling a much-needed gap in Fort Worth by providing these services regardless of individuals’ ability to pay. A few years ago, FWDPC developed a beta-test program specifically for the Como neighborhood – reaching 100 Como residents in the Downtown YMCA pool. It was a success in part due to the attention given to cultural awareness – 18 community leaders went through the program to learn to swim and then to act as ambassadors in their community centers and churches to spread the word. JLFW funds will continue this neighborhood emphasis and expand their concentrated effort to the north side of Fort Worth in the summers of 2017 and 2018. Volunteers will serve in two areas: registration and Water Buddies.
MAKE-A-WISH NORTH TEXAS
2018 – 2019
Make-A-Wish provides children with medical issues access to have a “Wish” come true. Wishes of the patient generally fall into one of five categories: (1) I Wish to be (2) I Wish to go (3) I Wish to have (4) I Wish to meet and (5) I Wish to give. Every 38 minutes, Make-A-Wish grants the Wish of a child diagnosed with a life threatening medical condition in the United States. Due to the growing Fort Worth population and a successful medical outreach program, the number of referrals for Tarrant County has recently increased by 31%. As the number of Wishes and the cost of each Wish continues to rise, additional funds are needed to support the Wish granting program in Fort Worth. A groundbreaking study is expected to be released in a major pediatric medical journal in the next year that shows a direct correlation between Wishes granted and the improved health of patient, fewer days in the hospital and an ultimate cost savings of patient treatment. Local leaders also indicated that Wishes correlate to parents having to take less time from work.
Make-A-Wish recently moved its Fort Worth office to a new location on South Hulen. Half of the JLFW funds will go to the Wish Impact Fund to support the current demand for Wishes in Fort Worth and the other half will be used to create a Wishing Room in the new Fort Worth office. The Wishing Room is a room that will ensure qualified children in the Fort Worth area have an exciting place to visit and learn about the Wish process.
JLFW Volunteers will work as Wish Granters, who are trained volunteers, meeting with children and families to explore Wish ideas and complete required paperwork. They also serve as an ongoing liaison to the family and provide magical extras to the Wish granting program.
MABEE SOCIAL SERVICES CENTER NUTRITION ENRICHMENT PROGRAM
2018 – 2019
The Salvation Army (TSA) seeks to enrich their human service operations through the sourcing, purchase and implementation of upgraded commercial kitchen equipment to support the nutritional enrichment of their clients. JLFW funds will be used to purchase and install upgraded kitchen equipment.
The center serves as the hub of TSA’s Tarrant County operations. The facility is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for individuals and families in need of a hot meal, a place to stay or residential programs. Salvation Army is the only facility in Tarrant County that provides the homeless population three hot meals per day.
JLFW Volunteers will help source commercial grade kitchen equipment for the project. Ongoing opportunities will include volunteering during meal serving throughout the year. Additionally, volunteers will present the Kids in the Kitchen curriculum to the families served by TSA.
THE WOMEN’S CENTER
CRITICAL PHONE SYSTEM UPGRADE FOR VIOLENCE, CRISIS & POVERTY SERVICES
2018 – 2019
The Women’s Center (TWC) receives 1,800-2,300 phone calls per year in connection with its two phone based crisis services: 24/7 Rape Crisis Line and The Helpline for individuals struggling with depression, divorce, financial crisis and other family crisis. The previous line was installed in 2006 and has a ten-year life span. In addition to addressing immediate crisis, both the Helpline and Hotline provide connections to the Center’s other programs and services which serve over 150,000 people each year: Rape Crisis & Victim Services, Employment Solutions, and General Counseling. JLFW funds were used to purchase the new system that now helps reduce the risk of a severe system breakdown or outage.
JLFW volunteers will assist in two ways: The Event and Advisor team will help the employment solutions team develop an employment encouragement event series to promote job search services, provide specialty workshops and hold celebration events and the Play it Safe (PIS) Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Test Scores and Training Preparation team will help evaluate the PIS program by assembling pre- and post-test packets.
WINGS OF HOPE EQUITHERAPY
THERAPEUTIC RIDING FOR EQUESTRIANS WITH DISABILITIES
2018 – 2019
Each week 30 therapeutic riding lessons are provided for 91 individuals from ages 3-78, through the partnership of 23 equine therapy partners. On average over 200 unique individuals are served annually through therapeutic riding, equine assisted counseling and educational outreach programs. JLFW funds allowed Wings of Hope to purchase a new tractor to use in their covered arena where nearly 100% of services take place. The tractor will be used daily to groom the arena for lessons and will serve in a multitude of areas on the property. JLFW volunteers will work in the arena as side walkers and leaders while working directly with riders and their equine therapy partners.