Arts & Culture News

Ten Easy Ways to Make Dallas Better

Dallas has a reputation for being materialistic and sex-crazed, but that's judging a city against its veneer. For as many valet brawls and big hair meltdowns as you witness in Uptown, there are dozens of less-visible, more important scenes occurring -- humble moments, where neighbors work together to improve our city through collaborative action.

Don't feel like Dallas is pointing in the direction that it should? Maybe it's time to jump in. Here's ten great organizations that need your help, either as a volunteer or a donor.

North Texas Food Bank: This hunger relief giant needs no introduction. The food bank boasts 340 partner agencies in 13 counties around Dallas, establishing one of the area's most important resources. Every day, NTFB delivers around 130,000 nutritious meals to families in need.

Genesis Women's Shelter: Working towards ending domestic violence against women, Genesis focuses its campaign on victimized individuals. Hoping to reduce the post-violence impact, this organization reaches out, giving safety, shelter and expert services to abused women and their children. Counselors estimate helping over 1,000 women and children each year, while sheltering 650 women and children annually.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure: Since 1982, the non-profit breast cancer organization has spent over 1.5 billion on research, education, services and support programs in the U.S, from its home base in the Big D. Founded by Nancy Goodman Brinker, the organization and its more than 100,000 volunteers celebrated their 25th anniversary this year with a $2 billion pledge for the next decade to being about a historic decline in breast cancer deaths.

The Chrystal Charity Ball: Working as a nonprofit organization, independent of any national affiliation, The Crystal Charity Ball has raised more than $105 million over the past 60 years for multiple children's charities. With over 100 active volunteers, the charity has worked toward making children's lives better, culminating in the annual ball event.

Minnie's Food Pantry: This 501 C3 charity provides healthy and nutritious food to Collin County communities and beyond. They take their slogan, ""If you can't feed 100 people, then feed just ONE", seriously. To date Minnie's Food Pantry has helped feed over 96,000 people and distributed over 1.2 million pounds of food.

The Fashionistas: Using the creative receptors of the arts, The Fashionistas disprove some of the pre-conceived notions about the Dallas arts scene by shining the spotlight on up and coming local designers. Most namely, through THE FASHIONISTAS TWO | F2 program that aids local students with mentorships, scholarships and career placement in the the fashion industry.

Dallas Margarita Society: A Texas tradition, and not just the tangy drink, the organization's annual event is in its 36th year. And their big event, The Dallas Margarita Ball has raised over $4,000,000 in toys and donations for at-risk children during Christmastime. But don't think this organization stops after the holidays. No sir. They work with community organizations to assist underprivileged children throughout the year.

Color Me Empowered: Kristen Rice Jackson and her organization, Color Me Empowered, fights inner-city issues through a three-step program: crime prevention, poverty intervention -- and most creatively, art education. Jackson uses public art to uplift forgotten communities by implementing cross-curricular activities, "such as math, writing, and creative problem-solving and give real-world applications for the things they're learning in school."

Dwell With Dignity: Using their interior design background, non-profit Dwell With Dignity Dwell is dedicated to creating "soothing, inspiring homes for families struggling with homelessness and poverty." The organization puts together home interiors for families including furniture, food and art. Founders Lisa Robinson and Kim Turner believe that a secure home can inspire pride and creates a standard of living that positively affects every other aspect of life.

Dare to Dream Children's Foundation: Dare to Dream has strove to improve the lives of thousands of children with a history of neglect, homelessness and mistreatment by offering temporarily living in a safe and healthy environment since 1987. Through the Dare to Dream organization, over 300 volunteers have been trained to tackle careers, both on a local and global scale. The organization uses mission trips, positive role models and a message of unlimited potential to molding these youth into great adults.

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Lee Escobedo