Through payroll deductions and company fundraisers, CoServ Employees contribute to CoServ Charitable Foundation’s General Fund, which is making a real difference in people’s lives outside CoServ’s service territory.
CoServ Employee Jessica Craft experienced this firsthand recently when she spent a day with Metro Relief, a nonprofit that assists homeless people in Dallas. Jessica is CCF’s Outreach Coordinator, and her first-person account below is a timely reminder of what true “thanksgiving” means.
First, some background. In 2019, Metro Relief received a $3,000 grant from CCF to help fund Metro Relief Mobile Bus Outreach. CCF uses the General Fund to pay for grants outside CoServ’s service territory. The money, donated by CoServ Employees, paid for food and fuel necessary for 10 mobile bus outreaches. (This is different from CCF’s Operation Roundup grants, which are funded by CoServ Electric Members and Gas Customers who round their bills up to the nearest dollar. Those grants go to nonprofits within CoServ’s service territory.)
Jessica was prepared to not only present a check to Metro Relief but to also spend a day with them as a volunteer. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit and, like so many other things, this effort was put on hold.
Earlier this month, she saw CCF’s grant money in action. Here is Jessica’s account:
To say that my life was impacted by this day is an understatement. This day has remained with my heart. You are there to be of support, to offer resources, and be a friendly smiling face.
I struggled with holding back tears at some of the stories I heard. You’d be amazed at how many times you are thanked for taking time to talk to them and treat them like the people they are.
I was told that some people look away and act afraid of them. Many would tell you that they are scared and hungry, with tears welling up in their eyes as they look away so you do not see this moment of despair.
All are lost and looking for guidance to end the vicious cycle of poverty. There were a few individuals that wanted you to celebrate in their upcoming job interviews and wish them well.
Many people I encountered were homeless for the first time and terrified. Homelessness does not happen overnight. It’s a progressive and terrifying journey. It generally starts with losing a job, then losing your car, your home and then when you can no longer white-knuckle it any longer, living on the streets and seeking a shelter is next.
Serving from the window was my favorite. Being that warm smiling face and having the chance to have a moment of laughter with everyone who came to be fed was the best gift of this holiday season.
We had witnessed a gentleman devour his soup and sandwich. When asked if he would like to have more, he responded softly by saying, “I don’t want to be gluttonous. I know there are many others who should have a chance to get fed.” There was kindness bestowed from one another. There was hope. There was faith. There was humanity.
CoServ Employees helped to fund 10 mobile bus outreach trips for 2020. Their dollars helped CoServ be a connector in a homeless community that is outside of our service area. The contributions that our Employees make reap benefits in the philanthropic world around us, and not because it’s the right thing to do, but because they understand the halo effects of giving.
CCF aims to fund initiatives that are sustainable and vital components of creating change. Through engagement of our Members, Customers, and Employees, we have the opportunity be emerging leaders in philanthropy.
From all of us at CoServ, we want to wish everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving during this challenging time.
The CoServ Charitable Foundation is an IRS-recognized 501(c)3 charity. All donations are tax-deductible, as allowed by law. For more details about CCF, please visit CoServ.com/CCF.