CoServ Charitable Foundation distributes 38 grants to help North Texans
For years, there were few safe places for North Texas youth to go when they aged out of foster care. Jason Vallejo made it his mission to change that, founding Elevate North Texas three years ago.
The nonprofit provides safe housing for 18-to 24-year-olds in a hotel in far North Dallas. They have three, two-bedroom suites each housing up to three youth for 30 days at a time. In emergencies, they can fit a fourth person.
Elevate North Texas partners with other organizations to help these youth get back on their feet, whether they need counseling, job training, rehabilitation, medical care or transportation.
“Our main program is to get them into a safe space where they can stay for 30 days,” Jason said. “A lot of them age out of foster care and have no place to go.”
Others find themselves estranged from their families for various reasons.
While the hotel operator offers the rooms at a discounted rate, Elevate North Texas relies on donations to keep the program going. Unfortunately, there’s a wait list that haunts Jason as he feverishly works to expand the program.
“Sometimes the hardest part is going to sleep at night knowing there are still youth on the waiting list,” Jason said. “One youth overheated and passed out in the heat.”
This year, Elevate North Texas applied for a CoServ Charitable Foundation grant for the first time and received it in June.
“That’s going straight to our rooms. It helps us maintain that third room,” Jason said.
This is just one of the 38 grants awarded by the CoServ Charitable Foundation in the first half of 2023. CCF distributed more than half a million dollars to nonprofits, first responders and social service agencies. That’s not counting the dozens of air conditioners and fans donated to area agencies to help their clients beat the heat this summer.
These grants help hundreds or even thousands of North Texans improve their lives, find safety and security and a warm meal.
“CCF is able to fulfill its mission because of the generosity of CoServ Members and Customers who participate in Operation Roundup, where their bill is rounded up to the nearest dollar,” said Glen Squibb, Director of Community Engagement. “This investment of just pennies every month makes a tremendous difference throughout North Texas.”
Because the funding for Operation Roundup comes from our Members and Customers, we distribute the grants to nonprofits within CoServ’s electric and natural gas service area.
At Love Thy Neighbor in Lewisville, it’s all about ensuring men, women and children of all ages have proper clothing for school and jobs. Two Saturdays a month, the nonprofit has about 40 families coming in to shop for clothing at no charge. They even have a “personal shopper” who helps them find the right size and style.
The only restriction is that families must wait three months before shopping again.
Love Thy Neighbor doesn’t pay rent at New Beginnings Church but they do rely on donated clothes and cash donations to keep the shelves stocked. Sometimes one family is shopping for up to 10 people at a time. Earlier this year, Love Thy Neighbor applied for and received a CCF grant to purchase undergarments, socks and other clothing items that are harder to come by.
“This means so much to us,” said Becky Warren, Volunteer Coordinator and Board Member for Love Thy Neighbor. “The need is going up and donations are going down. We’re not going to turn anyone down. We get donations but we keep the best of the best.”
CCF also has an Unrestricted Fund that distributes grants to nonprofits outside CoServ’s service area. CCF hosts fundraising events, such as the Clay Shoot and Golf Tournament, to raise money for the Unrestricted Fund. It’s also funded by payroll deductions by CoServ Employees.
In Carrolton, Metrocrest Services used a CCF Unrestricted Fund grant to purchase food for its No Child Hungry Initiative. The program feeds thousands of area children, who are referred to the organization by local schools.
The 52-year-old institution just moved into a new 48,000-square-foot facility in Carrollton that can serve up to 22,000 individuals, or 8,000 families, a year. The highlight is the food pantry, which is set up like a miniature grocery store. There are also classrooms, a teaching kitchen and private spaces where case workers meet with clients. There’s even a community garden in the back.
Metrocrest now has a mobile food pantry that visits neighborhoods and apartment complexes. They also offer a Sack Summer Hunger program that delivers meals to children in need.
“The grant helped us pay for everything we needed in this place to feed kids,” said Metrocrest CEO Tracy Eubanks. “It’s our objective that no child in this community goes hungry.”
CCF Grant recipients
Social Service Agencies
- All Community Outreach: Utility support and AC and fans
- Christian Community Action: AC and fans
- Community Lifeline Center: AC and fans
- Frisco Family Services: Fans
- Texas Neighborhood Services: AC and fans
- Texoma Council of Governments: AC and fans
- Volunteers in Service To Others (VISTO): AC and fans
- Era Fire Volunteer Department: Extrication equipment
- Little Elm Community Library: STEM Library Program
- Abigail’s Arms Cook County Family Crisis Center: English and Spanish Brochures
- Children’s Advocacy Center for North Texas Inc.: Program supplies, clothes, food, snacks and therapy supplies
- Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County Inc.: Clinical services, case management expenses
- Christian Community Action: Food and hygiene items for Food Pantry
- Community Garden Kitchen of Collin County, Inc: Food purchases to support meals
- Communities in Schools of North Texas: Support for case management services in Lake Dallas ISD
- Cumberland Youth & Family Services: Basic needs, clothing, groceries, activities
- Denton County Friends of the Family: Client groceries/specific assistance
- Elevate North Texas: Emergency shelter hotel rooms
- EquiHope: Scholarship support to serve individuals with Special Needs through Equine Therapy
- Grace Like Rain, Inc.: Emergency hotel stays to help homeless
- Hearts for Homes: Purchase materials to repair for senior clients
- Hope Restored Missions, LLC: Food, fees for ID procurement and emergency shelter for homeless
- Hopes Door (New Beginning Center): Shelter and outreach program expenses
- Lovepacs: Food and food packing supplies for 800 children
- Love Thy Neighbor, Inc.: Socks, underwear, clothing
- My Possibilities: Safety equipment and water stations
- Nuero Assistance Foundation: Catheters, feeding supplies, wheelchair purchase and repairs, mobility equipment
- Samaritan Inn, Inc.: School supplies and clothing
- SPAN Inc.: Food reimbursement for 130,000 meals forecasted to be served
- Streetside Showers Inc.: Undergarments to distribute to shower guests
- Texas Ramp Project: Purchase materials to build ramps in CoServ Electric/Gas service areas
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas Inc.: STEM lab items, robotic super kits
- Dallas Services: Glasses, lenses, frames and exam supplies
- Design Connect Create: Meals and STEM supplies and equipment
- Family Compass: Baby formula, toiletries, food, clothing diapers and winter blankets.
- Grant Halliburton Foundation Inc.: Suicide prevention program and licensing
- Helping Hands of Ennis: Food pantry and supplies
- Hope Supply Co.: Provides assistance to at-risk and homeless infants and toddlers in North Texas
- Metrocrest Services: Purchase food for the No Child Hungry Initiative
- Paws for Reflection Ranch: Scholarship to provide equine/animal assisted counseling to at-risk, low-income teens and youth
- Restored Hope Ministries: Provide services to women rescued from trafficking
- Search One Rescue Team: Radio and K9 GPS Collars
- Well Community: Support for low-income individuals living with chronic mental illnesses and are at risk.
- Wilkinson Center: Food program support for hundreds of families