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TXU Energy Utility Assistance Days

Thanks to the TXU Energy Aid program Community Lifeline Center is providing bill payment assistance for TXU Energy customers.

August 19 & September 23
8:30 am – 2:30 pm


Community Lifeline Center
1601 N. Waddill St., Ste 102
McKinney, TX

Sponsored by CLC TXU Logo

Who: Persons residing in Altoga, Anna, Blue Ridge, Celina, Copeville, Farmersville, Josephine, Lavon, Lowery Crossing, McKinney, Melissa, Nevada, New Hope, Princeton, Prosper, Westminster, and Weston.Eligibility: Low or fixed income residents may qualify for assistance. In addition, families experiencing a crisis (unemployment, medical, or other family crisis) may qualify.

What to bring:

  •     Photo ID
  •     Proof of income for the previous 30 days for each household member over the age of 18
  •     Current TXU Energy bill

Next steps:

  •     Call now to reserve your appointment time. Don’t delay and miss this opportunity.
  •     Be prepared to give the following information when calling:
    • Name as it appears on TXU Energy bill
    • Account number

For more information or to reserve your appointment time
call 972-542-0020

 

Grab A Tissue And Meet Precious Diane

employeeDiane [not her real name] arrived in North Texas with high hopes and a boyfriend.  She was ready to work hard as a nurses’ aid to make a better life for herself and her children whom she left in the care of her mother until she was settled.  Soon, however, her world crashed.  She wound up with no family, no friends, and no resources.  She lived in her car or stayed in shelters for about eight months.  She was often hungry.  That’s when someone suggested she visit the Community Lifeline Center.

At CLC, Diane met with Delphia, the case manager.  The client told her story which, by this time, included the fact that her mother had called CPS, and her children were in foster care.  She left CLC with renewed hope, some groceries and supplies.  “Delphia and Sue are wonderful people,” Diane offered.  She believed then, and still does, that God had a plan for her.

Working hard and persevering, Diane now has an apartment and is preparing to get her children back.  “It’s a process,” she stated, but her faith and her determination keep her on the path.  Then in partnership with one of CLC’s church supporters, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church activated the “Hands & Feet Ministry” which graciously began working to help furnish her new apartment. Wonderful items were collected, delivered, and setup including:

  • A full family room set (sofa, easy chair, coffee table, end tables, entertainment center)
  • A dining set (table and four chairs)
  • Book shelves
  • A dresser
  • Bed-in-a-bag sets for each bed
  • Iron & ironing board
  • Welcome mat with the word “HOME” printed on it
  • Decorative items (flower arrangements, vases, faux fichus tree)
  • Pots and pans
  • A complete kitchen set (dishes, casserole dishes, serving bowls, etc.)
  • A vacuum cleaner

 

Diane mentioned to Delphia that she was sleeping in the apartment on an air mattress, and Delphia put her in touch with someone who could provide beds.  When they were delivered, the woman learned of Diane’s vocation.  She offered help with tuition and books so that Diane could get more training.  She thinks of this woman as her angel.  Like the CLC had done earlier, this opened doors of opportunity and restored Diane’s hope.

Diane recently lost her car, but she has a ride to work and continues to take double shifts whenever she can.  She said, “I love that peers around me want to see me progress.”   She wants her children to be with her and hopes they can join her very soon.  Meanwhile, she counts her blessings.  “God is so good, so awesome.  I thank God for helping me get through [2014].  CLC opened everything up for me.”

And through the wonderful partnership with St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Diane received even more blessings than she could have ever imagined. Hands & Feet Ministry Coordinator Dana Jean shared, “It is sincerely a pleasure to work with Diane.  She has received our gifts graciously, always thanking us again and again, and we get big hugs from her each time we see her.  We will keep her and her family on our Hands & Feet Ministry prayer list, and have asked our Daughters of the King chapter to pray daily for her as well.  We offer our heartfelt thanks to Community Lifeline Center, and especially Delphia, for inviting us to participate in helping to lift Diane up!”

As we say at CLC, “A community stands tallest when it kneels to lend a helping hand.”

 

St. Mark Missionary Baptist Dental Drive

St. Mark Missionary BaptistA conversation in March led to an on-going project for Saint Mark Missionary Baptist Church Youth Group to supply Community Lifeline Center with dental products for clients.  With an emphasis on children’s toothbrushes, parishioners brought donations of brushes, toothpaste, and floss; and in April Shawanna Jones made the first delivery.

Jessica Cofield, Preschool Director at Saint Mark Missionary Baptist, said research of different organizations in the area led them to CLC.   “We thought it would be a perfect fit for our youth.  It is in McKinney and in the same neighborhood as Saint Mark.  The Adopt-A-Shelf Program was a good option for us.  It is our first time participating so we wanted to start small but also make an impact,” Jessica wrote.  “This program allowed us to select an item that all ages could participate and understand the importance, regardless if they were in preschool –high school.”

The youth at Saint Mark are in charge of the donation area at the church where donations are accepted twice a month.  Meanwhile, the youth “share with the congregation information about Community Lifeline Center and the importance of the donations,” Jessica added.

Clients of CLC have brighter smiles and healthier teeth and gums these days.  Thank you, Jessica, Shawanna, and all the Saint Mark Youth.

Response to Texas Non Profits Article

Sometimes we hear the message that the acts of being generous makes the donor feel better.  How does that work, when there is often no way for the giver to see how his or her gift impacts the life or lives of others?

Studies have shown that what donors really want to see is hope. You see, this world can feel pretty hopeless at times. The media surrounding us are extremely negative.  Social media is always pouncing on someone’s mistakes… it can get pretty depressing.

“So to be able to provide a message of hope to a donor who has been supporting you is not only closing the loop on a donor’s gift, but it’s giving them a bit of fresh air.”

“But do we give our donors hope that something is actually changing? Are we really telling donors how their gifts are making a difference?
. . . [Agencies] don’t do this well enough. We’re so busy trying to ‘get the money’ that we fail to provide the donor with the ‘hope part’ – the reporting back aspect of how they really changed something” (Tom Ahern, “Texas Non Profits,” April 2015).

At The Community Lifeline Center, we try to communicate what good your gifts accomplish.  We share stories on line through emailed newsletters and Facebook posts, many with photos.  But these usually focus on the gifts and the givers and not on the recipients.

Please let us know how we can do a better job of showing you, the donors, what good your contributions accomplish.  How can we let you know just how much your gifts improve the lives of your neighbors?

Let’s Hear it for the Dads

Father's DayThere are 50.1 million fathers in the US, and about 29 million grandfathers. So, if you’re fortunate to have one, or both, in your life, June 21 is the day to say “thanks.” Because, while every one of us has a father, only the lucky ones have a Dad.

Of course, “Dad” means different things today.

There are over 2.6 million single Dads raising kids today.  And, like their single female heads of households, single Dads tend to be younger, less educated, and less affluent than married males. They, too have a lot on their plate, and deserve our support and encouragement.

And, there are around 2 million stay-at-home Dads in two-parent households. No more, being out of the home at work all day; now Dad feeds the family, sees the kids off to school, and basically runs the house. And, of course, there is the more traditional role Dads play in two parent households, where both parents work.

So, yes, the role Dads play is changing, but having them more involved is a good thing. Research shows that kids who have a Dad involved in their lives show an increase in curiosity and problem solving capacity. Highly involved fathers contribute increased mental dexterity in children, increased empathy, and less stereotypical gender role beliefs, and greater self control.

So, on Sunday, June 21 celebrate the fathers and grandfathers in your life. Click here to donate in their honor or their memory to Community Lifeline Center. Remember their strength, the strong shoulder they shared with you; the endless supply of patience and encouragement they gave you. And, on their special day, remember, with a smile, the words of essayist Quentin Crisp about Dads:

“My mother protected me from the world, and my father threatened me with it.”

Happy father’s day to all our Dads.

 

Beat the Summer Heat Event

Group 1

What a SUCCESS!!!! Community Lifeline Center can’t say thank you enough to all our supporters for making
this event such a tremendous success. 160 box fans were delivered promptly at 8:00 am on Wednesday, June 3 to the McKinney Central Fire Station #1 by the good folks at Groom & Son’s Hardware. For the first time ever, we ran out of fans within 1 ½ hours.

Thank you to the McKinney Noon Lions Club for all your volunteer heBox Fanslp, and to the McKinney Ladies Association and CoServ CharitableFoundation for your ongoing support! And a new donor thank you to Dina Awe, Mary Williams, and Kim Ludwig for graciously giving that extra support needed to have additional fans.Together we all served 67 local families, helping them keep cool this summer in the Texas heat. We hope to see you all there again next year!

Remember, a community stands tallest when it kneels to lend a helping hand!Group 2P1050884

Celebrating Partnerships!

The Community Lifeline Center is celebrating the awards of two grants to help the organization fulfill its mission.  The Junior League of Collin County granted the Community Lifeline Center $5,000 “to provide financial support to North Collin County families who are at-risk of homelessness due to an unexpected and necessary financial expense.”  And CoServ Charitable Foundation replenished their grant of $10,000 which will be used to help  qualified clients to overcome their respective crisis and learn from the experience in order to be prepared for the unexpected in the future.

Junior League of Collin CountyVolunteerism is a major focus for both CLC and the Junior League.  Julie DeHan, Community Grants Chair for the Junior League of Collin County, said, “The Junior League of Collin County is committed to volunteerism and improving the Collin County community through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.  The programs provided by the Community Lifeline Center have similar goals, and we are proud to play a part in your outstanding organization.”  In fact, the CLC recorded nearly 8,000 volunteer hours in 2014.  Our Lifeline Market, relies almost exclusively on volunteers.  Stocking the shelves and packaging orders on market days are duties also performed by volunteers.  Our education program, LifeSteps, which is free of cost to all residents in our service area, is entirely staffed by volunteers.  The multiple special events held during the year, such as utility assistance days and holiday food distribution also utilize volunteer efforts.

The CoServ Emergency Funds will be used to help individuals and families through their crises by assisting them with their basic financial needs, sCoServ Logouch as rent/utility assistance, food, prescriptions, etc.  Operation Roundup® “is supported by CoServ Members and Customers who “round up” their monthly electric and gas bills to the nearest dollar.  The extra pennies go to the CoServ Charitable Foundation, which distributes every cent via grants to worthy causes in the CoServ Service area.  CLC provides the client and the family additional support through targeted job skills and education programs, thereby boosting life skills to avoid once more falling into crisis.

According to the City of McKinney Annual Development Report and US Census data, the population of McKinney grew from 54,000 in 2000 to 131,000 in 2010 and is projected to reach 200,000 within the next decade.  With the increase in population, the demand on social service agencies also increases.  Our commitment to client service and collaboration in the community has contributed to a higher number of referrals provided and doubled the number of individuals served over the past year.  The grants from both The Junior League of Collin County and CoServe Emergency Funds will allow the CLC to better meet the needs of North Collin County residents.

CoSer Presentation - Delphia, Dan, Christine

Delphia Adeogun (CLC Case Manager), Dan Mugg (CoServ Area Manager), Christine Hockin-Boyd (CLC Executive Director)

Junior League of Collin County Staff & Volunteers, Christine Hockin-Boyd (CLC Executive Director)

Junior League of Collin County Staff & Volunteers, Christine Hockin-Boyd (CLC Executive Director)

The Myth of “The Takers”: A Family’s Story

It may be fashionable to heap scorn on the imagined population who live comfortably off the kindness of makers, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Based on various research reports 38-55% of Americans are routinely living paycheck to paycheck, and 77% have –at one time or another – had to live that way. In fact, about 44% of Americans have less than $5,800 in their savings accounts, and only 35% are certain they could come up with the full amount if an unexpected need for $2,000 came up within the next month.

These are the folks –singles, families, seniors, veterans – who are served through your support of CLC. They come to us with stories about a variety of life events, and what becomes apparent is that a crisis is rarely the result of a single event. Take “Bill” who came to CLC asking for assistance with his current rent. These are the events that shaped his family’s crisis:

  • His wife had to stop working to care for her terminally ill father in Mississippi, so their monthly income was already reduced significantly
  • Bill was laid off from his supervisory position at a local company
  • He has applied for Unemployment benefits, but was not approved as of the date he contacted CLC
  • The rental property the family lives in was sold to a new investor, who promptly raised the rent

So, Bill had utility bills coming due and no way to pay them, and increased rent due.  In trying to manage the family’s basic needs, he voluntarily stopped taking his diabetes medication to conserve the money they had.

So, a dedicated two-income working family is brought low by a perfect storm of unexpected, unrelated events. A taker? No.  Bill is registered with Texas Workforce and vigorously looking for a full time position. He’s getting online financial budgeting training [which is required]. CLC provided partial rent assistance for the current month, made all utility payments, provided assistance in getting Bill’s diabetes medication, and provided visits to the CLC Lifeline Market for food every two weeks. Bill’s family is able to stay in their home, all utilities working, food in the pantry, and Bill taking his prescribed medication.

Visits with the case manager to determine assistance for the next month are scheduled. Perhaps the strengthening, albeit moderate, job market will give Bill the opportunity he is looking for to return to work. At some point they may again be a two-income family.

But, at the moment of need, when events converged – events that could swamp over 50% of local families – CLC was there: with help, with hope. And, all because of the power of your support.

Enjoy this video What is Community?

 

Allstate Foundation $1,000 Grant Honors Kathy Hall

Allstate Team

Community Lifeline Center is pleased to receive $1,000 from The Allstate Foundation in honor of Allstate Agent Kathy Hall’s volunteerism. We are pleased to partner with Allstate and their commitment to making our hometowns better, safer places to live.  Some say “it’s all in a day’s work,” but others go out of their way to do more.  This is true of Community Lifeline Center Volunteer Kathy Hall.  Congratulations Kathy.

The Allstate Foundation Grants Management Team notified Executive Director Christine Hockin-Boyd of this award and said, “At Allstate, Agent Kathy Hall is our community leader because when The Good Hands People give back, our hometowns are better, safer places to live.  Community involvement is an extension of what our agents do every day — protecting people and preparing them for the future.”

Mrs. Hall says, “Growing up in Collin County, raising my family here, and serving 1Kathy Hall Family7 years as an educator in the school systems has given my family many ties to our local areas. Now, being an Allstate agency owner, which I am proud to say is family owned and operated, and being trusted advisors to our customers, we feel it’s important to be involved in our local community and to find ways to connect and give back.  Non-profit organizations depend heavily on the donations and volunteers to provide service that people need and I consider it a privilege and honor to serve on the board of CLC, having the opportunity to work with Christine Hockin-Boyd, the staff and volunteers, and fellow board members and admiring their passion for serving others and dedication to the mission of CLC.

“We are appreciative to the Allstate Foundation for awarding CLC the Allstate Agency Hands in the Community grant.  My family and I are proud to represent a company like Allstate who’s been serving our customers and giving back to our communities for over 80 years.”

The grant will benefit CLC by providing operating support or program funding.

Precious Thank You Letter

Thank YouRecently, the Community Lifeline Center received the following letter, handwritten, from a grateful client:

“To The Staff and Helpers,

                “There is no words to describe what a difference you make in my life.  Your kindness, compassion, love, and the help you have given me is so very much appreciated.  You have been there for my family when I was at a point of worrying about how I was going to make it.

                “The lifeline market is off the chain.  The extra miles you go on the holidays is beyond anything I would of ever imagined.  The Bibles you offer gave me the chance to give one to my grandchildren and my daughters.  The extra goodies you give, just out of nowhere, for no reason, put a smile in my heart every time.

                “Went to my first class that you offer for free, it was very educational, fun, and pleasant.  The gas card was awesome.  Once again it was a worry of mine about gas for the week to get the errands ran I needed.  Many tears have fell from my eyes, they have been tears of joy and appreciation.  You are truly angels of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He knows my needs and worries and He has Community Lifeline Angels.

                If every life you reach out to is Blessed as mine, you truly have made a difference on the earth.  You have touched my life in so many ways.  I would like to say, Thank You !….”

This letter sums up rather well the various services and areas of help that the Community Lifeline Center provides, from the Lifeline Market where groceries and household items are distributed, to classes that  improve job placement and budgeting skills, utilities, and rent.   Along the way, there are often “extras” that some clients welcome and appreciate – extras that make a holiday more special or provide for the next generation. (Tom Ahern, “Texas Non Profits,” April 14, 2015).

Thank you’s like this one are certainly appreciated by the staff and volunteers at Community Lifeline Center.  But the true thanks must be shared with the donors who make these gifts possible.  Without support from our covenant churches, individuals, and commercial partners, CLC’s “hands” would be tied.   So we thank our team for their financial support that enables us to reach out the helping hand that obviously makes our neighbors’ lives better.