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CoServ LogoCoServ Charitable Foundation presented a $15,000 grant to Community Lifeline Center to help stock the shelves of the Lifeline Market. Clients choose food items for their families and can also receive personal care items and cleaning supplies. CoServ Area Manager Dan Mugg said, “We thank you more than words can say for the volunteer work that you do to help Collin County families get back on their feet.” And Dan, the CLC thanks you for CoServ’s support.

Thirteen churches in north Collin County have committed to support Community Lifeline Center with monthly financial donations, prayers, special projects and more. These Covenant Congregations save time and costs by referring requests to the CLC through Community, powered by Seeladora, a web-based networking tool. Members of these congregations know that client needs are validated and are not duplicated or extended for long periods. By focusing on solutions for those who have been blindsided by a crisis, the CLC honors the covenant of these congregations:

Christ Fellowship
Crosspoint Church
First Christian Church
First United Methodist Church
Grace Community Church
Hillcrest Christian Church
Hope Fellowship
Milestone Church
St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
Trinity Presbyterian Church
Waddill Street Baptist Church

Qualifying customers of TXU Energy can make an appointment for August 13, 8:30 am to 2:30 pm, to receive bill payment assistance. Customers must reside in north Collin County and have low or fixed-incomes or have experienced a short-term crisis, such as unemployment, illness, or other family concern. Call 972-542-0020 to make an appointment and learn what documents will be needed on August 13.

Help celebrate CLC’s 25th Anniversary by purchasing a “Silver VIP Shopping Pass” for $25. Silver VIP Passes will be available online soon at www.communitylifeline.org, at CLC’s office or at participating stores. The shopping pass will provide discounts on apparel, meals, beverages, and the like. Passes may be used at participating stores and restaurants from October 24 through November 2, 2014. Shoppers’ savings can quickly offset the $25 cost, and the proceeds will support CLC’s many programs which provide HOPE and HELP right HERE in the north Collin County area.

North Texas Giving Day 2014North Texas Giving Day is set for September 18, 2014, from 6 am to midnight. This event allows supporters to give to non-profits organizations online by going to NorthTexasGivingDay.org and selecting “Community Lifeline Center Inc. between 6 am and midnight. Anyone with a credit card and access to the Internet can participate in this “no hassle” way to give to Community Lifeline Center and other favorite non-profit agencies. All gifts are tax-deductible. More than 1,350 organizations benefitted in the past. Mark September 18 on your calendar and plan to give that morning before you head out the door for work or appointments.

Volunteer Spotlight: Colette Vallot

Colette VallotIf you haven’t had the opportunity to meet Colette, it could be because she often isn’t in the same place very long. Her boundless energy and passion for life keeps her on the go! 

Colette serves as President of the Board of Directors for Community Lifeline this year. Involved with CLC since 2011, Colette served as Vice President last year, and as chair of the Governance committee, encouraging a tremendous amount of growth in the organization’s structure and protocols—as a lawyer, her training helps her when working on issues  like making sure the organization runs according to its bylaws. In her day job, Colette is Senior Manager of Community Affairs for TXU Energy. She is responsible for philanthropy and support given to the communities served by the company, so her work involves non-profits across the state, and often finds her in Houston, Austin, and all over south Texas.  Additionally, she lobbies for the company on industry specific issues.  

She has volunteered teaching adult literacy at Dallas’ LIFT (Literacy Instruction for Texas), and previously served as board chair for Community Services Foundation, the nonprofit arm of the Air Conditioning Contractors Association (ACCA) of north Texas.  When asked to volunteer for CLC, she readily agreed because of CLC’s mission and work in serving the community. 

Colette has a zest for travel, and a love for food and cultural experiences. She tries to make one major trip every year to discover and explore.  She says, “Seeing other cultures is extremely eye opening in many different ways.  The most impactful is when I see the lack of – freedom, food, and modern technology – those things that we enjoy in America and other people do not.  Despite the fact that many people do not have those conveniences, and sometimes other basic necessities to live, they are still happy, positive and grateful.  There are many things we take for granted. Traveling is the best education one can get and it shows us how truly blessed we are.” 

Colette brings this same attitude of learning and sharing to CLC. Now in its 25th year, she is surprised that CLC is still one of the best kept secrets in the community. “I think we and the staff quietly go about our daily work, meeting the needs of those in crisis. We don’t toot our own horn, we don’t advertise, and we still have many, many people walking through the doors, and calling for help through a crisis.   In this 25th anniversary year, we need McKinney and the greater community’s support; it is essential for us as we continue to grow in service and help someone who may be your friend or neighbor.” 

What she LOVES about CLC is that the staff and board are made up of people with big hearts who want to help others in their communities, and beyond. “I live in Dallas”, she says, “but am rewarded by knowing that I am helping someone stay warm in the winter, cool in the summer, or have a meal on their table, without having  to make a choice about whether to eat, OR pay for medication, OR pay their bills.  I sleep better at night knowing that I am helping someone.” 

“It is wonderful to see our programs in action—the bill payment assistance helps people stay in their homes and keep the lights on if they hit hard times; the giving programs at Easter and Christmas that help people enjoy holidays and the basics during those times of year that many others assume will be there.”

Volunteer & Supporter Highlight: Jerry Kay

Jerry KayJerry Kay’s favorite word is joy. Anyone who doesn’t know her is missing out! Jerry sees joy, lives joyously, and spreads joy in all that she does. One smile from Jerry and anything troubling you melts away.

“I am most passionate about showing a caring, positive attitude toward people who are experiencing a challenge in their lives. When I discovered CLC in 2010, I volunteered and found it a joy (there’s that word!) to see compassion and resolve to make things better.

Although she can’t volunteer as often anymore, “I continue to support in whatever way that I can.”, she says.

Jerry feels that the educational opportunities that CLC offers are what set us apart from other organizations.  “The immediate need of something tangible is important, but I feel the idea of educating the client, with classes or counseling can be important also.”

She closes with “I am blessed to have been a volunteer and seen CLC firsthand, I believe in what they do and I follow my heart.”

Jerry is a joyful volunteer and a gracious supporter of all that we do. We are so very grateful to have her involved, and invested, in CLC.

Volunteer Spotlight: Sherri Murphy

Sherri MurphyMeet Sherri Murphy. Sherri came to Community Lifeline Center in late 2012 looking for a way to get plugged in. Her specific interest is fundraising and event organization. 

Sherri was a key player on the fundraising team that produced our 2013 May event “Games for Good”. Sherri was working 2 mornings a week in our Administration offices, assisting with fundraising and outreach events. 

With the onset of summer, the Client Services offices got so busy that Sherri started to fill in with answering phones and assisting clients with Intake procedures. Then, the need for a Volunteer Coordinator became apparent as more volunteers began to get involved. Once again, Sherri stepped up and took on an additional role. 

Besides her volunteer work at CLC, Sherri also volunteers at Baylor Medical Center in the Newborn unit, and with Birthday Blessing. In her spare time, she enjoys life with her husband Michael, their children and grandchildren, and her parents who live close by. Somehow she finds time to travel too! And she was inducted in the TownSquareBuzz 2013 Heroes Hall of Fame

If there’s a special event going on at CLC, you can bet Sherri had a hand in it. We are so grateful for her smiling face and her “can-do” attitude.

Volunteer Spotlight – Robert Camp, President, CLC Board of Directors

RobertCamp picturesRobert is the outgoing President of the CLC board, having served 4 years in that role, doing double duty for 3 years as Finance Chair. Robert was referred to CLC by Sheila Miller, after serving on the Volunteer McKinney board. In his other job, Robert is Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending at Independent Bank.

Robert is most honored by the partnerships, and hard work of the staff and boards, that have facilitated Community Lifeline Center to re-establish itself and grow in the community.

When not working for CLC, or working to provide for his family, Robert serves at his church, and spends a lot of time with his son’s baseball and youth activities.  He and his family also enjoy Texas Tech sports!

We are pleased to honor Robert as he finishes up his service to CLC. If you get a chance, let Robert know how much you appreciate his leadership. And go Red Raiders!

Volunteer Spotlight: Sherri Murphy

SherriMeet Sherri Murphy. Sherri came to CLC in late 2012 looking for a way to get plugged in. Her specific interest is fundraising and event organization. 

Sherri was a key player on the fundraising team that produced our May event “Games for Good”. Sherri was working two mornings a week in our Administration offices, assisting with fundraising and outreach events. 

With the onset of summer, the Client Services offices got so busy that Sherri started to fill in with answering phones and assisting clients with Intake procedures. Then, the need for a Volunteer Coordinator became apparent as more volunteers began to get involved. Once again, Sherri stepped up and took on an additional role. 

Besides her volunteer work at CLC, Sherri also volunteers at Baylor Medical Center in the Newborn unit, and with Birthday Blessing. In her spare time, she enjoys life with her husband Michael, their children and grandchildren, and her parents who live close by. Somehow she finds time to travel too! 

If there’s a special event going on at CLC, you can bet Sherri had a hand in it. We are so grateful for her smiling face and her “can-do” attitude.

Executive Director Requests Your Help

Special Request from our Executive Director

christine-hockin-01The support many of you share with Community Lifeline Center makes an important difference in the lives of many across Collin County. Today, I’m asking if you can share something else: your opinions.

Community Lifeline Center has engaged an independent research company to conduct focus group research, and we’d very much like you to participate. The voice of the community plays a vital role in the development and delivery of our many human services.   We can offer you a choice of two days and times. The discussions will be led by an independent moderator, and should last about 90 minutes. There is only room for 10 people in each group. We know how precious time is today, so as reward for your kind assistance, we are offering refreshments including an array of sweets.

Your opinions mean so much to Community Lifeline Center. Can you spare 90 minutes to help guide our mission?

Please choose one of the following two groups:

Men Monday, May 13  7:00-8:30 PM, or Wednesday May 15 1:30-3:00 PM
Women Monday May 13 1:30-3:00 PM or Wednesday May 15: 7:00-8:30 PM

As scheduling can be a challenge, may I ask that you respond by
Tuesday, May 7?
RSVP to info[@]communitylifeline.org

I do hope you can join us for one of the groups. Your ideas and opinions mean everything to us.

Thank you,
Christine Hockin-Boyd

Employment Opportunity

Part-time Receptionist:
Responsible for providing and maintaining a professional relationship with community residents, clients, vendors, and visitors. Position involves 20 hours a week, Mon. – Thurs. @ $10 per hour. View job description.

Fax cover letter and resume to 214.491.1944 or email to [email protected]

Meet Eliska Counce, Clinical Director of Counseling Services

Community Lifeline is growing – in so many ways. In addition to moving to new offices, we are launching new counseling services available free to those in financial stress or crisis, including educational groups and individual treatment. We have a vision: every citizen of Collin County, Texas will benefit from a local agency supporting a local environment that supports social and emotional well-being for our families. 

Social and emotional well-being is crucial to success. This fact is no less true for an individual or a society. This is a shared responsibility of CLC, other agencies, schools, parents, and indeed, the city at large. The CLC Mental Health Initiative will partner with the community to focus on a positive city climate, reducing barriers to development and health. 

Contact Community Lifeline Center to partner with us as we forge forward to improve the health and life quality of our city residents.

Meet Megan Hickman: the Veteran’s Guardian Angel

[Community Lifeline Center is highlighting its veterans programs throughout the month of May. This is the fourth in a series of articles about Veterans support] 

As we celebrate Memorial Day and – hopefully – remember our veterans and those in service around the world it’s most fitting to introduce one of the key members of the CLC Team: Megan Hickman.

Megan’s interest in non-profits and social work come from an interest in a career that is constantly changing and which puts her in touch with diverse populations. As she says, “In the past, I have worked with the homeless, HIV/AIDS patients, geriatrics, and with youth ages 12-18. My love for non-profits stems from the goal of the agency being to serve those in need. There is not a goal of becoming a billion dollar company, or to be on Forbes Magazine lists.” 

While her official title at Community Lifeline Center is “Veterans Case Manager”, she’s really a guardian angel to the veterans and their families who face a variety of issues on their return to civilian life. She helps keep them in their homes, arranges transportation, medical or dental care, helps them get counseling, and coordinates among other service organizations.

As a result of the Veterans Commission grant Megan has been able to assist in the prevention of homelessness for nearly 4 families a month – families who would have been in a shelter or staying with family or friends. She’s been able to help nearly 200 veterans avoid job loss because of car repair or car payments, or assist with their utility bills so that they could use their income on their child’s unexpected doctor visit.

“Every client who comes through our doors has an impact on my life. The strength of the veterans, male and female, continues to amaze me. I am constantly hearing how people don’t understand where they are coming from, what they have been through or how they are feeling. After being released from duty, they are expected to jump into the real world and live their lives after being stripped of their identity in the military and being trained to not think for themselves. 

“I work day to day with the veterans and their family members. I sit with them and hear the stories of what they have been through.  I hear about their struggle and I see the shame on their faces. Fortunately, I get to assist them in changing their current situation and most leave with a smile on their face and want to give back to the agency. I work within the monthly budget to assist each client in every way possible, financially and in other ways. I require the clients to attend classes or counseling, according to their individual needs and in order to do a holistic approach instead of a band aid fix.

The most important thing to understand is that the Veterans Commission grant not only enables us to assist financially, but each area that we can assist in has an impact on every area of a person’s life. For example, a veteran may be struggling with PTSD and is unable to work to their ability because of their “invisible wound”. As a result, he or she may be switching jobs more often, which can impact their eligibility for health insurance. If a veteran came into CLC asking for assistance with rent because they changed jobs again and cannot find a paycheck, I would be able to see the impact his PTSD has had on all the other areas.   I can then require the veteran get counseling in order to receive the rental assistance. If they attend counseling, they can begin to heal mental wounds. As those wounds heal, they can get back to work and qualify for health insurance for the family and avoid gaps in paychecks. The community is a better place when the veterans who reside in it are at their best mentally and physically”.

What’s remarkable is the level of service Megan is able to provide veterans in need. When asked what would surprise people about CLC, Megan says: “People would be surprised to learn that CLC is able to operate and function with such limited resources. I think it says a lot about where donations are going.  The focus continues to be on the clients, not on the facility, not on the furniture in our office, and not on the things that ultimately don’t matter”.

Spoken like a true guardian angel!

Are you interested in helping veterans?

There are three actions you can take: 1] donate to CLC funding for our Veterans; 2] Employ veterans or their spouses; 3].Assist in creating awareness of the needs of Veterans and their families.  Need to know more?  Contact us at Community Lifeline Center, 972-542-0020 or at www.communitylifeline.org