Fatherhood Fall Festival Event

Fatherhood Fall Festival

On Thursday October 27th, Dad’s Workshop put together a Fatherhood Fall Festival.  This festival was free to all families that participate in the Dad’s Workshop, PAT, NFP, and HIPPY programs.  Families engaged in group activities that included painting pumpkins, candy walk, pumpkin bean bag toss, bounce house, and storytelling by our very own CEO Matt Yell! The evening ended with a yummy dinner of sub sandwiches and chips.  Families were thanked for coming and each received a book that they can share with an information sheet included that explained the importance of reading.

Principal For A Day

Principle for a Day - Written by Haylee Davis

Yesterday I had the privilege of being Principal For A Day through the Wichita Falls ISD. I was approached a couple weeks ago about the opportunity and immediately wanted to say yes. I love working with kids, specifically young kids. You can imagine my surprise when I received my confirmation email letting me know I would be principal with Ms. Christy Nash at Wichita Falls High School. For some reason, it had never crossed my mind I had the potential of being placed in a high school.

With hesitancy, I showed up yesterday morning to WFHS. Students were rushing to claim their parking spots and hurry in the building before the first bell rang. I followed suite and scurried in through the large entryway. With nerves jittering, I walked in to the principal’s office. Everyone was so welcoming and excited to have me. I sat waiting on Ms. Nash to finish up her morning tasks, wondering what my first duty as principal would be. Ms. Nash came in with another staff member and introduced herself. She was very nice and friendly as well. As soon as we met, two students came in to interview her for a class assignment. She asked them to wait a few minutes and had me follow her into the hall. Our very first task of the day was walking a sweet girl to her classroom.  Ms. Nash informed me that this student cannot walk to class at the same time as the rest of the student body so she gladly takes her after the first bell each morning. As we walked, Ms. Nash asked her how her family was and about her Halloween plans and costume. When we returned to the office I sat in as Ms. Nash answered all the interview questions from the two students, smiling and joking with them throughout the process. As they were leaving she asked one of the boys about basketball, encouraging him to play again this year. After the boys left, we went on a grand tour of the campus. Ms. Nash took me to several classrooms, introducing me to many of her staff and students. Every person we came across was happy to see Ms. Nash and she was happy to see them. She called almost every student by name and knew about their individual lives. We came across one student in the hall who was having a bad morning. Ms. Nash immediately stopped and sat down on the floor next to the student. She had a genuine care for the student wanting to make sure she was okay before we went on. The teachers had the same care for the students as Ms. Nash. All the teachers were also very passionate about their fields of study. In each of the classrooms we visited, teachers were engaging the students, creating environments to make learning fun. None of the classrooms we walked by had teachers sitting behind a desk. As the lunch hour drew near, I was sad I would not be coming back for the afternoon.

When I was assigned a high school, I was honestly a little disappointed because I did not think there would be any type of interaction between the principal and the students. I was so happy to find the exact opposite at WFHS. Ms. Nash sets a great tone for the whole campus by being engaged with both the staff and students. At United Way, much of our work is focused in education. We believe education is one of the most important aspects of a successful life. Yesterday I had the opportunity to see education at its finest. I am so grateful I was placed with Ms. Nash at Wichita Falls High School so I could witness all the amazing things they are doing. They are offering quality education, but more than that, they are creating an environment where students want to learn. 

Philanthropy Gives Birth to Optimism - Times Record News Article

This article was featured in the Times Record News and written by Matt Yell, CEO. 

Many of those I come into contact with are stressed and disheartened by recent events, news and trends. Challenges such as terrorism, a stalled economy, anti-patriotism, moral decline, crime, violence and more are producing a tremendous amount of hopelessness and paralysis. In addition, the overall pervasiveness of news about the presidential election and the strident partisanship and dysfunction of our government have resulted in less civility and compassion. I find myself wondering if we, as a country, will pull together to solve the many challenges and problems faced by our community, country and world.

In such times, I suggest we consider philanthropy and giving back to our community. Philanthropy is defined as the practice of giving money and time to help make life better for other people. Philanthropy is inherently optimistic, reflecting the belief that we can have a positive impact on the lives of others as well as on stubborn societal issues. In reality, philanthropy will not and cannot solve every problem. However, I see or hear about charitable acts daily that empower so many individuals and families and that gives me hope.

While headlines often focus on what's wrong, in many ways the world is getting better. Health is improving. Poverty is shrinking. Knowledge is growing. There is so much need in our communities. but we are making progress.

To find workable solutions for our communities' most challenging problems, we must include the best thinking for all perspectives. We at United Way cannot do this alone. We must engage and listen to the entire community — nonprofits, businesses, educational institutions, government, the health sector, faith-based organizations and individual residents — in the work of solving community problems. Our partners must be diverse and we all must be part of the solution. Serious challenges like hunger, education, transportation, mental health and workforce readiness can only be approached through philanthropy with a shared commitment to finding solutions.

"Philanthropy transcends time, borders and politics," said Patrick M. Rooney, associate dean for academic affairs and research at the Indiana University Lily Family School of Philanthropy. "Philanthropy is a core American value and will remain one regardless of political or business cycles."

As our nation and communities seem more divided than ever, I am reminded of words by James Grubman. "Families can find community in pointing fingers not at each other but toward the horizon, eyes on the shared goals deserving of their attention and resources. Philanthropy is best when we reject going toe-to-toe in favor of standing shoulder-to-shoulder, helping our world. It should not be about defending your preferred tactic. It should be about where you want to go — together."

In these divisive times, philanthropy offers hope for the future as well as an opportunity for people who have political and philosophical differences to work together to successfully address pressing community problems.

"It's the action, not the fruit of the action, that's important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there'll be any fruit. But that doesn't mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result," Mahatma Gandhi said.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Request for Proposals - 2017-19 Grant Cycle

Dear Community Partners:

North Texas Area United Way (NTAUW) is pleased to announce the release of its Request for Proposals (RFP) for the 2017-19 grant cycle. The NTAUW 2017-19 RFP, Program Budget Excel sheet, and the Community Impact Agenda that explains our mission, priority areas for funding and our strategies can be downloaded and viewed on our website by clicking here. Please review carefully and share with others whom you think might be interested.

NTUAW is committed to advancing education, income and health in our community. Together with community partners, we support collaborative and comprehensive approaches to solving problems so that individuals, families and communities thrive. We invite you to continue to work together to bring about lasting results.

Thank you,
North Texas Area United Way