Editor's Note: This is the second in a two-part series - the first six in the 12 non-profits of Christmas ran in the Wednesday, Dec. 5, edition of the Reporter. Be sure to read about each of the organizations or find others across the community that could use a helping hand at Christmas and into the New Year.
7 - The Gathering Place
Stacy Eschbach worked as an education aide for four years and got firsthand knowledge of the needs of children and families across the community.
"When summer came, they didn't want to leave school," Stacy said. "It was their safe haven and a lot of them didn't have the food they needed at home."
That led Stacy and her husband to set up summer time hot dog service at the park to provide meals to area children. Eventually, the school district began offering summer meals and the service came to an end. But the couple has since been led back to the cause.
"I feel like God has been on me to do this again," she said. "Finances are tight, but someone came across my path and gave me confirmation. He said he would supply me with more than I need."
And so The Gathering Place was born.
A group, which includes the Eschbachs and a few friends, will begin the New Year by serving a free meal 5:30-7 p.m. every Tuesday night at the convention center at Oakdale Park.
To make the mission of "showering the community with love by providing a hot meal and friendly atmosphere" a reality, the group is hoping the Christmas spirit will lead others to join the effort.
For more information, contact Stacy at (254) 396-4320 or firstname.lastname@example.org.†
8 - Somervell County Cancer Support Group
Patricia West and Mary Ruth Wirt founded the Somervell County Cancer Support Group about 17 years ago and continue to serve on the non-profit organization's board of directors.† †
West said the group assists patients and families within the county who are battling the disease by providing moral support at monthly meetings and financial assistance with treatment-related expenses.†
West said while a number of patients are currently being provided assistance, including help with the cost of driving to and from appointment, resources are limited.
To continue services, community members can send monetary donations and cards in honor or memory of loved ones. †
Contributions can be sent to Somervell County Cancer Support Group, P.O. Box 152, Glen Rose, Texas, 76043.
The group meets the first Monday of every month in the Glen Rose Nursing Home Family Room.
For more information, contact West at (254) 897-4500 or Treasurer Darlene Chambers at (254) 396-1187.
9 - CASA †
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Hood and Somervell Counties works year-round to serve as a voice for abused and neglected children caught in the court system.
The organization is looking for volunteers to form bonds with the children in an effort to assist the court in making informed decisions that are in the children's best interests.
In Somervell County, there is currently a shortage of volunteers. Community members who believe they have a little to share at Christmas are encouraged to give a priceless gift that cost no more than time by signing up as a volunteer.
"This is such a sad time of year for the children CASA serves," CASA director Jean Cate, said, explaining they are separated from their families by court order. "Anything that can be done to help make Christmas brighter for these kids will go a long way in making a big difference in their lives."†
CASA also accepts monetary donations and memorial and honorary donations are recognized. Gifts such as new or gently used items and gift cards are distributed to children in need.
For more information, call Cate at (817) 597-6866 or visit missiongranbury.com/casa.html.
10 - Museums
Preserving the history and culture in Somervell County is about maintaining the future as much as it is about honoring its heritage. Visitors to the county are often amazed at how locals work to honor history, providing insight to the lives of the county's forefathers and trailblazers, but maintaing museums and monuments comes at a price.†
From honorary donations and annual memberships to volunteering to help maintain archives, displays, landscaping or serving as an occasional docent, supporting area museums is a gift that will benefit future generations while attracting visitors interested in learning more about what the county was built on.
Somervell County History Foundation's primary focus is preserving Barnard's Mill and Art Museum while providing educational, historical and cultural activities and programs. The group also provides support to Somervell Heritage Park and documents the oral histories of pioneer families.
The organization welcomes volunteers and encourages area residents to help strengthen the cause through membership. Online registration is available at barnardsmill.org. Call the mill and museum at (254) 897-7494 for more information.†
Somervell County Museum, not to be confused with the aforementioned foundation, has been heralded by visitors as a "three dimensional diary." It offers a collection of local artifacts and allows history to speak through the presentation of newspaper clippings, photographs and memorabilia.
While the museum, located at 101 Vernon Street, may tell since forgotten secrets of days gone by, it is no secret the residents who maintain it need a helping hand. Volunteering your time to greet visitors is a gift that will keep the doors open for visitors to the downtown square.†
Call the museum at (254) 898-0640 for information on volunteer opportunities.
The museum also accepts monetary donations, which can be mailed to P.O Box 669 Glen Rose, Texas, 76043-0669.
11 -† Marks Foundation
Dr. Roger E. Marks arrived in Glen Rose in 1949 and began caring for area residents. The hospital was located in what is now Barnard's Mill but, 21 years later, a new hospital was built. Decades later, The Dr. Roger E. Marks Health Care Foundation was formed.
The volunteer driven non-profit organization was established to enhance programs and projects at the hospital, including more than $20,000 in pediatric equipment and annual scholarships for Glen Rose High School students who plan to pursue a career in healthcare.
The foundation accepts memorial, honorary and tribute gifts, and you can also have a hospital room, equipment or expansion projects dedicated to recognize a friend or loved one. Gifts in any amount are accepted for foundationís unrestricted fund or as designated.
And all gifts are recognized. No matter the size of your gift, a distinctive card is sent to the person or family in whose honor the gift is made, and the amount of your gift is not mentioned.
Contributions may be mailed to P.O. Box 773, Glen Rose, Texas, 76043.†
For more information, call (254) 897-1471.
12 - Newspapers in Education
The program has one mission, putting newspapers - living textbooks - in the hands of students and educators at no cost to schools.
Each of Glen Rose ISD's campuses participate in the Newspapers in Education program, through weekly deliveries of the Glen Rose Reporter. The program allows students to remain informed on what is going on in their communities through weekly lessons and exercises.
But the program relies on community support. Donations to NIE can be made at the Reporter office and every penny earmarked for the students' benefit will continue to help fund the program - printing of extra copies for campuses and delivery of the newspapers.
Monetary contributions may also be included with your subscription renewal on an annual basis.†
For more information, call the Reporter office at (254) 897-2282.