whenD CEO recently presented awards in 21 categories at its third annual Nonprofit & Corporate Citizenship Awards program, broadcast live from our headquarters in downtown Dallas. Here’s a look at the nonprofit groups honored in the Nonprofit Organizations, COVID-19 Community Impact category.
Winner: United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas has nearly a century of experience understanding the plight of Dallas’ underserved when it comes to education, income, and health. When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down North Texas, the nonprofit was swift to analyze the most critical community needs and connect resources to make the most significant community impact.
By early-May, the UWMD Coronavirus Response and Recovery Fund raised more than $11 million and deployed over $2 million in resources to more than 145 community-based organizations serving vulnerable populations, including health care workers and first responders. UWMD also helped organize a collaborative giving effort for COVID-19 relief and recovery with The Dallas Cowboys, Communities Foundation of Texas, and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas with the global Giving Tuesday movement #GivingTuesdayNow, which raised an estimated $503 million.
“This crisis can be a defining moment of solidarity,” said Jennifer Sampson, McDermott-Templeton President and CEO of United Way of Metropolitan Dallas. “Our nonprofits are on the front lines, and they need everyone’s generous support to respond to the unprecedented need created by this pandemic.”
Finalist: Carter BloodCare/UTSW Medical Center
As stay-at-home orders were enforced in Dallas County and hospitals were filling up with critically ill COVID-19 patients, Dr. Nicole De Simone, a pathology associate professor affiliated with the UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Department of Transfusion Medicine and Apheresis, rallied to figure out how convalescent blood plasma from recovered COVID-19 individuals could be used to manage those hospitalized by the virus.
A community program was essential, and Dr. De Simone took swift action to inform recovering patients in her hospital that their healing might help relieve someone else for the virus’s grip. Dr. De Simone worked with Carter BloodCare to establish a program that went on to collect the plasma from hundreds of individuals who had recovered from the virus.
Finalist: Highland Park Methodist Church
Servitude has long been a priority for Highland Park Methodist Church—its outreach mission focused on engaging people to fight poverty and promote justice. During COVID-19, that message did not waver.
The Park Cities church raised more than $1.4 million for relief during the pandemic and created nine new initiatives to aid those impacted by the epidemic. From offering free meals to the 15,800 students in 27 of Dallas ISD’s elementary schools and its youth group creating videos to supplement the learning of the district’s students to providing gift cards for groceries and fuel for church members in need and packing bagged lunches for several local nonprofits, the church has exhausted resources and pivoted efforts to ensure it was doing all it could to address immediate needs of the community.
Additionally, the church has held blood drives, a massive drive-through donation day to gather books for Unite to Learn, Walmart gift cards for Outreach Camp Families, and non-perishable food, cleaning supplies, masks, and gloves to distribute.
Finalist: Parkland Health & Hospital System
Parkland Health & Hospital System and its physicians, nurses, administrators, and other staff have been at the forefront of the healthcare response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Dallas County—working on the front line to provide testing since the beginning of the outbreak and expanding testing to even the most underserved and at-risk communities.
Donna Persaud, MD, medical director of Parkland’s HOMES program, and Dolores Diaz, RN, and nurse manager with HOMES, were the first to suit up and begin collecting samples on March 16 when there were only a handful of known cases in Texas. By May 11, a team of 80 Parkland volunteers had administered more than 25,458 tests at two of its mobile sites; over 1,500 tests for Parkland patients and staff at the Parkland Amelia Court testing site; and 150 tests in community clinics. Parkland currently performs up to 1,000 tests per day between the two large drive-through public testing sites at the American Airlines Center and Ellis Davis Field House and area nursing homes and shelters.
To read more about the honorees in our 2020 program, visit this page.