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very year, local high school artists have the opportunity to win awards and cash prizes through Gallery of Dreams’ Betsy Price High School Art Competition. Photo by Walt Burns

There are plenty of reasons to lose faith in humanity right now. Whether it’s our horrible county judge trying to defund a nonprofit that helps girls become confident female leaders or a justice system that serves mass incarceration and lavish attorney fees over us lowly citizens, bad actors and crooked institutions are everywhere in Tarrant County.

Often lost in the gloomy news is the steadfast work of local nonprofits that, on a tight budget, do their part to lighten the burdens of our community while restoring some semblance of hope to society. These do-gooders do not have a lot of dough, so they would appreciate any scratch you can throw their way this holiday season.

 

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Girls Inc. of Tarrant County helps more than 20,000 girls and female teens every year through school- and community-based programs, summer camps, weekend events, and mentoring. The programs focus on media and economic literacy, science, the arts, and mathematics, among other important subjects. Participants learn skills often not taught in school, including how to identify and deal with bullies. The nonprofit recently came under attack by County Judge Tim O’Hare, arguably the biggest bully in North Texas, and ended up losing $115,000 in needed state funding because the white-trash Southlaker falsely equates empowered future female leaders with the “woke” agenda, whatever that may be, some Fox Nation bogeyman dreamed up to scare the 65-and-over crowd. His disgraceful behavior hasn’t stopped this nonprofit from pushing forward with its mission, but making up for that budget shortfall won’t be easy without the generosity of locals. Learn more at GirlsIncTarrant.org.

 

On the Near Southside, Taste Project — which allows diners to pay what they can — has been a pioneer in demonstrating the power of combining great food with a charitable cause. A new endeavor, Foodie Philanthropy, empowers any local restaurant and all food lovers to enjoy a night out while supporting worthy nonprofits. The next fundraiser is Sat, Feb 25, at dozens of participating Fort Worth restaurants, including B&B Butchers & Restaurant, Bonnell’s Fine Texas Cuisine, and Don Artemio, among others. Participants can book a table of 10 or buy individual tickets to break bread with new friends. The $75-250 ticket includes a three-course meal, wine or drink pairings, and access to an exclusive after-party. Learn more at FoodiePhilanthropy.org.

 

Our recent profile of singer-songwriter Carolina Imperial (“Between Two Worlds,” Oct 25) included a sobering description of life with an alleged abuser. With the help of SafeHaven, a nonprofit shelter for survivors, Imperial was able to flee her husband and start a new life. SafeHaven staffers, Imperial told us, guided her through the emotional and potentially dangerous separation process. The nonprofit’s approach to helping survivors is comprehensive and includes 24-hour emergency sheltering, transitional housing, counseling, case management, and legal support. Victims of partner abuse can call 1-877-701-7233 for help. Learn more at SafeHavenTC.org.

 

Life would be downright boring without live music. Keeping our bands gigging requires community support. Beside our weekly music features, Friday on the Green, and our annual Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards and festival, no group does as much to support local musicians regularly as Hear Fort Worth. The nonprofit under the umbrella of Visit Fort Worth, the city’s tourism wing, has been at work for seven years now organizing popular monthly mixers, spotlighting musicians on various platforms, hosting education events, and providing paying gigs for musicians at public events here, across the country, and even abroad. Learn more at FortWorth.com/music.

Hear Fort Worth’s monthly mixers offer local musicians the chance to network and mingle.
Courtesy Hear Fort Worth

 

Based on data from the National Institutes of Health, more than one in five Americans live with a mental illness. Following the 2017 loss of a close friend struggling with bipolar disorder, local entrepreneur twins Susan Gruppi Miller and Jessica Miller Essl founded M2G MHI, a nonprofit advocating for change in how mental illness is diagnosed and treated. There is still much research to be done to better understand the genetic and medical causes of personality disorders, and M2G MHI raises hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to support clinical studies that may one day lead to better health outcomes for folks struggling with depression, chronic anxiety, and other related disorders. The charity’s annual fundraiser, Art of the Mind, auctions art for the cause, but donations to M2G MHI can be made throughout the year by contacting program director Hannah Stephens at HStephens@M2GVentures.com.

 

Our community would be bereft of thought-provoking and life-affirming art without opportunities for young artists to show work and even earn money from their pieces. Founded in 2017 by Lauren Saba, the visual artist who owns Fort Works Art, Gallery of Dreams offers open-call exhibits, artist residencies, grant initiatives, and various opportunities for artists of all ages. The charity’s marquee event is the annual Betsy Price High School Art Competition. To date, Gallery of Dreams has contributed more than $340,000 toward its charitable causes. Learn more at GalleryofDreams.org.

We all have our own favorite winter customs and memories. Read a few of them from the Weekly staff and contributors in Christmas Past.

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