North Texas Real Estate Community Supports These Great Nonprofits

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Be The Difference Foundation founders at the Wheel to Survive fundraising event. The nonprofit that focuses on ovarian cancer is just one North Texas organization accepting donations during the Sept. 19 North Texas Giving Day event.

If there’s one word that can define the North Texas real estate community, it’s “generous.” And when one of this community’s own needs support, you can expect a response that will blow you out of the water.

That’s what Julie Shrell discovered when she founded the Be The Difference Foundation in 2012 with Lynn Lentscher, Jill Bach, and Helen Gardner. Lentscher and Shrell met through the MetroTex Leadership Academy, as Lentscher works in title and Shrell is a lending expert.

“Many of our supporters are our real estate friends,” Shrell said. “We have been the beneficiary of fundraisers by MetroTex Association of Realtors and Dallas Women’s Council of Realtors.  Not only have they participated with funds, but they have helped us with publicity by creating a video for us, helped us spread the word about Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month by painting toes teal, and by riding in Wheel to Survive.”

The real estate community has continued to show up, too. The first-ever Runway for Hope benefiting the Be The Difference Foundation is sold out. The Sept. 26 luncheon features fashions from Dallas’ uber-luxe retailers, with all of the models strutting the catwalk being ovarian cancer survivors ranging in age from their mid-20s to their 80s. 

“This disease knows no boundaries,” Shrell added.

However, the North Texas real estate community has few limitations, too.

“As a matter of fact, our photographer at this event is Nancy Holzwarth with Real Estate and Friends Magazine,” Shrell said. “We have been honored by the love of the real estate community!”

And the Be The Difference Foundation is just one nonprofit in North Texas that is near and dear to the hearts of Realtors and worth supporting during tomorrow’s North Texas Giving Day presented by Communities Foundation of Texas.

Ready to get up and give? Click here to contribute to Be The Difference Foundation. Plus, here are a few more nonprofits that are favorites with our readers:

Preservation Dallas

Preservation Dallas is dedicated to the preservation and revitalization of the city’s historic buildings, neighborhoods and places.

Preservation Dallas is a nonprofit membership organization. We champion initiatives to protect the history and culture of neighborhoods and historic buildings throughout the community, enhancing the quality of life and economic development of our great city. To do this, we:

  • Broker solutions for endangered historic properties through a network of architectural, development, finance and public policy professionals
  • Educate the public through tours, talks and events. We look at the many ways historic buildings and neighborhoods make Dallas a vibrant and viable place to live and work
  • Document, through surveys and research, the historic and cultural value of Dallas’ older neighborhoods and assist neighborhood organizations in promoting the features of these areas
  • Partner with neighborhoods as well as local and national organizations to advocate for historic preservation issues


Lyric Stage

Lyric Stage was founded in 1993 by Steven Jones. The lack of a locally produced, professional musical theater in Dallas County spurred Jones to establish Lyric Stage.

Focusing on its mission of developing the American musical, Lyric Stage produced its first world premiere, After the Fair, in 1997. The New York production of After the Fair was nominated for Best Off-Broadway Musical by the Outer Critics Circle. In its first twenty-three seasons, Lyric Stage has produced 20 world premiere musicals.

In its effort to preserve the American Musical, Lyric Stage has produced classic musicals featuring full orchestras playing the original Broadway orchestrations.


Assist The Officer Foundation

The Assist The Officer Foundation provides financial assistance to officers who are facing the loss of income due to a serious injury, life-threatening illness or other catastrophic event. Immediate assistance is also available to an officer’s family in the event of the death of an active officer.

Since its creation in 1999, the foundation has provided assistance to hundreds of officers and their families who were faced with any number of different life-altering situations.

Did we miss your favorite nonprofit that could use some support on North Texas Giving Day? Tell us in the comments!


Joanna England

If Executive Editor Joanna England could house hunt forever, she absolutely would. Instead she covers the North Texas housing market and the economy for While she started out with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Joanna's work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News as well as several local media outlets. When she's not knitting or hooping, or enjoying White Rock Lake, she's behind the lens of her camera. She lives in East Dallas with her husband, son, and their furry and feathered menagerie.

Reader Interactions


  1. Sharon Quist says

    CitySquare’s mission: We fight the causes and effects of poverty through service, advocacy and friendship.
    CitySquare addresses homelessness, health services, abuse, children’s advocacy, job training, furnishing apartments for those in need, and a myriad of other services to the community all from one charity. They will also pick up furnishings and a broad spectrum of things to be sold in their thrift store, More than most other charities will do. I find this most helpful when selling estates or just when people move and don’t need or want to take some of their furnishings (including beds, which many charities will not take). They have a moving truck and are so grateful for things for the thrift store. Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate supports this charity and introduced me to it. I love that it helps so many different demographics.

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