tenth street historic district resource center

It’s North Texas Giving Day and one project is looking to preserve the history and celebrate the present-day residents of the Tenth Street Historic District of Dallas. 

During Reconstruction after the Civil War, many emancipated slaves created communities together. Most of these Freedmen’s towns have been torn down or changed beyond recognition over the years, but Dallas has one of the only remaining intact ones in the nation. 

Located in Oak Cliff, this is the Tenth Street Historic District, a designation created in 1993 by the city of Dallas to help preserve African-American culture in this vital area, which has 257 homes, four commercial buildings, three institutional structures, and one cemetery. Other designations include Dallas Landmark District, National Register of Historic Places, and State Historic Marker Program. This area’s preservation is a big deal.    

During North Texas Giving Day, nonprofit Building Community Workshop, known as BC Workshop, is fundraising to help renovate the house above to create a resource for the community, the Tenth Street Neighborhood Resource Center. 

“Our goal is to renovate, keeping it true to historical character and working with residents to create a resource center, staffed by someone from [BC Workshop] and providing information about things like how to apply for permits to do renovations in this historic neighborhood, and answer questions, learn and share back with residents,” said Lizzie MacWillie, Associate Director of Dallas office of BC Workshop. “The place could be available for community meetings, art shows, performances…poetry slams, musical performances that celebrate and elevate the celebrate the neighborhood.” 

MacWillie emphasizes that this is all about creating what the residents want, not what an outside group thinks would be best for residents.  

“We wouldn’t be doing any of this without residents,” she said. 


A Dallas ISD student watches for his teacher to come to his house, as part of Stand for Children-Dallas' work with the district to facilitate home visits. Stand Dallas is one of the 1,100 plus education organizations that will benefit from today's North Texas Day of Giving. (Photo by Bethany Erickson)

A Dallas ISD student watches for his teacher to come to his house, as part of Stand for Children-Dallas’ work with the district to facilitate home visits. Stand Dallas is one of the 1,100 plus education organizations that will benefit from today’s North Texas Day of Giving. (Photo by Bethany Erickson)

Today, as Leah mentioned, is North Texas Giving Day.  Yesterday we talked about some home-related organizations taking part and today I’d like to highlight some ways you can contribute to the educations of area children. There are more than 1,100 opportunities to help North Texas scholars, but these are some great charities and schools that impact Dallas students every day.

First, Project Transformation – which provides mentorship and tutoring (as well as a safe place for kids to go after school) throughout Dallas and beyond. Donations of $25 and above qualify for bonus funds.

Stand for Children-Dallas is leading a Home Visit Project in 50 Dallas ISD schools with over 525 teachers and staff members participating, including my kiddo’s school (we had a home visit from his kindergarten teacher last night). Every $25 helps pay for another home visit. These home visits are designed to be positive visits that give the child’s teacher and parents a chance to talk one-on-one about their shared goals for the child.

And then there is Reading Partners. I will be starting my second year of tutoring with this organization soon, and I have personally watched children start out not loving reading, behind at least a grade level (often more) in reading – but by the end of the year, demanding book recommendations and reading confidently with their peers. The statistics regarding reading at grade level by third grade are alarming – but your $25 can help train more people like me (and you, ahem), as well as buy books and supplies.

The Dallas Education Foundation,  the independent fundraising organization for Dallas ISD, is raising funds for “Backpack for Books”  – which will serve 600 pre-K classrooms with two backpacks filled with reading materials that families can use to work with their children at home. Each student will have the chance to take home a backpack twice during the school year.

The Concilio works to increase parent involvement in their children’s education through their  PASE program, which teaches parents how to become more actively engaged in their child’s education. The group also frequently addresses community health issues as well.

And check your local schools – some also have fundraising going today through their independent fundraising groups (for instance, Thomas Jefferson High and Booker T. Washington). Is your school raising money through North Texas Giving Day today? Post a link in the comments!

North Texas Giving Day

If you’ve thought about giving to a nonprofit, there is no better day than tomorrow.

North Texas Giving Day is an online fundraising event that makes it easy for people to donate to a variety of North Texas nonprofits in one day. Last year, they raised a record $33.1 million for 2,020 organizations. This year, more than 2,500 area nonprofits have registered with the Communities Foundation of Texas, which founded the event in 2009.

Part of what makes this event special is the matching funds: This year, there are $25 million to match or partially match many of the donations made tomorrow. That means your dollars go further to help out some truly wonderful nonprofits in the local work they do.