By Chris Qualls
For 25 years, NeighborWorks Waco has served Central Texas, striving to build stronger neighborhoods through homeownership, quality rental housing and community-building initiatives. Our vision is and has been that through our organization, and its collaborations, the greater Central Texas area is filled with vibrant, thriving communities.
Our staff, board, volunteers, partners, and clients have worked tirelessly over the years towards these goals and accomplished much. Though Waco’s homeownership rate has trailed the national average by more than 20%, our efforts have seen the rate increase, lessening the gap between Waco’s homeownership and that of the state and country. We have created more than 3000 first time homebuyers. 189 new homes have been built in McLennan County, not only in the 4 subdivisions for which we are responsible, but in neighborhoods all over. We are proud that over these 25 years we have directly invested more than $25,000,000 directly into the Central Texas area.
Our success makes us proud because it means that our vision is emerging more and more as a reality. Central Texas is filled with vibrant, thriving communities, and we consider it a privilege to work among them.
Due to longsighted leadership, strategy and planning, NeighborWorks Waco operates at nearly 100% sustainability, meaning that we have not relied upon donations for our programs and operations. With this model we have done a lot over these 25 years. There is something that is new, however, and we are excited about the potential of this project.
Recently, our board approved the creation of an endowment fund to ensure a safe and stable future for all of NeighborWorks clients, programs, and staff. This fund will ensure that NeighborWorks Waco continues to build stronger neighborhoods and recognize Central Texas’ vibrant, thriving communities regardless of changes to instable funding sources. The endowment would also allow us to take on special projects outside our usual areas of operation.
In the past these special projects have included the creation of Art on Elm—a community arts festival in East Waco—a playground, development of neighborhood leadership in low-income communities. In the future, we hope to have more special projects, which could result in grants for first-time homebuyers, scholarships for youth to become members at local recreation centers, and more art programs.
Since we initiated our endowment fund it has grown to about $73,000. We reached this number because of passionate partners like you. Our goal is to reach $100,000 in 2019, and $1,000,000 in 2029. We are confident that with your participation, we will reach these goals.
There are a few ways you can help us build stronger neighborhoods and see vibrant, thriving communities throughout Central Texas. First, we would love to talk to you about your impact on the families of our communities. So, give us a call and speak with NeighborWorks staff today at (254) 752 1647 to discuss your interest in contributing to the growing endowment. Second, you can contribute through the Pie Society to ensure that your legacy is one that impacts the greater Central Texas area for generations. Third, you could go to our website and click the “Donate” button to help place families in safe and stable housing. We are so thrilled to offer you this opportunity and we thank you for your interest and involvement. Together we can continue to make our community outstanding.