The Episcopal Foundation of Dallas is pleased to help support the COVID-19 Emergency Response Food Box Program in the communities where Dallas Leadership Foundation (DLF) works.  During the early days of COVID-19, DLF pivoted from their traditional programming and responded as quickly as possible to their partners and neighbors’ changing climates and needs.

DLF initiated the COVID-19 Emergency Response Food Box Program with the first food box drive on April 14, 2020.  DLF is committed to supporting those who have lost their jobs and supporting their communities which are disproportionally affected by the Pandemic. DLF is partnering with Highland Park Presbyterian Church and other organizations to provide 450 to 550 food boxes twice a month to their Dallas neighborhood communities.  They are also working with Christ Community Church and the Richardson Independent School District to deliver 75 food boxes twice a month to RISD students and their families.   What started in April 2020 as a temporary pivot in programming has become a permanent and expanding program as the need for long-term help has become apparent.  DLF has provided 430,410 meals to 25,585 community members since inception of the program.

Dallas Leadership Foundation works with neighborhood residents to address pressing concerns. Some of their most pressing concerns are under-performing schools, lack of local employment, poor health outcomes, and financial instability. They found that no matter the neighborhood or the neighborhood concern, the one evident issue is the lack of resourced, equipped local leaders that bring lasting solutions.

DLF has a relational approach to community engagement. DLF enters communities when invited and listens to their leaders to inform DLF of their specific needs.   As DLF works with the community and connects them to resources, they simultaneously identify strategies and local leaders who can collaborate with DLF to create sustainable change. Once local leaders identify viable strategies, DLF helps them recognize and grow their inherent leadership abilities; while respecting the community leadership work, they have already accomplished. DLF then hosts Faith-based leadership training for neighborhood leaders. The Faith-based leadership training topics include; 1).  Principles of Leadership: humility, the intimacy of relationships, credibility, and service, 2). Leadership and Cultural Awareness: bias, community engagement, cultural sensitivity, and bridging the generation gap 3). Next Steps in Leadership: a plan for implementing the knowledge gained and guest experts presenting related topics.

The Dallas Leadership Foundation’s (DLF) mission is to identify, affirm, and develop leaders to transform communities.  They provide all programs in the DLF neighborhoods of Bertrand, Dolphin Heights, Owenwood, Hamilton Park, Ideal, Jubilee Park, Mill City, Fair Park Estates, Homestead, TR Hoover, 10th Street, Victory Gardens, Westmoreland Heights, and Wynnewood Heights, as well as Hutchins State Jail, Richardson and Berkner High Schools.  80% of the families served in 2020 lived at or below 50% of the City of Dallas’s AMI.