WACO — The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has awarded Caritas of Waco a “Challenge Grant” to help bring its Caritas Cares Capital Campaign near its conclusion. The foundation will award the agency $100,000 once Caritas has raised its final $75,000 from private donations. That combined $175,000 will allow Caritas to successfully complete its $1.75 million fundraising campaign which will finance major renovations and address code and safety issues in the organization’s existing facilities. The campaign began in February of 2011 and has received support from individuals, businesses and foundations totaling $1.6 million so far.
“In order to meet the requirements of the Mabee Challenge Grant, we need friends and supporters of Caritas to send donations for the capital campaign to the agency as soon as possible,” said Rabbi Gordon Fuller, Chairman of the Caritas Capital Campaign Committee. “Our goal is to have raised the $75,000 by May 31st and to begin construction by July,” added Fuller. “Every dollar donated gets a $1.33 match from the grant, so even smaller contributions will be helpful.”
The project will expand the agency’s waiting room capacity, which frequently is overcrowded, and will also make the waiting area more conducive to providing educational presentations to families prior to their receiving services. The Caritas pantry will be expanded to allow storage and preparation of food orders to be conducted more efficiently; also, cooling and freezer capacity in the pantry and the warehouse will be expanded. Enhancements to the facility’s exterior will include improvements to the parking area, a safer traffic flow, and additional landscaping and signage.
Since 2008, Caritas has seen a significant increase in clients, and services an average of 100 families each day needing supplemental food assistance. Families can come no more often than once per month. The mission of Caritas is to “provide emergency support to people in need in our community.”
Donations in support of the Challenge Grant may be sent to Caritas at 300 South 15th Street, Waco, Texas 76701, or via the website at www.caritas-waco.org. Donors are asked to designate their gifts to be for the “Capital Campaign.” For more information, contact Buddy Edwards at 753-4593.