4-10/5, Models

For this week’s online discussion, I’d like you to share some examples of “effective” service/programs in the DFW area. This will require some research on your own before you begin writing.

This week’s conversation should help you learn more about the needs of our community and what some people/organizations are doing to address those needs.

You may select 1 or more examples, but I am most interested in learning WHY you think the organization(s) you list are “effective” and in what ways. Some questions to consider addressing are:

Who are they serving?  Who is benefiting?  If you were a philanthropist, why would you donate your money to them? Why would you want to spend your time helping them physically?

As always, I look forward to reading your comments and replies to one another.

15 thoughts on “4-10/5, Models

  1. It’s harder than you think to find organizations that are truly effective in our surrounding area. Yes, there are many programs in the DFW that are incredible and are helping a lot of people, but they are not investing in fixing whatever problem they deal with. Yesterday in class when we were searching for effective service and social innovators in DFW not much came up, and what did come up didn’t reflect what I thought of as effective service. But then I came upon United Way.
    United Way is an organization that collects money from donors and then invests the money in the most effective local programs. They focus on 3 main ideas: education, financial stability, and health. United Way Tarrant’s mission statement is, “We help people by giving them the tools to help themselves. We partner with organizations and agencies through evidence-based programs that make a measurable impact into OUR Tarrant County community.” They want to make people in Tarrant County learn well, earn well and live well. Instead of just throwing out handouts to any misfortune they see, they work with businessmen, councils, resource groups, and members of community to determine the most effective and efficient ways to improve community, raise awareness on vital issues and be a community leader for change.
    The description of what they do sounds similar to what our class defined service learning as. Instead of just helping issues, they are solving them by having a deeper understanding of what truly needs to happen. This organization is successful because donors know and trust that whatever amount they give will go to a good foundation because of United Way’s great track record. United way is effective because it creates real opportunities and gets real results.
    By using United Way as a middleman, most times donors don’t directly choose where their money will go. Although they know that their donation will go to an organization that does effective service, they are losing the connection and relationship that they would get by donating directly to a program. Is this relationship important? Most people that donate directly to an organization are passionate about the work that they do, does the donor lose this passion by donating to a middleman?
    http://unitedwaytarrant.org/whatwedo/
    https://unitedwaydallas.org/our-work/

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    1. Sarah,
      I would say the donor does lose their passion and personal connection with the cause when they donate through a middleman. At the same time, people may be discouraged if they have to sort through a multitude of charities and end up not donating at all. I do not know much about United Way, but perhaps they could have broad categories, such as education or homelessness, that the donor could choose from. That way the donor does not have find a specific charity they like but can still donate to something they are passionate about. If the donor does not want to take the time even for this, there could also be an option to donate where United Way believes the money is most needed. I think this method would provide the donor with the security that they are donating to an effective charity but would also allow them to conveniently donate to something they are passionate about.

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  2. Lupton says that an effective charity is one where the clients also give back to the charity; however, I believe that there are multiple exceptions to this rule. The Boys and Girls Club and Alliance for Children are two of the many charities that make long-term impacts on the client but do no require anything in return.

    The Boys and Girls Club is a nation organization that works “to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.” From education to arts to life skills, this club provides programs to assist each child in what they in need off. I would consider this charity an effective one because it inspires children to improve their life and become successful. For example, the Health and Life Skills program provides sessions that teach kids to combat abuse in relationships and healthy ways of living. From the skills that are taught in the sessions, the kids are able to take what they have learned and put them to use at home. The Boys and Girls Club also provides programs that teach the kids how to improve their community. By taking kids to do community service, they learn the importance of having a strong and healthy community. The club also provides resources to parents, helping them to create a stronger family and inspire their kids to do well. While I am sure that The Girls and Boys Club has flaws, the amount of services they are able to provide outweighs the problems and creates a very effective charity.

    Alliance for Children is another effective charity that is more focused on assisting children that have experienced any type of abuse and putting an end to it. Alliance for Children has programs for all types of children and families. Their Family Advocacy Program, for families that have a child that was abused but do not qualify for services from CPS, is probably one of their most impactful programs. They also have many free education programs for those who want to help end abuse and to teach kids about the three R’s (Recognizing, Resisting, Reporting). These educational programs are so important because they bring up topics not brought up in schools that are still necessary to be talked about.

    While neither of these charities require anything in return for their services, I would consider both to be quite effective. They both teach their clients an abundance of life skills that will most definitely benefit them in the future, and I am sure that the people working there are also affected by the stories that they hear.http://www.allianceforchildren.org
    http://www.bgca.org/Pages/index.aspx

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  3. Gill Children’s Service is an excellent example of effective service in the DFW area primarily due to the fact that it focuses on all aspects of a child in need’s life. The funding source is described as a “last resort that provides a safety net” for children in great need in the Tarrant County area who’s needs are unable to be met by other organizations or resources. The charity aims to accommodate in areas including, but not limited to medical, dental, physical, social, psychological and educational. This is a particularly important characteristic of effective service since it aims to resolve not only one aspect of an individual’s life, but provide the holistic infrastructure necessary to sustain development and growth within a child. This charity served 1,660 children in the year 2015 by providing them with essentials such as medications, hearing aids, eyeglasses, root canals, summer school tuition assistance, therapy, and many more. Gill Children’s Service understands the importance of providing these tools or accommodations and deems them as prerequisites to a “child’s physical development, mental health, and educational progress.” Their mission and activity strongly suggest their relentless efforts to get rid of the major obstacles in the lives of children, especially concerning health, that make progression difficult for the children from underserved backgrounds.
    A pie chart provided by their website indicates that 62% of their funds are allocated to dental care for children, 17% educational, 7% medical, 5% orthodontics, 7% special needs, and 2% special equipment. The source of funding is primarily from foundations (53%), but also largely from individuals (11%), which is a reason why my individual contribution as a philanthropist would be particularly impactful. Its investment in education is particularly attractive for me as I believe that establishing a solid intellectual infrastructure is necessary to escape the cycle of poverty. Also, this funding source is distinct from other charities in the fact that it serves as a last resort, meaning it would most likely benefit the children in the roughest conditions, those that cannot get accommodated anywhere else. Lastly, my primary reason for wanting to donate to this fund is the fact that my parents are dentists and I have witnessed the devastating effects of poor dental health in their clinic. As the organization indicated itself, poor health conditions affect children’s attitudes, behaviors, and most importantly undermine their confidence, which is a critical force in allowing them to persist through the numerous hardships they will incur.
    http://www.gillchildrens.org/about-us

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    1. Hae Seong,

      Gill Children’s Service is a really cool organization that offers some programs that are definitely not common. This is also not a super well-known charity, so it is cool that you chose it. I full heartedly agree with everything you said about GCS, it really is a productive organization. The one question that stands out to me is what do the clients do to give back? Does this organization create a dependency? Is the dependency aspect really as important as Lupton makes it out to be? I believe that GCS definitely provides more to the clients that the clients give back, but I honestly do not find that important. The clients are only going to get and benefit from the services if they show up, so I consider that at least some effort. As I said today, if a person really wants help, they will be as proactive as they can to get it. As for the dependency aspect, I feel like it is kind of taken too far. There is a need for dependency sometimes, especially when someone is first starting the process to becoming a successful, independent person. For example: children. For the first 18ish years, most people are pretty dependent on their family. If you forced kids to make their own way, they would not do so well. Yes, that does not totally relate to GCS, but it makes a point. Anyways, yes, total dependency forever is a problem, but at certain times, it is necessary.

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  4. One effective service I found was Promise House in Dallas TX. This organization is effective because it recognizes the specific needs of those they are trying to help and finds long-term solutions for them. Promise House has different programs focused on different needs. For example, the Transitional Living Program provides a safe place for homeless teens to become independent and develop important life skills. The teens go through four phases which lead to independence. The final phase supports teens “locating and leasing their own apartments, working full time and fully supporting themselves as independent, healthy young adults.” This program is effective because it provides much more than just short-term, crisis relief. It provides an opportunity for teenagers to turn their lives around and become stable, independent adults.

    Interfaith is another effective service in Dallas. They focus primarily on helping families get back on their feet. Their Home and Hope Program provides well-furnished apartments rent-free for homeless families. If the parents are unemployed, they are required to participate in their Career Development Program. Once they are employed, they are required to pay rent for the apartment based on their income, but Interfaith returns all of this money once the family has saved $500 and completed other program requirements.

    Interfaith also has a Hope and Horizons Program for children. It addresses academic gaps, encourages creativity, and helps children with social and emotional problems. Interfaith also encourages teens to participate in their Summer Work program. Teens are required to open a savings account and save part of their income. Activities like college tours and summer tutoring all help teens become stable and self-sufficient, much like Promise House.

    Interfaith is very effective, but I think one aspect of it could be improved. I am not sure Interfaith should pay the families back their rent after they have completed the program. What do you all think? It seems like paying them back could damage their dignity. If I was homeless and Interfaith gave me an apartment, I would want to pay them back as soon as possible. I would not want them to give me back my money, but would want to repay their kindness. Interfaith’s approach would damage my dignity and pride. Do you all feel the same way? I think this added level of responsibility would be a good improvement for Interfaith.

    https://promisehouse.org/programs/transitional-living-program/
    http://interfaithdallas.org/programs-impact/programs/

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  5. An “effective” service is difficult to find, especially locally, considering the how my definition of service has changed over the course of a few weeks. There are many projects and organizations with the goal to help their community with a certain issue, but seem to lack in realization that their helping could possibly fail or even cause harm. Effectiveness, to me, is focused on the long-term goals that are kept with dedication from both the receiver and the contributor. This definition goes for all service organizations I know besides Project 4031. Researching Project 4031 was an eye opener to an exception of my defined “effective service”. Project 4031, as they put, “help families meet basic needs, fulfilling dreams for the terminally ill patients and their families, and providing medical equipment to international outreach projects”. Effective service has always been associated with fixing an issue in order to resolve a major problem within a community, but in a way Project 4031 contradicts this. Instead fixating on how to resolve the future one “effective” program at a time it, they concern themselves with the ending of a journey. Their vision, “imagining a world where all people experience their unique ending of life journey with peace and hope”, not only brings realistic goals forward, but also singles out each life as one of importance. This organization serves, the families and receiver, but also benefits those who want to end their journey (life) with peace rather they have lived a luxurious or underprivileged life. As a philanthropist, I would be willing to donate money and time to this organization not only for their effective goals, but also because of their recycling program. Project 4031 takes old medical equipment and recycles and reuses. Programs like these are just a part of what makes this organization so effective. Are effective organizations only described like the ones Lupton describes? Does this organization seem like one described as effective?

    http://www.project4031.org/

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    1. Wisdom,
      Project 4031 sounds like a very interesting but effective program. This idea of recycling medical equipment is a very popular idea in my household. My mother is an eye doctor and spends a lot of her time giving back to the community. She volunteers with many different organizations and under privilege schools to give them eye exams and free glasses. She also travels all over the world on medical missions doing exams and giving out glasses. Not to be biased but I see the work my mom does as an effective service. Not only is she treating the issues underprivileged people have with their eyes but by giving them the ability to see she is setting them up to have a more productive life. While some could see this as a handout service, she’s not creating unhealthy dependencies because once she provides her service; those being helped are set for the rest of their lives because they can finally work. Similarly to Project 4031 my mom collects used glasses to give to those who wouldn’t be able to afford them. I think Project 4031 and my mom’s organization are both effective.

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  6. One effective service I found was Promise House in Dallas TX. This organization is effective because it recognizes the specific needs of those they are trying to help and finds long-term solutions for them. Promise House has different programs focused on different needs. For example, the Transitional Living Program provides a safe place for homeless teens to become independent and develop important life skills. The teens go through four phases which lead to independence. The final phase supports teens “locating and leasing their own apartments, working full time and fully supporting themselves as independent, healthy young adults.” This program is effective because it provides much more than just short-term, crisis relief. It provides an opportunity for teenagers to turn their lives around and become stable, independent adults.

    Interfaith is another effective service in Dallas. They focus primarily on helping families get back on their feet. Their Home and Hope Program provides well-furnished apartments rent-free for homeless families. If the parents are unemployed, they are required to participate in their Career Development Program. Once they are employed, they are required to pay rent for the apartment based on their income, but Interfaith returns all of this money once the family has saved $500 and completed other program requirements.

    Interfaith also has a Hope and Horizons Program for children. It addresses academic gaps, encourages creativity, and helps children with social and emotional problems. Interfaith also encourages teens to participate in their Summer Work program. Teens are required to open a savings account and save part of their income. Activities like college tours and summer tutoring all help teens become stable and self-sufficient, much like Promise House.

    Interfaith is very effective, but I think one aspect of it could be improved. I am not sure Interfaith should pay the families back their rent after they have completed the program. What do you all think? It seems like paying them back could damage their dignity. If I was homeless and Interfaith gave me an apartment, I would want to pay them back as soon as possible. I would not want them to give me back my money, but would want to repay their kindness. Do you all feel the same way? At the same time, perhaps the homeless parents would want as much money as they can get to support their families, and they would want to be paid back. Maybe they should be given a choice. Interfaith will give them their money back, and if the homeless want to they can give a donation for as much money as they can spare. I think this added level of choice and responsibility would be a good improvement for Interfaith.

    https://promisehouse.org/programs/transitional-living-program/
    http://interfaithdallas.org/programs-impact/programs/

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    1. “Dear Meredith,”
      I think both of the examples you provide, especially Interfaith, are exemplary of “effective service”, because they have what I personally consider as one of the pillars of effective service: reciprocity. This is the idea expressed in your response that you cannot just be on the receiving side, but very much so need to give back as well in order to NOT create dependency. It sounds like through your explanation that Interfaith doesn’t create the detrimental form of dependency that Lupton talks about, since it requires the recipients to work and pay rent for their stay in the temporary home. But, I can definitely see that this system might be abused by a person simply not getting a job ever and relying on the apartment provided by the organization endlessly. Your question is the one I had in mind as well as whether giving back the money to the recipients at the end of fulfilling program requirements and paying $500 in rent is effective or not. I would say that Interfaith repaying the “rent money” fails to “simulate” how it is in the real world, which is that your rent money goes into the pocket of landlords/proprietors not back into your savings account. I generally tend to think that allowing the recipients to experience the most real world scenario is the best for the individuals in the long term.
      But, could giving the money back and allowing these families to handle their own monies i.e. spend it wisely and allocate it well be a critical skill that they would miss out on if all the money they made went to rent? Are there other positive negative outcomes of not giving back the deposit or do the marginal benefits outweigh the marginal costs in this scenario? To be brutally honest, I am compelled by both sides, since maybe spending all their rent on money means they don’t have enough money left to move on from Interfaith and buy their own houses and such. But unfortunately, at the same time, giving back the money might create unrealistic expectations from the individuals in need and elicit greater dependency. I’m not sure how to fully resolve either side.

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    2. Meredith,
      These organizations are very similar in their effective process to create independent members of the community. The one difference I see between them is who they help and how that could effect the community. In Promise House, there goals seems to be to find a way to develop struggled teens into “independent, healthy young adults” that are able to support themselves and a productive life through a four phase program. While in Interfaith, they focus on helping families that have undergone difficulties in life that effect the family in an extremely negative way. As you described them they both seem to be effective service that require commitment from the receiver of the service. Although seeming to be effective Interfaiths program which if completed gives back rent money also does not seem like a great idea, to me. Life does not offer options or rewards like that so it seems to be like almost a sort of false hope. As I read your research I wonder how even with great “effective” services such as Promise House and Interfaith we can still find possible problems? And because of the possible issue in Interfaith, that could possibly be counteracting effective service, does that no longer make it an effective service? And if so does that mean every service we find fault in is no longer effective? Which then brings up the question if faults can be found within all services/things, does that make no service really effective?

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  7. Previously, in our conversation yesterday, EMPRESS STEM program Forth worth Chapters Incorporated was introduced as a social innovator. Now the program was created by a National Pan-Hellenic Sorority called Alpha Kappa Alphas. These women went to Howard University, Spelman, and other historically black college universities. The program was created to aid black girls for future goals and careers. Therefore the young girls are taught science, technology, engineering, and math. Visiting sites such as Lockheed Martin and BNSF are places that inspire the young women to pursue the technology and engineering world. In the long-run the young black women will benefit from this program and hopefully become successful black women who will then give back to their community.
    It’s always questionable to immediately jump into a charity work or program that seems to “look” good and healthy. As service learners we need to know if the charity is physically helping other and the community. In order to be sure the charity work does actual charity; the charity should have examples of people who have been through the charity and have come out successful. The charity should provide an abundance of information about the program. The people who run the charity should have a background of works they did to prove they are credible. There are also signs if the charity is a scam and is not benefitting the community at all. The federal trade commission gave out information about knowing when a charity is a scam for the consumer:
    • Refuses to provide detailed information about its identity, mission, costs, and how the donation will be used.
    • Won’t provide proof that a contribution is tax deductible.
    • Uses a name that closely resembles that of a better-known, reputable organization.
    • Thanks you for a pledge you don’t remember making.
    • Uses high-pressure tactics like trying to get you to donate immediately, without giving you time to think about it and do your research.
    • Asks for donations in cash or asks you to wire money.
    • Offers to send a courier or overnight delivery service to collect the donation immediately.
    • Guarantees sweepstakes winnings in exchange for a contribution. By law, you never have to give a donation to be eligible to win a sweepstakes. (https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0074-giving-charity).

    This is important information that consumers and giver should think about and look out for. The EMPRESS STEM program offers valid information about the charity and what it provides for the young black women. The program also has examples of the women who have been very successful because they went to the program. The women who created the program have graduated from Howard, Spelman, Brown, and other well-known colleges, thus they have credibility in what they are teaching the young black women. Nonetheless, the Empress Stem program proves to be a successful and trustworthy site.

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  8. In Fort Worth there are many great charities helping citizens in need, but from the research I have done since yesterday in class I have not found a fully effective charity. The one that stands mostly out to me is the Boys and Girls Club. I love this charity in many ways but in a way I wish there was a next step for the children. The club offers great after school care for children with needs for care and also meals for kids who need an after school meal. This is great because children have a safe place to go after school and be kids for a few hours and not being out on the streets maybe getting into trouble. When there, the kids have the opportunity to do what they love to do, like play outside or read in inside with teachers. With all of these opportunities they also have study times so they can get more individual learning time with teachers and do homework as well. All these reasons are why I think its great for kids to come to the Boys and Girls Club.

    Personally the one downside I have for the charity is that while yes it provides for the kids each day very well, they don’t have programs to my knowledge for older kids to help get ready to be independent out of their last year of education. They help kids through the years of education but not into being self sufficient in the world and work for jobs. The boys and girls club does a great job for the kids ages 6-12, but for the 10% of kids they help with older than that I hope they can become a charity to really help them too for the future. Out of all the charities in Fort Worth this is the one I would work with closely because of how it helps the kids grow inside the club, but I would want to take it the next step in helping the older kids get ready for work and life.What changes would you make to any charity that you think could help them even better after seeing my ideas? Also is the argument valid in your opinion if you know the organization, why or why not?

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  9. Sarah, I don’t think the donor loses any passion for the charity at all when donating to a middle man. If the donator didn’t care about the organization and what it believed in then they wouldn’t have donated in the first place. While yes, I think that they and anyone else should have a say , or at least personally know where the money is going to, I don’t think it is a deal breaker. When you donate money you do this off of trust of that recipient. If you don’t believe in that organization and what it stands for you would have never taken the next step in helping out the problem. ( Step one: volunteer, Step two: donate money) Personally I do think that donating through a middle man is still effective service because you’ve done enough learning about the organization and probably helped out with it on a deeper level that you trust the money is going into backing the core principal ideas of that organization.

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  10. Dear Meredith,
    I absolutely agree with you that Promise House is an effective charity. The independency and the long term effects are very important in an effective charity. According to Lupton, effective charities need to provide for people in need, but also the people in need have to sustain being independent. I believe the charity immediately will be believed to be an effective charity when people don’t rely on the program anymore. For the Interfaith charity, you asked the question if the charities approach would damage dignity and pride. I don’t believe dignity and pride are shattered because the people who need help went to into Interfaith voluntarily. They volunteered to get help, and I actually believe it take a lot to guts and courage to ask for help. You also have to remember, there is no way for you to put yourself in that situation theoretically. Only when you go through a situation in their case, then you can ask yourself if your pride and dignity have been tarnished.

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