Thanks-Giving Foundation Named an “Organization of the Year” by DCEO in its “Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Awards”
DALLAS (Sept 2, 2020)
The Thanks-Giving Foundation, the non-profit group that owns and operates Thanks-Giving Square, a private garden and public space of reflection in Downtown Dallas, has been named “Organization of the Year: Small” by DCEO magazine as part of its “Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Awards 2020,” presented in partnership with the Communities Foundation of Texas. The organization is featured in the August/September issue of DCEO and was honored at a virtual award ceremony unveiling the selectees on August 28.
“We are honored to be selected for this recognition,” said Thanks-Giving Foundation CEO Kyle Ogden. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead the Thanks-Giving Foundation as we bring our diverse community together around a shared vision for a new and exciting future filled with kindness, connection, inclusion and gratitude. The work that we do to engage our neighbors through community dialogue, interfaith programs, and gratitude initiatives has never been more vital. We bring people together, and we’re doing this, even if we can’t always be together physically.”
The Thanks-Giving Foundation plays an instrumental role in the Dallas community, both as a physical space to gather for reflection, celebration and healing, and also as an active force for inspiration, education and advocacy through its programs and initiatives. In the last two years, a slate of new leadership and volunteers led by CEO Kyle Ogden, Chairman Christopher B. Trowbridge, and an inspiring and energized board of directors has continued the 50+ year legacy of “celebrating values, thoughts and spirituality” and bringing the Dallas community together through faith and service programs, such as Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square and The Thanks-Giving Foundation Interfaith Council,” both of which are led by board member Almas Muscatwalla.
Thanks-Giving Square, which is operated by the Foundation, is an urban oasis in the heart of downtown Dallas which features a landscaped meditation garden and non-denominational chapel. Since 2018, the Foundation has invested over $250,000 in physical improvements and has begun a design process for future renovations and improvements, and has plans create a vibrant new Thanks-Giving District downtown.
As part of its nomination, the Thanks-Giving Foundation highlighted the “Serving Up Gratitude” initiative, launched in the early days of the pandemic. The organization, fueled by its donors, committed to purchase more than $200,000 worth of meals from struggling local restaurants, and to provide more than 20,000 meals to frontline workers responding to COVID-19. To date, more than 125 restaurants have enrolled in the program, which has served all Dallas County hospitals caring for COVID-19 patients, all Dallas County drive-through testing sites, the Dallas Police Department, the Dallas Fire-Rescue Department and the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department. And, as a special treat, the organization served up more than 2,000 cookies from nine bakeries to nurses on National Nurses Day. Now, the organization is launching a second phase of Serving Up Gratitude to show appreciation for teachers.
“’Serving Up Gratitude” has been so meaningful to us on multiple levels,” said board of directors Chairman and Bell Nunnally Managing Partner Chris Trowbridge. “First responders and health care professionals are the heroes of the pandemic and serving them is an honor and a duty. For our local restaurants, we are eager to be part of a ‘bridge’ to better times. At the heart of everything is service and thanksgiving. We are grateful to have made a small difference and honored to be featured by DCEO.”