Thursday, December 13, 2012

2012 Women's Tea

Last Wednesday we hosted our annual Women's Tea here at The Stewpot. For years it's been an event that the ladies we serve look forward to, but we thought this year it could be bigger and better. And it really was with the help of so many people! Fourteen women volunteered as table hostesses, two ladies played live music, and several flower shops donated the centerpieces for the event.

I got to play a big role in planning the event along with one of my coworkers, Trina, and the help of two volunteers - Nancy and Robin. Brainstorming for the event started last December, but the real planning started in September. Everything quickly fell into place and we were just eager for the actual day! All we wanted was for these ladies to know how special they each are.

The tea started off with the famous Stewpot Fashion Show, followed by a fun game at each table, an encouraging word from our guest speaker, Wendy Fenn, and a meal. After the meal we opened up the floor to different "stations". The guests had a chance to visit different tables set up with makeup samples, perfume samples, desserts, coffee, hand scrubs, and a photo booth. I was standing at the makeup sample table, which just happened to be right by the restroom. There was a long line of ladies waiting to get in front of the mirror to put their new makeup on. We also had a bag bar full of different bags and purses. This was definitely the most popular station. The ladies could select something cute, not just practical. 

Too often the women we serve are defined as just "homeless", but there is so much more to each lady. These women have been blessed with different gifts and qualities that make them each so special. We were able to celebrate that!

The afternoon was full of singing, laughter, and smiles. The whole event was good for my heart. I left feeling grateful for so many things - the generosity of so many who made the tea possible, hope, and quality girl time!

Our guest speaker, Wendy, and one of our table hostesses, Margie

One of our tables working on the game at the beginning of the tea

 The fashion show is a hit each year thanks to Crossroads Community Services

 Another group of ladies at the tea


 Some of the arrangements provided for the tea. Arrangements in this photo were provided by Cebolla, Central Market Lovers Lane, Whole Foods Lakewood, and DIRT Design Studios

Arrangements in this photo provided by Central Market Preston Royal and McShan Florist

Other florists who contributed included: 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Stewpot Artists Annual Show

Stewpot Artists Annual Show
 Dallas Public Library Downtown
The Show is in the Bradshaw Gallery on the 4th Floor

The opening is Sunday, December 2nd from 1:30 - 4:00. You are invited to visit with the artists and view their creations. The show will be on display through December 27th.
The J. Erik Jonsson Central Library is located at 1515 Young St. Dallas, TX 75201
The Stewpot Alliance will provide refreshments
Gallery Hours:
Sunday: 1PM-5PM
Tuesday, Wednesday: 10AM-5PM
Thursday: 12PM-8PM
Friday, Saturday: 10AM-5PM

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

25th Annual Stewpot Talent Show

Each year around Halloween we celebrate the talent our clients have with our annual talent show. This year the theme was "Big D: Dallas Has Talent". And what a fitting title it was. Prizes went out for essay, poetry, performance, visual art, and costume. Elise Longpree from Dallas Morning News Charities was our emcee. The Stewpot Alliance did an excellent job coordinating judges and decorating for the event. Check out some of the pictures below!

The incredible backdrop by our art program director, Cynthia Brannum.

 Two of our caseworkers, Virginia and Trina.

 Our meal service coordinators and some volunteers opened the show with a skit.

 Max - a performance contestant and first prize costume winner!

Janae blew us away with a song she wrote for her sister.

 Gerald impressed everyone again with his guitar skills. You may recognize him from a past blog. He won our "Robert Johnson Sound Alike" contest in June.

Lues won 2nd place in the visual art contest.

Mero won first place in visual art with his Dallas skyline.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Stewpot Artist's Work Unveiled

Cornelious Brackens Jr. has won the honor of his painting entitled “When the Troops Come Marching Home to Dallas, What A Day of Celebration it Will Be” being reproduced and blown-up to 10 feet tall and 28 feet long.  It will be decorating the Catholic Church, our Lady of Guadalupe and will be up for a year for all to enjoy.  Please Join us for the unveiling if you can.  He competed against 29 other entries and will receive $2500 for his first prize entry. Details Below. 

The Trustees of The Catholic Foundation
cordially invite you to attend
The Seventh Annual Dedication of A New Gift of Public Art
Chosen larger-than-life artwork will be unveiled on The Catholic Foundation Plaza’s outdoor Art Wall
and the 2012 winning artist, Cornelious Brackens, Jr.  will be recognized.
The Catholic Foundation Plaza
Southwest corner of Flora and Crockett in the Dallas Arts District
Dallas, Texas
 Thursday, October 11, 2012
5:00 p.m.
For more information, call 972/661-9792

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Thank You

When you volunteer, you may never know the impact you have on someone. Our computer class volunteer, Bob, received this note from one of our clients yesterday.

Dear Bob, 

I truly want to thank you for helping me get my job at Demonte. You helped me on the computer upstairs. Sir, may God bless you and your family as well again. Thank you sir from the bottom of my heart.

Oh yeah, how about those cowboys :)


Remember, the role you play in serving at The Stewpot is not insignificant. You are making an impact!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Groceries For Good

Did you know that grocery shopping can benefit The Stewpot at no cost to you?

It's time to collect Tom Thumb community bucks! Spend a minimum of $50 at your local Tom Thumb between September 1 - 30, and you'll receive a Community Buck. Collect and deliver as many as you can to The Stewpot no later than Friday October 5th:
1.       Postmark by October 3rd to The Stewpot, 1835 Young Street, Dallas, TX  75201.
2.       Drop off in person at First Presbyterian Church to The Stewpot's mail box - just off of "Church Street."
3.       Give to an employee of The Stewpot.
For every Community Buck we receive, Tom Thumb donates $1 to The Stewpot.  THANK YOU!  And don’t forget to link your Tom Thumb Reward Card to #1507 to benefit The Stewpot year round!

Link your Kroger card to The Stewpot by scanning the attached*.   A percentage of your purchases will benefit The Stewpot through the rest of the program year!  Program years run from July 1 through April 30.  You must rescan the attached at the beginning of each program year for maximum benefit.  

The Kroger bar code reprinted here will remain active through April 2013 at which time the program is put on hold until July 1st of 2013Then, please wait until July 1st  of July 2013 to scan The Stewpot’s barcode to reconnect with Kroger’s Neighbor to Neighbor Program.  Thank you for your support of The Stewpot! 

Scan the bar code* each time you purchase groceries.

*For these bar codes, please email Stephanie McKee ( or Lee Hutchins (

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How 'bout them Cowboys?

You can probably guess where most people will be this Sunday at noon... in front of their televisions watching the Dallas Cowboys take on Tampa Bay. Nothing rivals football season in the fall. Especially the Cowboys. But what about those loyal fans who don't have a tv or a place to watch the game? They miss out on something they really enjoy and an opportunity to hang out with fellow fans.

The Stewpot opened its doors for the Cowboys' season opener a couple of weeks ago. Over 100 people attended. They enjoyed the first victory of the season, good food, and camaraderie. This is something we'd really like to keep going for a couple of reasons: 1) It gives the people we serve an opportunity to hang out and have some fun. 2) It provides another volunteer opportunity on the weekends.

We'll open up for game day watch parties on Sundays (only for 12PM or 3PM games). The 7PM games cause an issue with curfews and getting beds at shelters. So this is where the opportunity comes in for you! We would love to have volunteer groups come in and provide snacks, pass out drinks, pop some popcorn for everyone to enjoy, and hang out and get to know our clients.

If you have a group of friends, church group, work group, etc. interested in sponsoring and volunteering one of the games, contact Stephanie McKee ( We'd love to have you as early as the game this week! This week the Cowboys play Tampa Bay at home at 12PM. If you're a fan, this is an incredible opportunity for you!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Stewpot Program Expansion

Hunger, medical, dental and meeting other basic needs of people experiencing homelessness are at the core of The Stewpot’s “recipe for success,” but more than one-third of The Stewpot’s resources are directed to prevention and stabilization for children and youth and their families. Thanks to strong community support from people like you, your donations go further to help stabilize families. 

One of The Stewpot core competencies is innovative collaborations with partner agencies. As a “hub” of the North Texas Food Bank – and its largest distributor of groceries - we are enormously proud of the role of Crossroads Community Services (CCS) in leading the Dallas community toward a Multi-Family Food Program model, revolutionizing the way that food pantries operate in the community.   As The Stewpot transitions into its role as a "spoke" food distributor in 2012, we feel confident that we are utilizing community resources the most efficient and effective way possible.

As of August 2012, The Stewpot Children & Youth program is the 3rd largest Community Distribution Partner site. By January 2013, The Stewpot could be the largest CDP site in Dallas by simply transitioning into group distributions of food for families of the children and youth in our programs!  A planning process is in place this year to assess client needs so that we will be well prepared for the challenges ahead as we plan "wrap around" programming to address family challenges. 

Thanks to Orix Foundation, The Stewpot added two new positions - Assistant Children and Youth Program Director and Assistant Volunteer Coordinator - to help with enhance and strengthen support to families. 2012 has been the pilot year with quarterly distributions. Not only are the families receiving healthy food, but tips on healthy snacks and recipes. The first two were a huge success, and we look forward to the next food distribution on Saturday, September 22.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer Day Camp Hands On Math Program

       This summer I had the privilege of completing my Girl Scout Gold Award under the direction of Lilli Curtis and Suzanne Dwight.  For my project I created a curriculum of math games and activities for the Summer Day Camp program.  I first had this idea when I worked with the Summer Visiting Youth Program during Community Ministries Week.  Throughout that week I noticed that there were multiple reading classes, which were increasing the students’ reading skills.  However, they were still struggling with basic math, but there was no math class.  When I approached Suzanne and Lilli with my project proposal they were excited and very willing to fit it into the new math classroom Lilli created. 
The major portion of my project was creating a curriculum of hands-on math games and a way to test how the games improved the children’s math skills throughout the summer.  The curriculum included a pretest, a post-test, and six math games for each grade - first through fourth.  For six weeks I volunteered each Monday and Wednesday in the computer classroom where I lead the first through fourth grade classes in the hands-on math games.  The games focused on basic math facts, time skills, and money skills.  While playing the games, the children also learned social skills including taking turns, communicating desires, and building friendships. 
The matching games were by far the children’s favorites.  The last day of day camp I let the students vote on their favorite game to determine what game they would play.  Each grade voted for one of the three matching games.  The kids also enjoyed the time relay race.  They were always full of energy, so they loved being able to run up and down the hall.  Combining physical activity with math questions created a more enjoyable learning environment. 
       The best part of my project was the interaction with the students.  I could not have asked for a better group of students. The children were open to new ideas and, new volunteers.  I had no idea what to expect the first week I volunteered.  The children were so welcoming and had the biggest smiles on their faces.  I also appreciate all the parents and church staff who came and supported the program the last two day during the open house.  This program would not be possible without their love and support. 

By:  Allison Brockette