The Foundation has supported various programs that helped children at risk achieve success in their lives by protecting, educating, and mentoring them. Boone Pickens believed the work being done by these organizations helped lay the critical groundwork for the leaders of tomorrow.
Big Brothers, Big Sisters Foundation
The Foundation is a longtime supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, both in its ongoing programs and the establishment of the T. Boone Pickens Mentoring Hall of Fame at its Irving headquarters in 2009. Its $2 million gift helped establish the Mentoring Hall of Fame, which provides a valuable resource. The facility’s museum and resource center highlights how mentoring has helped change people’s lives. In 2013, Pickens served as Honorary Chair and helped recruit Grammy-nominated and All-Star Celebrity Apprentice winner Trace Adkins to perform during the organization’s Big Black Tie Ball, the proceeds of which directly benefit the more than 5,000 children currently waiting for a Big Brother or a Big Sister. The organization reports that each $500 raised removes one child from its waiting list and matches them to a mentor who will enrich, empower, and encourage them to reach their highest potential. The event raised more than $435,000 to help the children of our community change their lives for the better, forever. Big Brothers Big Sisters, a volunteer organization that provides children support, guidance, friendship, and fun by matching them to adult role models. The agency’s mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.
Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation
The Fort Worth-based Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation honored Pickens with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010, and in 2011 named one of its scholarships in his honor. Bragan, a former major league baseball player, manager, and coach, established the youth foundation in 1991 as an effort to encourage children to stay in school and pursue their educational and career dreams. The fund from which Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation scholarships are annually paid has been established over the years by contributions from corporations, foundations, individuals, and Bragan’s family and friends. Each of these contributions has been made in the form of a named “perpetual scholarship,” which is annually awarded to a specially selected scholarship winner in perpetuity. The foundation recognizes outstanding eighth grade students each year by awarding the promise of a college scholarship to selected students who have competed in its annual scholarship competition. By focusing attention on the availability of aid for merit at the middle school level, BBYF hopes to inspire students to plan for higher education, dedicate themselves to work hard to reach that goal, and push them to seek out additional aid at an earlier stage in their lives.
Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center
Before the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center opened its doors in 1991, child abuse victims and their families typically were bounced from one agency to another — from the child welfare office, to the police department, to the hospital, to the prosecutor’s office — repeatedly telling their stories of abuse. The criminal justice system, a system primarily designed for adult perpetrators, not child victims, lacked coordination between police, child protective services, prosecution, mental health and medical agencies. Duplication of efforts, along with multiple unnecessary and traumatic interviews for the children, had become the norm in child abuse cases. The Foundation contributed to the DCAC capital campaign that raised $11 million for a 56,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility, which it moved into in January 2013. DCAC , whose mission is to improve the lives of abused children in Dallas County and to provide national leadership on child abuse issues, coordinates the investigation and prosecution of the most severe cases of child abuse in its community. DCAC provides a warm, child-friendly environment to help children who are referred by law enforcement or CPS.
The Ebby House
Every year, about 1,500 young Texans age out of the foster care system. Before they reach 21, many of them face severe outcomes due to lack of family and adult connections. Ebby House is a Dallas-area, solution-based residential program for young women transitioning from foster care to independent living. Juliette Fowler Communities, a 120-year-old not-for-profit organization, opened The Ebby House, named in honor of Dallas real estate legend Ebby Halliday Acers, in the fall of 2014. A newly renovated building on Abrams Road in East Dallas serves up to 16 women at a time, ages 18 to 24, for a period of 12 to 24 months. The Foundation supported the launch of the program both because it fits the Foundation’s mentoring focus and it honors longtime friend and local legend Ebby Halliday Acers, who died in 2015 at 104. The Ebby House offers these challenged young women a home to live in and mentors to nurture them while they learn to become self-reliant, entrepreneurial-volunteers and mentors themselves. Residents are mentored in life skills (including hygiene, personal fitness, health, etc.), communication and computer skills, career guidance, job training, opportunities for education beyond a high school diploma or GED, and volunteerism.
The Family Place
The Family Place is the Dallas area’s leading family violence service organization, providing proven programs that address emotional, physical and childhood sexual abuse. It provides free, comprehensive services that prevent violence and fully support women, children and men on their path from fear to safety. Since 1978, The Family Place has operated under the belief that intervention, emergency shelter, and crisis counseling for all victims—women, children and men—will save lives, and that transitional housing and case management will transform lives for the better. The Foundation’s support helped The Family Place expand its youth education curriculum into area schools. The Family Place is the largest family violence service provider in North Texas, providing 178 shelter beds each night, including the state’s only shelter for men and children. It served 10,049 clients with 130,996 hours of service in 2017 alone. During the past 40 years, the organization has counseled more than 215,000 clients, provided lifesaving shelter to more than 24,000 women, men and children, and answered more than 600,000 calls for help. It has helped more than 18,800 batterers learn how to change their abusive behavior and reach about 6,000 students each year through our youth education programs. All of its programs are provided in Spanish and in English. All services are provided free of charge, with exception of Supervised Child Visitation and the Battering Intervention and Prevention Program (BIPP).
Happy Hill Farm & Academy
Granbury, Texas-based Happy Hill Farm Academy is a fully-accredited private boarding and day school that seeks to prepare students for successful futures by equipping them with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in college or other secondary training programs. Local pastor Ed Shipman and his wife, Gloria, opened the Academy in 1975, with 20 students in a mobile home. For more than 30 years, the facilities have expanded and the agency has reached out to help some of the area’s poorest and most vulnerable children, most from inner-city areas of Dallas and Fort Worth. In that time, Happy Hill Farm has become a safe haven and school for hundreds of boys and girls, who, for whatever reason, were not able to live in traditional family and school settings. The Foundation donated $2.5 million to Happy Hill Farm for the construction of the T. Boone Pickens Training Center and Guest Lodge on the 500-acre working farm and campus southwest of Fort Worth. The Training Center provides the Academy a place where others, who have an interest in beginning a similar boarding school, can come and live with the Happy Hill Farm Academy staff for extended periods of time to learn how the program works. An accredited, boarding, day, and international school for kindergarten through 12th grade, Happy Hill Farm Academy combines traditional classes with an active 4-H program, music, art, drama, sports, and guidance counseling to offer all its students a college-preparatory education.
Interfaith Housing Coalition
The Interfaith Housing Coalition provides transitional housing, programs, and services to help Dallas-area families in poverty and homelessness. The Interfaith Housing Coalition uses a holistic approach in order to help the families it serves make enduring, positive changes in their lives. Interfaith Housing has 49 private apartments in which families can live. Beyond meeting basic needs for housing, food, and clothing, the organization’s services include a job search and employment program, budget and financial literacy training, parenting classes and counseling. The Foundation awarded the Interfaith Housing Coalition $300,000 to help fund a homeless prevention initiative that offers intervention to catch families upstream before they are uprooted, have lost all assets and belongings, and have become hopeless. By partnering churches with fragile families within their own areas of reach, the homeless prevention program is designed to keep families in their homes versus them traversing the tragic and costly spiral into homelessness. More importantly, children are saved from the always traumatic and sometimes dangerous move to a shelter or living on the streets. The organization’s programs promote family stability, teach skills to break the poverty cycle, and build a strong sense of community in the process. Interfaith Housing Coalition was founded in 1985 to provide transitional housing and support services to homeless families.
Jonathan’s Place is a Dallas-based emergency shelter that since 1994 has taken care of the youngest members of its community who have suffered the trauma of abuse and neglect. Jonathan’s Place serves these children through two programs — a “home-style” emergency shelter for abused, abandoned and neglected children and a Foster & Adoptive Family Program. Jonathan’s Place is the only organization in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that provides a continuum of care from emergency placement in a shelter to placement with a foster family to, ultimately, adoption. The Foundation and T. Boone Pickens have contributed more than $2.26 million Jonathan’s Place and its children since December 2005. In 2007, it awarded the organization a $1.5 million grant to help with the construction of Phase II of Jonathan’s Place’s three-phase expansion project. The T. Boone Pickens Children’s Services Center houses a dedicated medical room, a dedicated therapy room, a KidMart children’s storefront, a family visitation room, a classroom, a conference room, case management services and administrative offices. It is also the main entrance to the campus, where visitors must check-in before gaining access to any other part of the campus. In December 2005, Pickens donated $750,000 to Jonathan’s Place to support the operation of one of its children’s cottages. The T. Boone Pickens Cottage is equipped with 16 beds in eight bedrooms, a kitchen, a living area, a medical room and a staff office. Just outside its back door is a covered play area for the children. The Jonathan’s Place Emergency Shelter resides on a six-acre campus in Northeast Dallas County and provides 24-hour residential care and specialized services to children removed from their homes by Child Protective Services.
Jubilee Park and Community Center
Jubilee Park and Community Center is a volunteer-driven organization whose mission is to be a “catalyst for community renewal and enrichment” in an inner-city Dallas neighborhood. In order to break the cycle of poverty, Jubilee Park & Community Center (Jubilee) takes a comprehensive approach to community revitalization focusing on five key areas: education, public health, public safety, housing and economic development. The Jubilee Park neighborhood encompasses a 62-block area bounded by I-30, Fair Park and East Grand Avenue. The majority of families are working poor, with 40 percent living below the federal poverty level. The area has an average household income of $14,825 and 98 percent of children in the neighborhood elementary school qualify for the free breakfast/lunch program. Since receiving a $6 million donation from the Foundation 2008, Jubilee has made great strides in improving lives and strengthening community for residents of southeast Dallas. Jubilee used Foundation funds to build the Walt Humann – T. Boone Pickens Community Center. Children in an after-school program receive homework assistance, a healthy meal, and academic enrichment activities Monday through Thursday. The community center has a full commercial kitchen, which allows Jubilee to provide healthy meals. The additional capacity also has allowed Jubilee to maintain two dedicated computer labs. The adult computer literacy classes in particular have benefitted from having more space and better facilities for clients to learn the necessary computer skills to create resumes, fill out online job applications, and assist their children with their homework. The Resource Center, which was also built with funds from the Foundation grant, acts as a storefront for Dallas Police Department, houses a community prosecutor from the District Attorney’s office, and a code enforcement officer. A Community Outreach Representative for the Dallas Police Department is also onsite. As a result of these efforts and a dramatically improved relationship between residents and law enforcement, Jubilee Park has seen a 64 percent drop in the crime rate.
Military Mentors Program of Big Brothers Big Sisters
The T. Boone Pickens Military Mentors Program of Big Brothers Big Sisters provides military children who have a parent deployed with one-to-one relationships with an adult volunteer. Life in the military is unique for families with a soldier deployed and for soldiers living on base away from friends and family. The stresses of military life and of absent parents take their toll on the children involved. That’s why Big Brothers Big Sisters provides a mentoring program specifically for soldiers and families experiencing the military lifestyle. A five-year, $3 million Foundation grant provided mentoring services to children of deployed military personnel. High levels of military deployment and repeat tours of duty mean that children in military families have often been caught up in very difficult circumstances. The mentoring program joins children of parents in the military with Bigs who are in the military, retired, or civilian. Program volunteers typically meet with children once a week at their schools or a neighborhood community center, and provide quality one-to-one friendship time that is so important to a child whose parent is deployed, will deploy, or is just returning from a deployment. The Bigs and Littles read together, play sports or computer games, or simply talk about life and personal issues — just as friends do.
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The Foundation has long supported The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the nation’s primary resource on the issues of missing and sexual exploited children. The Center provides information and resources to law enforcement, parents, and children — including child victims as well as other professionals. The mission of the more than 30-year-old nonprofit organization is to help prevent child abduction and sexual exploitation; help find missing children; and assist victims of child abduction and sexual exploitation, their families, and the professionals who serve them. The Alexandria, Virginia-based NCMEC has regional offices in California, Florida, New York, and Texas. Support from the Pickens Foundation made the Austin-based Texas Regional Office possible. The office provides training to law enforcement and prosecutors with an emphasis on Internet-related crimes against children. Case managers are also located in Austin who assist state and local law enforcement in the region with difficult missing children cases. The office also works with local government and other organizations in prevention and education programs to educate the community about child safety. NCMEC and the Texas Regional Office focus on two specific issues related to child safety: missing children and child sexual exploitation.
New Horizons Ranch & Center Inc.
Goldthwaite, Texas-based New Horizons Ranch & Center Inc.’s mission is “to provide an environment where children, families and staff are able to heal and grow through caring relationships and unconditional love and acceptance.” A $1.83 million gift from the Pickens Foundation, presented in December 2007, allowed New Horizons to completely renovate its Residential Treatment Center, commonly known as the “Ranch,” in Goldthwaite. The 150-acre center includes three homes, a chapel, school facility, kitchen and dining rooms, among other amenities. It provides individualized, intensive residential treatment programs for boys and girls ranging in ages seven to 17, suffering from emotional, behavioral, and adjustment problems. The Ranch, home to 56 children from all areas of Texas, has an accredited charter school, a horse barn and riding arena, a swimming pool, playgrounds, campus lakes, football and baseball fields, a tennis court, and an indoor gym. It employs a 24-hour integrated treatment team approach that combines therapy and services carefully designed to meet the individual resident’s treatment needs. Treatment is directed by a professional team consisting of a psychiatrist, a psychologist, licensed clinical therapists, social workers, state accredited special education teachers, and trained direct care staff who employ a social model utilizing group interaction to teach accountability; social skills; and ownership of one’s behavior, emotions, and life choices.
Best Buddies International
The Foundation has supported the programs of Best Buddies International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The IDD community that Best Buddies serves includes, but is not limited to, people with Down syndrome, autism, Fragile X, Williams syndrome, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury and other undiagnosed disabilities.
Capital For Kids
The Foundation has supported the programs of Capital For Kids, a network of volunteer professionals from within the investment management business dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children in need. Capital for Kids supports organizations that educate, protect and encourage the development of children in the North Texas area, and we also raise awareness of children in need of support.
Captain Hope’s Kids. (Hope Supply Co.)
The Foundation has supported the programs of Hope Supply Co., formerly known as Captain Hope’s Kids. Founded in 1989 as The Hope Foundation for the Homeless, it serves as a clearinghouse of donated resources. During the early 1990’s, mothers with babies and children became the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. Because of this alarming trend, the Board of Directors voted to focus the mission on meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in our community, homeless and at-risk children. In 2015, the organization renamed itself as Hope Supply Co. to better reflect its commitment to providing hope for children.
Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support
The Foundation has supported Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support, whose mission is to provide safety, shelter and support for women who have experienced domestic violence, and to raise awareness regarding its cause, prevalence and impact. Each year, the shelter sees 1,200 women and children at its Emergency Shelter, Long-Term Housing Facility and Non-Residential Counseling office. The women who seek help are in a fight for their life.
Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services
The Foundation has supported Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services, which provides care and support to children and families in need. Its residential programs provide a variety of loving homes to give children and parents the security they deserve and the space they need to tap those inner strengths. Evidence-based research shows that meeting families in their homes is an effective method of ending cycles of abuse and neglect. Rather than waiting until a child is without a safe, loving home, our community-based programs deliver expert care and services that keep families together.
Little Hill Foundation
The Foundation has supported the New Jersey-based Little Hill Foundation for the Rehabilitation of Alcoholics, whose mission is helping people attain and maintain a life of sobriety. It offers a no-nonsense program with diverse counseling modalities. The integrated services, excellent staff and emphasis on the whole person — and the whole family — contribute to our successful track record with chronic relapsing individuals.
The Foundation has supported Overcoming Obstacles, a nonprofit education publisher whose mission is to ensure that all young people learn the communication, decision making, and goal-setting skills they need to be successful in life. It offers a research-based life skills curriculum for middle and high schools. Through its lessons, children in all 50 states and more than 100 countries are helping build a new generation of people that makes informed, thoughtful decisions.
The Foundation has support DeSoto, Texas-based Project HAND UP, which takes a culturally relevant, non-threatening, and entertaining approach to educating large groups of people with information about HIV and AIDS. Its programs reduce stigma, promote gender equality, teach sexual health, and encourage immediate action, supporting the international goal of “zero new infections” by bringing life-saving information to East African people in unforgettable ways.
The Foundation has long supported the Salvation Army, which assists the needs of bout 25 million Americans annually and serves in 130 countries across the globe. Salvation Army Emergency Services attend an emergency at least once every day of the year, responding to people in times of emergency and disaster, providing assistance such as refreshments and meals, clothing, financial aid, accommodation, emergency shelters, counseling and responsible referral.
Special Care Inc.
The Foundation has supported the Oklahoma City-based Special Care Inc., which serves children, with and without special needs, through year-round, high-quality early childhood education, specialized care and on-site therapeutic services. On-site occupational, physical, speech and behavioral therapy gives families a “one-stop” opportunity to meet the needs of their child or children. Therapists, teachers, children, and parents work together to create activities, environments, and communication habits that best suit each child’s development.
White Fields Foundation
The Foundation has supported the Piedmont, Oklahoma-based White Fields Foundation, whose mission is to give hope to boys who have been abused or neglected, empowering them to be productive citizens. Many of these boys have experienced multiple failed placements and have no place left to go. These boys are without hope, hurting, and in pain. White Fields offers structure and stability, and surrounds them with love and compassion. Most importantly, it provides them with a place to belong.