The CoServ Charitable Foundation crossed the $5 million mark in total grants distributed with a donation to Christian Community Action, a faith-based nonprofit ministry that has helped families in need for more than 40 years.
The North Texas-based foundation has given millions to several organizations and agencies in the area, including many located in Denton County.
Since its creation in 2004, the foundation has helped 160 organizations in 53 North Texas communities.
Some of the local agencies and organizations assisted by the foundation through the years include Argyle Police Department, Aubrey Area Library, Bartonville Police Department, Boys and Girls Club of North Central Texas, Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County, Pilot Point Fire Department, Krum Fire Department and the Denton County Sheriff’s Office.
The foundation gives several awards each year.
Between 2011 and 2012, the foundation awarded more than $1.6 million in grants. Grants can range from $1,000 to $30,000 or more.
Dennis Engelke, the foundation’s executive director, said its mission is to help organizations carry out plans they have to improve their communities.
Engelke said that a large portion of the grants go to first responders in the region because helping them is a priority for the foundation.
Most recently, the Krum Fire Department was awarded $25,000, The Colony Public Library was awarded $7,875 and the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas was awarded $11,000.
Terry Clower, a Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas board member, said the grant will help the Scouts by supporting programs geared toward leadership programs.
“Gifts directed to the Campership Fund allow girls who would otherwise be unable to attend one of our five area camps to participate,” Clower said.
Krum Fire Chief Ken Swindle said his department plans to use the grant to buy equipment that will be used to help ensure the safety of firefighters and people in need.
He said the grant puts his department “on a whole new level” that’s better prepared to serve the community.
Engelke said Denton County is home to many organizations that work to improve their communities.
“We’re proud to award grants to local organizations in the county that put the grant to good use,” he said. “We hope to continue working with the county for years to come.”
Receiving a grant can be a competitive process because CoServ evaluates several factors when looking over an organization’s request for a grant.
First, the foundation evaluates the request’s potential benefit to residents; level of community support for the program, project or organization requesting the funds; and results that are predictable and can be evaluated.
The foundation is supported largely by CoServ Electric and CoServ Gas customer contributions through Operation Roundup, a program that rounds up bills to the nearest dollar.
With an average individual contribution of $6 a year, customers have contributed millions to nonprofit organizations and first responders in the CoServ community, officials said.
For more information about the foundation and its work, including how to apply for a grant or make a tax-deductible contribution, visit http://bit.ly/1dl3w19.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.