Holiday good works abound in D-FW, from food donations to building bikes

This article, written by Holly Haber, originally appeared in the Dallas Morning News on January 5, 2018.

The holidays are a time of good works, and some of them landed as missives in my inbox. Here's a small sample of them.

H-E-B donated 2.9 million servings of oatmeal to 17 Texas food banks through its Food Bank Assistance Program. Locally, the North Texas Food Bank and Tarrant Area Food Bank each received 172,800 portions of H-E-B Select Ingredients Quick Oats.

"One in six Texans struggle to avoid hunger, including one in four Texas children," said H-E-B senior public affairs manager Danny Flores. "As the largest food retailer in the state, it is our mission to give back to communities in need and make every effort to ensure families don't go hungry this holiday season."

Philanthropist and ResidentCheck co-founder Jorge Baldor posted a $250,000 matching grant to After8toEducate to provide comprehensive services to homeless students enrolled in Dallas Independent School District and other homeless youth.

The first of its kind in the nation, the facility is slated to open this fall to shelter school students plus serve as a drop-in center for meals and showers for youth aged 14 to 21 and offer tutoring, job training and emotional support services.

To support the match campaign, visit after8toeducate.com.

Equest linked with Snowball Express to provide a day of fun for 100 Gold Star children who have lost an active-duty military parent since 9/11.

The kids got to go on a trail ride, which for some was their first experience on horseback. Equest also offered them a nature walk, face painting, a wildlife talk by the Creature Teacher and a petting zoo.

The Dallas Police Department, including members of its mounted and K-9 units, the Patriot Guard Riders and dozens of volunteers helped out along the way.

Grapevine-based Snowball Express, with support from American Airlines,brings Gold Star children from around the world to Dallas-Fort Worth every year for four days of events and fellowship.

Wells Fargo & Co.'s Holiday Food Bank program collected food and money at all of its branches to fight hunger from Nov. 29 through Dec. 30.

The final tally isn't in yet, but the national initiative gathered 45,000 pounds through Dec. 19, according to a spokeswoman. Goods received in Dallas-Fort Worth were earmarked for the North Texas Food Bank and Tarrant Area Food Bank.

In addition, Wells Fargo gave $5 million to United Way to combat hunger during the holidays and beyond.

North Texas Honda Dealers hosted a holiday dinner and gifts for more than 100 clients of Family Gateway. The organization also enabled 25 children from Youth World Dallas Learning Center in South Dallas to build their own bikes at an arts-and-crafts pizza party.

Follow our coverage of the North Texas philanthropic community.

CJ Bankhead