A foundation that helps people and families going through difficult stretches received a grant that will allow it to serve more North Texans moving forward.
The Chris Howell Foundation, formed to provide HIV/AIDS education in Dallas County, has expanded its mission to include health, wellness and financial education. During the COVID-19 pandemic families from all over Dallas-Fort Worth have turned to the organization for help.
The Pratt family says 2020 hit them hard.
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“We had our credit cards to rely on, we had our 401(k) and savings. But because of COVID and all of that and medical bills and everything we had to make choice: 'Do I buy medicine or do I pay a bill?'” Teri Pratt said.
When they discovered the Chris Howell Foundation, and the lines of families it served in Dallas and Fort Worth, Jeff Pratt, for the first time in his life, got in line too.
Dominique Bryant-Howell is president of the Chris Howell Foundation, which provides programs and services to families in need. She said the demand has been great this year.
“The lines were just picking up and picking up because the families, as they were decreasing in the hours they were working and the money that they had coming in,” Bryant-Howell said. “The last six months of 2020 we’ve served over 28,000 families.”
It’s why news of a $100,000 grant from Albertsons and Tom Thumb’s Nourishing Neighbors Community Relief initiative came at just the right time. So they can keep doing things like this.
On Christmas Eve, the Chris Howell Foundation surprised the Pratt family with additional food and gifts.
“We’ve had some hard times this year and Chris Howell came through just at the right time, provided what we had need of,” Jeff Pratt said.
Bryant-Howell said the grant set up the foundation to continue o help families into the new year.
“The food insecurity didn’t start with the pandemic, it just increased with the pandemic because people are coming from the north, south, east and west,” she said.
For the Pratts, it wasn’t the Christmas they expected, but ultimately it’s one they’re thankful for.
“I just can’t believe how much we’ve been blessed,” Jeff Pratt said. “It is awesome.”
For more information about the Chris Howell Foundation, click here.