For the last 15 years Sharing Life Outreach has been a support system for those in need within the southeastern Dallas community. The faith-based group provides support to those in crises and in poverty through food and clothes pantries and other support programs.
The nonprofit has seen a lot of growth in the last 15 years and has exceeded the expectations of founder and current executive director Teresa Jackson.
“It’s not even recognizable from where it began,” Jackson said. “We still have the same person as what was started 15 years ago – to help people in crisis – but what began 15 years ago as a small clothes closet is now a 21,000-square-foot facility. We are very large now, and no one is more surprised than me. I didn’t know what was possible in the beginning; I just wanted to help people.”
The most significant growth experienced by the nonprofit occurred in the last four years, Jackson said.
“The current location gives us visibility to donors. The clients are going to find us anywhere we are, but it makes it easier for the donors to get to us,” Jackson said.
Jackson said before she founded Sharing Life, she would take canned goods in her car and give them to people in need. She said from those humble beginnings she had the idea that it would be nice to have a place for people in need to get help. This is how Sharing Life became to exist.
“I never would have dreamed we would become a model for other communities to follow. I still cannot believe all of the support we now have,” Jackson said.
It is that support that the Sharing Life board of directors decided to recognize in honor of their 15 years. The board selected the 15 people that have been most supportive of Sharing Life over the years and decided to dedicate their annual fundraising gala Aug. 28 at the Mesquite Convention Center to those people. The gala’s theme is “15 years of Faithful Friends.”
“We thought about what we’d like to do to commemorate 15 years and decided on 15 people. It was not an easy decision because so many have supported us. The 15 we chose we believe have had the biggest impact,” Jackson said. “Each week we will recognize a different one on our website and Facebook page in the 15 weeks leading up to the gala. At the gala we will present each one with an honorary gift to thank them for their support.”
The 15 people being honored are Wende Burton, Kim Campbell, Dorothy Compton, Julia Harryman, Dr. Linda Henrie, Randy Huett, Martin- ‐Seward Family, Robert Moheler, John Monaco, DMN Charities, Lori Nesler, Jan Pruitt, Rochelle Smith, Steve Stroope and Stephanie Wilcox.