Dear Partner in Ministry:
“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you,
I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day
until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to
completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
During this season of Thanksgiving, we wanted to pause to offer thanks to God for the many partners in the ministry with us at Cornerstone. Your sacrifice of time and resources is greatly appreciated and is being used as an investment in the lives of those living in the South Dallas/Fair Park community for which we are eternally grateful. Each day as we look around and see the changed landscape of the community, it provides encouragement to continue in the work. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU for making it possible for our vision for the community to become a reality in so many ways. During this season of Thanksgiving, our prayer is that God would continue to bless and provide for you.
The previous Kitchen was a former liquor store that had been converted back in 2005 to serve lunch on Tuesdays and Thursdays to the homeless population near the downtown Dallas. Under the leadership of the late Deacon Charles Little, the ministry continued to grow, not only in the number of individuals who were being served but the number of times a week the meals were provided. During this same time, there was also an increase in the number of volunteers desiring to build a relationship with the homeless and meet the need of providing meals to those who were hungry. All the activity caused for a cramped space where it was necessary to have several settings to accommodate everyone in the building on given days.
The new 9,600 square-foot facility opened last month and the first meal was served to about 300 mostly homeless individuals on Tuesday, October 20th. Since we receive no public funds, the on-going operation is made possible because of over 32 churches, businesses and/or organizations that provide the resources to serve over 7,500 each month.
Now that the facility is open, the vision for the Cornerstone Kitchen has expanded beyond just providing meals for the homeless community. Early 2016, we will be adding a job training programs to assist community residents who desire to enter the culinary arts industry. Plans are also underway to work with local entrepreneurs who have been unable to expand their business model because of the availability of commercial kitchen space.
One of our new partners in this venture is Equal Heart (www.equalheart.com) that has provided meals for Cornerstone’s afterschool and summer programs. Equal Heart works to end childhood hunger by increasing access to healthy food sources. They were recently awarded a grant through AmeriCorps to work with 58 individuals. Through their “Plate It Forward”, they will focus on food recovery since about 40% of foods in restaurants go to waste. An example of our partnership was realized when Equal Heart was donated bruised apples, volunteers serving at the Cornerstone Kitchen worked to turn them into apple pies for the homeless community.
VOLUNTEERS are still needed:
Meals at the Kitchen are served the following times:
Sundays 6:00 AM & 2:00 PM
Tuesdays 12:30 PM & 7:30 PM
Wednesdays 6:00 PM
Thursdays 12:30 PM
Fridays 7:30 PM
Saturdays 11:00 AM & 4:00 PM
DONATIONS are still being accepted:
Some of the frequently used and most requested items are:
# 10 cans of Corn, Green Beans, Pork & Beans,
Pasta, Spaghetti Sauce, Ground Beef (we now have sufficient freezer space)
Plastic Forks and Spoons
Styrofoam Plates and Cups
Dishwashing liquid, Bleach, Disposal Gloves, Trash Bags, Scrubbing Pads.
Butter, Seasoning Salt, Gravy Mix Packets, Salt & Pepper Packets
FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS are still needed to:
Purchase 350 folding chairs (the tables have been purchased)
Purchase sound system and other media equipment
Sponsor a meal for the homeless
CORNERSTONE AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
In an effort to assist neighborhood children exceed in school, the Cornerstone After School Program was founded. This year nearly 75 children have enrolled with an average attendance of 45-50 every Monday-Thursday from 3:30 until 6:00 PM. The goals of increasing students grades as well as providing mentors for the students is being realized.
Taylor Farms graciously provides healthy snacks and Equal Heart provides a nutritious meal each day. We are very thankful to CitySquare AmeriCorps, South Dallas Trust Fund, Park Cities Baptist Church, Equal Heart and Lake Pointe Church - Missions and so many others who give of their time to invest in the lives of children in the community through the Cornerstone Afterschool Program.
VOLUNTEERS ARE STILL NEEDED! If you have time available and are willing to help a child with homework, tutoring, reading, monitor the recreation activities in the play area or basketball court, or serve the meal, WE CAN USE YOU!
SOUTH BLVD HERITAGE HOMES PROJECT
Built in 1904, three of the historic homes that are located just behind the main church facility had fallen into disrepair and became a community nuisance. The previous owners divided the 4,000 square foot homes into 8 efficiency apartments and from the locations were illegal activities such as prostitution, drug dealing and usage. Cornerstone was able to purchase the homes this past summer in hopes of renovating them to serve our community by investing in the lives of the next generation and continuing our mission to see our community renewed and restored.
Instead of demolishing these homes, through the South Blvd. Heritage Homes Project, Cornerstone is planning to raise $450,000 to provide long-term transitional housing for older teenagers/young adults and teen mothers who are completing their high school education entering the workforce and continuing into higher learning either through community college or trade school. These homeless will provide safe, stable and resourceful home for teenagers who would otherwise be homeless.
By raising funds for the renovation along with assistance from mission teams, we want to ensure that the properties are renovated with care, precision, effectiveness, and expertise.
One of our partners in this mission is Viola’s House (www.violashouse.com). Their mission is providing teens with housing and hope throughout their pregnancy and postpartum in an accepting nonjudgmental environment. This is done by providing positive change in the lives of the residents by changing the thinking and outlook of unwed parents through practical education and training towards self-sufficiency, parenthood and hope for the future. Currently, the program is housed in one of 700 square foot apartments at the Cornerstone Care Center. Volunteers work with these young expectant mothers to help them in the following areas: cooking lessons, financial literacy, coaching, career coaching, driving lessons, journaling, meal preparation, and so much more. Once the new facilities are completed, one of the homes will be designated to assisted these unwed teenage pregnancy mothers who would otherwise be homeless.
These new properties will expand Cornerstone’s current transitional and affordable housing units. Along with the Trinity Apartments/Philemon’s House for formerly incarcerated men, Martha’s House for formerly incarcerated women, and the Colonial Mansion for low and affordable living, we believe that these homes once renovated will benefit the community in several ways:
- Green Home Building – We are caring for our environment by recycling these historic home.
- Vacant homes will be restored and beautified, further transforming the community and inspiring stewardship.
- Assisting teen mothers with healthy birth plans, parental education and training, and the ability to continue their education in a safe environment.
- Students will actively be a part of the project by physically contributing to the building of the home and contributing sweat equity to ensure responsibility and a sense of ownership for their living arrangements.
- Assisting students with tools to break out of the poverty cycle.
- Students will have a support, stable, and caring environment those aides in their ability to thrive as they enter into adulthood.
Thanksgiving Day – “Coats and Blankets” of Love
Thursday, November 26th – 10:30 AM until 11:30 AM
Cornerstone will provide a meal for the homeless on Thanksgiving Day. As a part of the activities that day, we are in the process of collecting gently used coats, blankets, backpacks, caps, and gloves to provide for those in need during the luncheon at the Cornerstone Clothing Closet/Shower Complex. Items may be dropped off Monday – Friday from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM or Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 AM until 1:00 PM at Cornerstone Baptist Church – 1819 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dallas, TX 75215. All items are tax deductible.
Christmas Store w/Valley Ranch Baptist Church
Friday, December 11th & Saturday, December 12th
In partnership with Valley Ranch Baptist Church, Cornerstone will provide gifts and toys for over 400 families and 1200 children from the South Dallas community. For more information or volunteer opportunities, please visit www.christmasstore.org.
Christmas Eve BBQ Lunch
Thursday, December 24th – 11:00 AM until 12:00 Noon
Cornerstone will provide BBQ for the luncheon, Kids Corner, and many other activities during the Christmas Eve luncheon. We are collecting gift bags for our guest. Some items you might consider donating are: $5.00 McDonald’s gift cards, notes of encouragement, soap, deodorant, Gospel tracts or Scripture portion, crackers, large Ziploc bags, tissues, small first-aid kits, razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, and/or hand sanitizers.
Christmas Day Celebration
Friday, December 25th
Lunch 11:00 AM until 12:00 Noon
Cornerstone will have a Christmas Day meal. Volunteers may assist in preparing and serving the meal.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
Monday, January 18th
10:00 AM until 12:00 Noon
Each year as the Martin Luther Day Parade pass in front of Cornerstone Baptist Church, there is a hot chili luncheon that is provided for parade goers on the parking lot of the church. Volunteers are needed to assist in serving the meal.
If you desire to make a tax deductible contribution to Cornerstone’s Outreach, you may send your donation to:
CORNERSTONE BAPTIST CHURCH
POST OFFICE BOX 152551
DALLAS, TEXAS 75315-2551
You may also donate by logging on to www.cornerstonedallas.org.
Chris L. Simmons, Pastor