Story by Kacie Frederick. Photos by Jan Osborn.
Dallas Doing Good has the privilege of partnering with Communities Foundation of Texas’ (CFT) North Texas Giving Day. Since 2009, NTx Giving Day has mobilized thousands of nonprofits that help the greater Texas community. The event has become the largest community giving day in the nation, which has been bolstered by the amazing donors. This year’s NTx Giving Day will be held on September 22, 2022. As we look forward to this event, Dallas Doing Good will highlight five dedicated donors who have contributed to NTx Giving Day over the years.
Matt and Erin Baltensperger, both Arlington Classics Academy (ACA) employees and parents, are part of the 3% of ACA donors that have donated all nine years that ACA has been a part of NTx Giving Day. ACA is a charter school based in Arlington that houses three different campuses, a diverse student body, and active parents. Since 1999, ACA has served Arlington by innovating public education through niche resources and a harmonious community.
ACA believes in the three-legged stool metaphor of teachers, students, and parents. Each component curates ACA’s foundation, helping to distinguish the school in its academic achievement and rigor. By providing students the resources to find balance in homework and play, the ACA promotes parents as learning partners for their kids. Sitting down and engaging with their children about school assignments offers educational bonds between parents and kids.
The Baltenspergers are committed members of the ACA community. Mrs. Erin Baltensperger has been the Speech Learning Pathologist (SLP) for ACA since 2007. Inspired by his wife’s fulfillment and passion for helping ACA students, Matt Baltensperger decided to pursue teaching after a successful career in the business industry. Matt Baltensperger is now a classical logic and business teacher at the academy. The Baltenspergers also sent both of their children to ACA.
“I love the diversity of ACA,” said Mr. Baltensperger. “It made me want to send my daughter there. At our local public school, a lot of the kids looked like her–same race and ethnicity, generally. But at ACA, 7 or 8 different counties across North Texas are represented. Everyone has a seat at the table: different races, ethnicities, religions, and politics. I wanted my daughter to collaborate with people she would meet in North Texas because it is a diverse place, and ACA is a safe place where everyone comes together to learn.”
ACA joined NTx Giving Day in 2013. As a charter school, the ACA receives approximately 20% less government funding than public schools. By collaborating with NTx Giving Day, ACA can fund school necessities such as updating buildings, purchasing new technology, and offering field trips. Through working at ACA, the Baltenspergers see the transparent gifts that go directly back into the school from NTx Giving Day.
“ACA is a big part of our family, so it’s an easy decision to give back to the community every year. It’s a no brainer,” said Mrs. Baltensperger. “The nice thing about giving back to the ACA is you see the money used well and what they say it’s for. If they say they’re using the money to get new seating in the cafeteria, then we’re getting new seating in the cafeteria. It’s a different sense of giving. Because it’s local, you actually get to see the fruits of your gifts. It’s indispensable.”
To the Baltenspergers, NTx Giving Day is about transparency. It is the opportunity to improve one’s community at a greater level because one is able to see the funds used. Because NTx Giving Day is local, it provides more meaning than just writing a check, especially when the community comes together to show their support of the day.
“I love NTx Giving Day because there is just something about it being a day to give back to your community,” said Mr. Baltensperger. “Because I think when I watch the news, it’s just all so negative. And I would think to myself, ‘How many good people are out there?’ Then all of a sudden, you’re surrounded by people who want to make their community a better place on NTx Giving Day. And that, to me, is the most positive experience you can have.”
As both of the Baltenspergers grew up in the Arlington area, NTx Giving Day means more to them as they see not only the community in which they are raising their kids grow to be a better place but where their childhoods unfolded. Over the years, the Baltenspergers have supported Arlington-based charities but recently have dedicated their efforts to prioritizing ACA and NTx Giving Day.
“When we were younger, we used to give to international organizations. But now, as we’ve gotten older, we’ve engaged with local giving through our time or our efforts,” said Mrs. Baltensperger. “I have always felt giving back was important. To me, it’s just a part of being human. It’s really easy to give when you have it.”
North Texas Giving Day is an 18-hour online giving event designed by the Communities Foundation of Texas. North Texas Giving Day was inspired to empower every person to give back to their community by supporting local nonprofits. To donate to a local nonprofit that fuels your passion, please visit: https://www.northtexasgivingday.org/search?orgScope=on.