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.
Leah and Aaron Loose of Fort Worth, Texas, choose to give to NTxGD through the nonprofit, Unbound. Unbound is a service-oriented organization that exists to support survivors and resource the North Texas community to fight human trafficking. Texas is the second leading state in human trafficking statistics; Unbound combats these numbers by serving 236 survivors and hosting 416 drop-in center visits in 2021.
“I introduced Aaron to Unbound in 2020,” said Mrs. Loose. “I was in a deep virtual rabbit hole, and human trafficking kept coming up. But, it seemed I couldn’t pare it down. I wanted to find something local, something I could see where my money was going to–where there was an end. That’s when I found Unbound.”
Unbound is the first of its kind in the Fort Worth area. The organization provides 24/7 crisis response and ongoing case support for survivors of human trafficking, working with law enforcement and other trauma-responsive providers. Unbound also offers its very own Underground drop-in center for youth, equipped with shower facilities, trauma counseling, warm meals, and 24/7 security.
“It gives off a safe, grandma’s basement atmosphere,” said Mr. Loose, describing Unbound’s Underground drop-in center. “The survivors can stay there for 24 hours. They offer a kitchen, a living room, clothes to pick from, and an emotional support animal. The law enforcement officers will even interview the victims there so that they feel comfortable and safe. This is so incredible; Dallas doesn’t even have something like this.”
In 2020, Mr. and Mrs. Loose rallied their friends to give whatever they could to NTxGD, even if they thought it would be insignificant. Mrs. Loose used famous sprinkles cakes from her old bakery’s, Leah’s Sweet Treats, as an incentive to enable her neighbors to give to Unbound. By donating $5, these individuals were entered into a raffle to win her sweet treat.
Mr. Loose even got his bank, Worthington National Bank, involved in Unbound’s cause. He and his team recently presented Unbound as a worthy nonprofit at a Texas Bankers Association Leadership Program. Due to him and his team’s efforts, Mr. Loose raised over $6,000 for Unbound in Amazon wish list items, clothes, and hand-written checks.
Collectively, Mr. and Mrs. Loose have raised over $10,000 worth of merchandise for Unbound, even during a pandemic. By prompting their friends to donate anything they could to this noble cause, NTxGD received an extra 80 donors for Unbound. Because of this many individual donors, CFT matched their efforts, awarding Unbound a $2,000 bonus.
“It was all through social media,” said Mrs. Loose on how she rallied her friends to give. “I wanted people to understand human trafficking is more than getting randomly kidnapped. Especially because we are the target audience, most of my friends and I have kids. And, so I wanted them to give whatever they could. I would post online: ‘I know you have enough money to buy Starbucks today. Why not give to this great opportunity that will better our community?”
Both Mr. and Mrs. Loose believe in the importance of giving locally–right back into one’s own community. That’s why they choose to give to NTxGD. One of NTxGD’s highlights is that they have countless nonprofits for individuals to find a unique organization that speaks to them.
“I think there’s just so much that goes on in the world,” said Mr. Loose. “But it’s nice to know you can make an impact locally. You can really see what your time and money are going into when you give that way. You can actually go to the nonprofit, meet the people, and truly see the difference you’re making.”
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.