Published June 16, 2021 at 2:07pm.
Story by Parker Johnson. Photos by Jan Osborn.
For over thirty years, Bryan’s House has served as a pillar of the community in Dallas and beyond. Medically fragile children with special needs, along with their families, often lack the support they need to thrive. In the last several years, Denise Collier, a former Dallas ISD (DISD) administrator, has researched the attention and care special needs kids receive in the public school system. In this study, Denise found that DISD cannot meet the needs of many of the special needs kids attending public school. Bryan’s House provides a combination of onsite and offsite programs designed to break down the barriers that often stop special needs kids and their families from getting support.
Lisa Petty, the Chair of the Jubilee Society at Bryan’s House, has spent much of her life giving back to her neighbors in any way she could. Raised in Garland, Lisa always sought out any opportunity she could to help her local community. “My desire to help people was definitely there from a young age,” Lisa says. “I was a Girl Scout growing up. We had a saying that a Girl Scout leaves a place cleaner than how she found it. As a kid, and now as an adult, that saying always was on my mind. I like to think we can leave the world a better place.”
Lisa began her career as a reporter writing for some of the most prestigious local publications, including the Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Observer. Lisa would spend much of her free time volunteering wherever she could.
Now, Lisa is the Director of Marketing and Trade Shows at Fashion Industry Gallery. She entered the role of Chair of the Jubilee Society at Bryan’s House on a volunteer basis. The Jubilee Society helps Bryan’s House reach a larger audience by providing educational workshops and fundraising events in the Dallas community.
Lisa and the Jubilee Society play a vital role in how Bryan’s House can provide their much-needed services to the community. “I like to think of the Jubilee Society as a friendraiser club and not a fundraiser club,” she says. “We are a group that does wonderful things like hosting cookies with Santa for the kids or doing pop-up shopping parties to help out Bryan’s House.”
Like many of us, Lisa draws her inspiration from those who come from hardship but are determined to give back to the community. “We had a recent gathering of friends and families of Bryan’s House at the Galleria where we unveiled a special installation that helps the public learn more about the organization,” Lisa says. “While there, I got to meet one of the mothers of an underserved child with special needs who has been helped by Bryan’s House. She kind of exemplified how Bryan’s House takes the holistic approach. Not only did they take an interest in her child, but they offered her career counseling and family supportive services. While at the unveiling of the exhibit, I learned that she would be joining the board at Bryan’s House moving forward.” This story is a perfect example of how an act of support and kindness can come full circle.
The work that Bryan’s House does for the Dallas community is irreplaceable. Through the Jubilee Society, Lisa and many others are working to provide the funds necessary for Bryan’s House to continue its great work. If you are interested in being a part of Bryan’s House Jubilee Society, they have several membership options. In addition, the Jubilee Society is hosting their next fundraiser on July 18 at the Elizabeth W Boutique in Dallas from 1 to 3 PM. The Bryan’s House website is also full of many other volunteer and donation opportunities.