Top 10 Good Stories of 2019

Dallas Doing Good Editorial Team

Looking back over 2019, one thing is certain—we will never run out of good stories! People from all over North Texas have dedicated themselves to making a difference and they have been inspiring us all year long. As we enter a new year and a new decade, we are sharing a round-up of ten incredible stories that our community loved.

Bill Holston: Leading the Charge for Compassionate Legal Representation

Bill Holston’s work as the Executive Director of Human Rights Initiative (HRI) Dallas is built on a decades long career as a business lawyer who became passionate about the pro-bono representation of asylum seekers and the advocacy for immigration rights. Today he is carrying on the original mission of HRI with a focus on compassionate, high-quality legal work and connected social services.

The Girly Shop Teacher: A New Look for Construction Tech

Tami Gamble-Gurnell, or The Girly Shop Teacher, is putting a new face on the male-dominated world of construction education, teaching Dallas-area students the STEM skills needed to build the future. With an all-girl student construction team dedicated to community projects, Tami is connecting the classroom with the needs of the city.

Rainey Webb: The Journey Toward Restorative Justice

As a magistrate judge for Tarrant County, Rainey Webb has made a concentrated effort to use great discretion in decisions and has focused specifically on aiding the mentally ill population of Tarrant county. Rainey also serves with ALARM, African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministry, and has traveled to the Congo to train attorneys at an ALARM conference.

Jef Tingley: Journey to Zoo Keeper

Jef Tingley has spent more than a decade volunteering at the Dallas Zoo while he ran a media and public relations business. Earlier this year Jef made the decision to officially join the zookeeper staff, setting aside his previous career. Working in the Children’s Zoo, Jef is able to work closely with the animals and guests, while learning from experienced trainers.

HaeSung Han and Jennifer Tinker: Helping Girls Persist Forward

Dr. HaeSung Han and Jennifer Tinker founded POETIC, a nonprofit organization that creates a pipeline out of the juvenile justice system for girls who have been exploited. With a home school and trauma therapy program at its core, POETIC helps young women to find their voice, heal from trauma, and dream for their future.


Jaxson Turner: Never Too Young To Care

Jaxson was 11 years old when he founded his non-profit N2Y2C, a reminder that you are never too young to care. With local fundraisers like his summer lemonade stand, Jaxson, now 12, is providing school supplies and hair cuts for more than 100 underserved students in Collin County.

Merry Watson: Starting a School for Café Momentum

Merry Watson, a seasoned guidance counselor from Chicago, has stepped in to lead the brand new home school program at Café Momentum, giving its interns a flexible and safe place to earn their high school diplomas. Merry’s role as teacher, principal, PTA, and college counselor is a big job, but her passion for at-risk students makes her work a labor of love.

Thear Suzuki: The Gift of Community Leadership

Thear Suzuki first came to Texas as a child with her family as they escaped the Cambodian genocide. Because of the kindness of her very first teacher, Thear has gone on to lead in corporate, community, and philanthropic arenas, all tied together by her conviction that diversity in leadership empowers everyone.

Melinda & Mike Russ: Rebuilding Lives with The Men of Nehemiah

Melinda and Mike Russ have intentionally invested their lives into the Men of Nehemiah ministry, a residential program for men recovering from addiction. Mentoring, discipleship, education, and basketball are at the core of Mike’s work while Melinda has focused her attention on fundraising and finding pathways for higher education. The time Mike and Melinda have invested is not only transformational for the men in the program, but for the Russ family as well.

Carlyn Ray: Glasswork for All

Carlyn Ray is a renowned glass artist who is sharing her creative energy and passion for teaching with the Dallas community through glass art workshops and her nonprofit, Art Reaching Out. Her most recent installation is a collection of butterflies in the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas.


If you know someone who is Doing Good in Dallas, we’d love to hear about it! Share their story with us.