By: St. Philip’s Philanthropy and Communications Departments
About St. Philip’s School and Community Center (St. Philip’s): St. Philip’s School and Community Center exists to provide an unparalleled education and compatible community services through a faith-based experience, with emphasis on serving low- and moderate-income families. Our vision is transforming the world by faith, education and service.
How has your organization had to pivot/adapt during the pandemic? Did the change impact the people you serve, if at all?
In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak last spring, St. Philip’s was called by our students, families and community of neighbors to respond swiftly and strategically. Our leadership eliminated all non-essential services and worked to reduce our current operating budget by $1 million through the end of the fiscal year, with the sole focus on successfully implementing distance learning, our core food insecurity and social service programs to our neighbors in greatest need.
With the focus on the school and food insecurity programs, we were able to expand and appropriately equip these offerings to meet the tremendous needs of students and our neighbors vulnerable to hunger.
How many people does your organization help every month/year? Any volunteers? Has that number changed due to the pandemic?
St. Philip’s serves approximately 1,900 people each month and on average about 4,500 people a year. At least half of those served are duplicated clients (i.e. food pantry clients and students). Additionally, on an average year, we serve up to around 700 children through athletics. However, due to the pandemic, the program was put on hold until it was deemed safe to resume the program in phases.
St. Philip’s depends on the compassionate generosity of 1,000+ volunteers each year. The majority of these volunteers serve in our Community Center – the food pantry and athletics program. Aunt Bette’s Community Pantry has experienced an increase in regular volunteers since the onset of the pandemic.
How have you used the Moody Foundation’s recent grant to serve your community during the pandemic?
The Moody Foundation has partnered with St. Philip’s School and Community Center since 2004 in supporting the School’s educational programs, tuition assistance to families in greatest need, and various capital campaign and campus expansion projects. Most recently, the Foundation pledged its largest gift to St. Philip’s — $3 million to support the We Believe Campaign and the construction of The Moody Performing and Fine Arts Pavilion that will break ground on St. Philip’s campus in 2021. The pavilion will house a new cafetorium, art gallery, and classrooms for dance, film, visual arts, theater and music. The space will be utilized by both the School and Community Center, in addition to artists in South Dallas.
In addition to support for the new Performing and Fine Arts Pavilion, the Moody Foundation awarded St. Philip’s a special grant to support the critical need to safely and properly re-open our campus for school and services last August. Funding allowed St. Philip’s to equip our campus with additional operational/custodial staff, PPE supplies and equipment required by the CDC. We were able to purchase equipment, installations and supplies, such as temperate checks, handwashing and sanitizing stations throughout the campus, along with face shields, gloves, plexiglass screens, and other supplies to ensure protection and increased spacing within the campus. The Foundation’s support equipped St. Philip’s to be responsive and safe in its provision of the critical services needed by our students, families and neighbors vulnerable to hunger and other challenges.
Where can the community go to find more information on how to volunteer, donate to your organization and/or a schedule of upcoming events?
Please visit St. Philip’s website at www.stphilips1600.org.