2018 proved to be a challenging year at 6 Stones. Changes in the national tax code led to a surprising dip in support, our staff found themselves in transition, and our Founder felt called to move into a new season of ministry. But in spite of all those challenges, amazing things happened in this community.
We shared more than 40 stories this year, and every one was powerful… but we wanted to spotlight a few of our favorites as 2018 comes to an end. What follows is a list of ten 6 Stones stories that span the full gamut of our programs, in chronological order to help you re-live yet another incredible year.
#10: Zeb Montgomery Saves Soccer
Our intramural soccer program, Liga HEB, helps junior high boys connect with their school campus and stay academically engaged. In 2018, Liga players missed half as many days of school compared peers from a similar demographic. But they wouldn't have had the season they had without a little help from one incredible young man.
#9: A Coalition is Born
For years, 6 Stones programs have depended on massive giving campaigns that precede our major events. In 2018, we launched a new program to allow community members to directly support every program year-round: The Coalition. The group is still growing, but their ongoing support has helped us deliver more sustainable, consistent support to our neighbors this year than ever before.
#8: Recovery is a Process
Part of the goal at 6 Stones is to provide relief for families in need. But the real wins are much more complex: we want to see this community healed on a deep and abiding level. People like Dorothy, who come to the New Hope Center looking for help and stay to lend it to others, embody that kind of transformational impact.
#7: Spring Renewal
Community Powered Revitalization has impacted hundreds of homeowners over the years, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a more deserving recipient than Ruth, a hard-working mom who lost her job and her eyesight, but never gave up on her kids.
#6: Summer School
If you're a fan of 6 Stones, you probably know about the big things we do in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District. But did you know that our partnership has grown into a pillar of this community? Take a behind-the-scenes tour of summer programs in HEB ISD to see what it takes to raise a new generation of healthy, responsible citizens.
#5: The Second Backpack
Operation Back 2 School is one of our oldest, most recognizable initiatives. Every year, some 6,000 students pick up backpacks, school supplies, and resources to sustain them all year during a single week in the run-up to the new school year. This year, we asked a few educators why that support matters. And their answers blew us away.
#4: Investing At Home
Jim McKinnon is currently the chairman of the Board of Directors at 6 Stones. But his involvement in the community goes well beyond that. He was an early adopter in The Coalition and has been investing in the community that raised him for years. For him, 6 Stones is part of a a legacy of giving that started when his father launched the family business: DFW Plastics.
#3: A Home of Our Own
Homeowners who qualify for Community Powered Revitalization tend to have lived in the same place for a long time, but it's much more rare to find a couple who need help repairing the first home they ever owned. Lewis and Barbara shared an incredible story with us this year, and their attitude about this community — and the cultural shift represented here — left us inspired and ready for another year of collaboration!
#2: New Partnerships, Bigger Impact
We're on pace to serve nearly 15,000 people through the New Hope Center this year, and food has been pouring out of the warehouse at a faster rate than ever. Thanks to a new partnership with Midwest Food Bank, families all over DFW had better access to food all year… and local nonprofits like ours have everything they need to serve their neighbors.
#1: Christmas is for Families
Every 6 Stones year ends with the beautiful harmony of Night of Hope. Everyone who gives or volunteers to provide Christmas for families who can't afford it walks away inspired. But this year, one brave mom helped us to remember why: this program is more than a one-night party. It sets the tone for an entire community.
Honorable Mention: That's Not 6 Stones!
We had almost nothing to do with this awesome story about a church that took its school adoption partnership to a whole new level by refurbishing the Teacher's Lounge at Shady Brook Elementary… but we like to think that it started with a connection they made through 6 Stones!