The Power of Collective Impact


Local Smith County Neighbors Gave Last Year


local programs were supported last year


Local People improved their education, income, and health

Our Main Focus Areas:

12,934 People

Improved Their Education in Smith County

16,134 People

Became More Financially Secure in Smith County

3,756 People

Improved Their Health in Smith County

9,494 People

Helped During a Crisis in Smith County

Our Community Programs:

Provided by United Way
Provided by United Way


Gospel Village

Gospel Village is the one-on-one volunteer mentoring program of The Mentoring Alliance. Gospel Village connects adult volunteer mentors from local area churches with students from targeted local area schools in mutually transforming relationships. The purpose is to provide mentoring support for children from challenging circumstances. Mentors are godly people, who are actively involved in their church, and enjoy spending time with kids. Partner churches help promote the program from within their congregations, and serve as a recruiting source for potential mentors.  Mentors are asked to commit to at least one full year, with regular monthly contact. The Gospel Village team leads in mentor orientation, interviews, and the qualification process. School principals and counselors provide a list of children whom they have determined are in the greatest need of mentoring support. Mentee families meet with mentor coordinators to understand the process and sign an agreement for the child to be assigned a mentor. Mentors are then matched with mentees, where two families meet. Coordinators give ongoing mentor training and support to provide the best chance for successful mentor/mentee relationships. Monthly mentor/mentee group activities are also planned to interact with other Gospel Village families.

Director: Kevin East

Girl Scouting in the School Day

This 12-week Girl Scout program serves 1,200 girls who are attending Tyler ISD elementary and middle schools, 6th through 8th grades. Target schools are located in communities where traditional troops have been difficult to establish due to a lack financial resources, transportation, and volunteers.  The program is designed to promote a healthy self-image and positive social skills while addressing current social issues and trends affecting girls during what is often the most confusing and critical period of childhood. Highly-trained leaders partner with local schools to deliver the specially designed program in an all-girl environment during PE classes during the school day. Girls take part in interactive groups, community service projects, field trips, role-playing, discussions, and confidence and character building activities that they are unlikely to encounter elsewhere. GSSD helps girls to avoid high-risk behavior, develop self-esteem, empowers them to change their own lives and to positively impact their families and communities.

Director:  Rosia Harmon


Boys Scouts of America, East Texas Area Council programs:

Cub Scouting – Clients consist of approximately 1,620 boys in Smith County. Program is year round family-oriented designed for boys who are in 1st thru 5th grades. Parents, leaders, and organizations work together to achieve the 10 purposes of Cub Scouting: character development, spiritual growth, good citizenship, sportsmanship and fitness, family understanding, respectful relationships, personal achievement, friendly service, fun and adventure, preparation for Boy Scouts.

Boy Scouting – Clients consist of approximately 1,039 boys in Smith County. Program is available to boys who have completed the fifth grade and subscribe to the Scout Oath and Law; achieves the BSA’s objectives of developing character, citizenship, and personal fitness qualities among youth by focusing on a vigorous program of outdoor activities.

Venturing – Clients consist of approximately 253 young men and women in Smith County. Venturing is a youth development program for young men and women who are 14 through 20 years of age. Purpose is to provide positive experiences to help young people mature and to prepare them to become responsible and caring adults.

Learning for Life – Clients consist of 1,298 boys and girls in Smith County. Learning for Life offers 8 programs designed to support schools and community based organizations in their efforts to prepare youth to successfully handle the complexities of contemporary society and to enhance their self-confidence, motivation and self-esteem. Helps youth develop social and life skills, assist in character development, and help youth formulate positive personal values. Prepares youth to make ethical decisions that will help them achieve their full potential.

Director: Dewayne Stephens

Youth Development Program

Smith County 4H clients consists of 3,300 youth and 100 registered adult volunteers. All youth are considered “at risk”. Program offers monthly meetings as an opportunity for members to develop life and leadership skills. Club programs primarily focus on community service, citizenship, and leadership through 4-H project work.  Curriculum enrichment programs for schools are conducted by County Extension Agents, 4-H volunteers, and school teachers in order to teach students a wide array of topics ranging from literacy, to healthy lifestyles, to character education.  Educational programs and modules are taken directly to the schools as well as other outlets, such as health fairs, special events, and the East Texas State Fair.

Director:  Sarah Bolt

Road to Mental Wellness and Success

Champions for Children’s new presentation of our Specialized Services for Child Success Program encourages packages of programs that, when used in combination, help alleviate future MENTAL ILLNESSES. One in 7 of the incarcerated persons in Smith County committed the crime due to an untreated mental illness. This program provides necessary intervention at early age, customized for each client. Future use of our services will have a fee to help ensure sustainability.

Director: Jackie Cannon

Adult and At-Risk Youth Education Classes 

 Clients served at The Literacy Council of Tyler are adults or youth (16 years of age and older) who have left school deficient in basic reading skills, lack a GED, and/or do not speak English as their first language.  In Smith County, there are at least 50,000 potential clients.   Serving about 2500 students annually, the program provides basic literacy tutoring, GED prep classes and/or English as a Second Language classes.  These classes are taught by paid staff and trained volunteers. Programs are held at 16 sites in Smith County where it is shown there is a need and reasonable participation occurs.

Director: Nancy Crawford

Boys & Girls Clubs of East Texas After School Program

Boys & Girls Club, a program of The Mentoring Alliance, is a catalyst for transforming generations of young people into productive, responsible, caring and compassionate citizens who will in turn transform the world; work is solely focused on youth development. Successful character development in youth happens when young people have fun, are recognized, have opportunities and expectations, are in a safe, positive place and develop supportive relationships. Programming is divided into 5 core areas: character and leadership development; education and career development; health and life skills; the arts; and sports, fitness and recreation.

Director: Kevin East


Child Care Program

88% of client population meets low income or poverty-level standards. Program provides quality daycare and pre-school services for children from low-income to poverty-level families. Tyler Day Nursery’s program provides services that meet the educational need of the children; meet their physical and emotional needs; prevent them from being left at home while their parent(s) work or attend school (a setting that places children at risk for abuse and/or neglect); prepare parent(s) to actively participate in their K-12 education (parent involvement in children’s learning is positively related to their future achievements – academically, socially and emotionally); meet the growing demand in Smith County for affordable, quality childcare.

Director: Jaquita Lee

Employment Assistance Program

Research shows that young people who “age out” of the substitute care system face obstacles not normally faced by their peers who are reared in normal family situations. These teens are typically left without support from family and have no financial resources. They face higher rates of homelessness and unemployment than others who have not been in the foster care system. Qualified residents from 15-22 will receive the necessary help and support to make the transition from substitute care to independent living.  The Employment Assistance program at Azleway addresses these issues with help finding and retaining employment, saving money, and purchasing an automobile and insurance. Participants receive assistance and proper counsel to make the necessary preparations for education, vocational, or military programs upon completion of the program.

Director: Gary Duke

Transitional Housing Program

This PATH program is designed to empower families and to encourage them to thrive.  PATH works with each family one-on-one to help them set and achieve their goals. With the assistance of a housing case manager each family enrolled in the program not only identifies the issues holding them back, but learns to address them in order to achieve stability.

Director:  Greg Grubb

Employment Training Program

This Christian Women’s Job Corps program helps equip women for employment. During a 10-week class, students are trained with computer skills, online job search skills, and soft skills for the work place. The women must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma, GED, or be currently enrolled in a GED program.

 Director: Sherry Skinner

Direct Assistance Program

The Salvation Army provides the homeless and impoverished of the Smith County community with a variety of services in order to meet their basic human needs such as food, shelter, and clothing while providing avenues for permanent situational improvement. Through case management, our clients learn to set goals, gain personal skills, and achieve self-sustainability.  Basic health care, life-skills training, job search assistance, and other essential services are provided to both residential and non-residential clients. In addition, residential clients who are battling chemical dependency can take part in our Reconnect program, the only free residential recovery program in East Texas. Seasonal assistance, youth programs and disaster response are additional services that are available for those in need and, in turn, provide a better community.

Director:  Captain Bobby Parker

Director:  Captain Nicole Parker


This Habitat for Humanity of Smith County program performs necessary repairs on the homes of low-income seniors (60 years of age and older). In focusing on low-income seniors, the goal is to address the inadequacies of living environments that are in immediate need of repair.

To qualify: Median family income must be under 50% of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, Affordable Housing Program guidelines for Tyler/Smith County. The 50% median family income, 2-person home, for 2009 was $ 22,100. The owner of the home must be over 60 years of age. The home must be owner-occupied. The scope of the work to be done must be within our capabilities. All able-bodied homeowners and residents of the home are required to work along-side the staff and volunteers. Homeowners are expected to be cooperative partners with the staff and volunteers. The homeowner must stay in their home at least three years after the work is completed. The homeowner must sign a “Retention Agreement” that remains in effect for three years after the completion of the project. The homeowner will have to repay a pro-rata cost of the repair/modification, based on the time the homeowner remained in the home before selling or refinancing.

Director: Jack Wilson

Second Chance for Her (SCH) Program

This Goodwill Industries of East Texas program provides job readiness skills, counseling for family reunification, soft skills training, and job placement assistance to women returning to Smith County from jail/prison incarceration.  With this intensive programming and case management the women are able to put their lives back on track, find employment, become stable and reconnect with their children and families.

Director: Kim Lewis


Chronic Disease and Wellness Management

Bethesda Health Clinic is designed to provide medical care for individuals living or working in Smith County who make less than 200% of the poverty level. Program provides general primary care, including ancillaries (labs, x-rays, EKGs, etc.), education and exercise programs, along with considerable subspecialty access; provides dental care, and counseling on a limited basis.

Director: Dr. John English

Children’s Miracle Network

As the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in Smith County, CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics serves pediatric patients throughout Smith County and all of East Texas. Mother Frances houses a 21 bed Children’s Center that provides a unique environment to promote healing and recuperation of sick children.

Director:  Robin Rowan

Youth Counseling Program

This Next Step Community Solutions program is offered predominately to area schools and juvenile probation departments. Our research and consultation with area school staff indicate that most schools need a licensed behavioral counselor, at least part-time, to support and complement the work of the school counselors. Because of their many school responsibilities most school counselors do not have the time, training or experience to work with the many varied behavioral issues of today’s youth.

Our purpose is to have our professional counselor work with the school counselor and other school staff to identify and counsel those students with behavioral problems or social issues that are preventing them from achieving academic success. Once a student can begin to address their negative behaviors or understand and cope with other social issues he or she can begin to relate positively to academic success.

Director: Greg Thompson

Respite Camping

The Arc of Smith County Camps:

Camp HeyDay – Clients served are people with mild to moderate cognitive, intellectual or developmental disabilities ages 10-75. Program provides a week of respite for their parents or caregivers; offers a week of highly supervised fun for the client; teaches upper-level high school students (counselors) responsibility, social growth and compassion; provides campers with role models to emulate at camp and following their return home.

Camp Kennedy – Serves adults over 21 with mild to moderate cognitive, intellectual or developmental disabilities. Program provides all of the above and opportunity for adult campers with mental retardation to participate in a more physical camping environment which includes archery, hiking, shooting BB guns, canoeing and other typical camp activities. Campers also participate in the low ropes course to experience success in overcoming a challenge.

Camp Friendship – Day camp held twice a year. Serves severely disabled, medically fragile children ages 5-21. In 2006 this was made ‘intergenerational’ day camp and now includes older campers who no longer are able to attend one of the residential camps. Through various activities they are provided social interaction with their peers and counselors.

Director: Susan Hawkins

Autism Education and Awareness

The East Texas Autism Network is a resource for parents and caregivers who are concerned that their child may have Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The Network coordinates the process of obtaining a diagnosis and helps the family establish a network of resources that can help their child obtain his highest potential.

Director: Julee Renfro

Nutrition Education Program

This East Texas Food Bank program serves low income individuals and families in Smith County and throughout East Texas. Most clients live in households with incomes below the federal poverty line. ETFB provides a 6 lesson course on nutrition that teaches participants how to prepare and shop sensibly for healthy meals on a budget. They also provide lessons to children at after-school program sites.

Director:  Dennis Cullinane

Home Delivered Meal Service

Meals on Wheels Ministry East Texas delivers meals to home-bound elderly and disabled clients. By Providing this service, the enable clients to remain independent in their homes. This service also provides nutritional support that increases the overall physical health and wellness of the clients, many of whom rely on Meals on Wheels as their main source of nutrition.

Director:  Mike Powell

Caregiver Support Services

The Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County is dedicated to the support of those impacted by dementia. This comprehensive Caregiver Support program allows employees to continue being productive working individuals while caring for someone with dementia. In addition, this program addresses the mental health and healthcare needs to the caregiver, while potentially lessening the burden of crisis care to our healthcare community.

Director:  Stephanie Taylor


Court Appointed Special Advocates 

CASA’s client population is 0-18 year olds who have been removed from their homes because of abuse and neglect and are in custody of the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services. When it is not safe for children to be with their own families, Child Protective Services petitions the court to remove the children from their homes. They may be placed temporarily with relatives, a verified foster family, or an emergency shelter. After removal, the children are at the center of a 12 month legal process to determine permanent placement. CASA volunteers represent these children by speaking on their behalf in court making sure that their best interest is met. Volunteers are trained to act as first-hand experts on the individual needs of abused and neglected children in foster care, giving them the best possible chance at a hopeful future.

Director: Mary Jo Burgess

Disaster Relief Services

American Red Cross Serving East Texas disaster clients have lost many of their material possessions and are homeless due to house fires or weather related events. Program gives assistance by trained caseworkers based on verified disaster-caused need which may include temporary shelter, clothes, shoes, work-related items, food, medical items, and basic household furnishings. Service is free and available 24 hours a day.

Director: Tammy Prater

Family Violence/Sexual Assault Program

The East Texas Crisis Center provides services to approximately 1,200 women and children in Smith County each year. Safety and protection are provided to victims of family violence and/or sexual assault through crisis intervention counseling, risk assessment, safety planning, emergency shelter, support groups, women’s economic education classes, hospital advocacy, legal advocacy and accompaniment to law enforcement agencies and court. Crisis intervention and prevention programs are provided to the children who live in the emergency shelter and to non-residential children whose mother’s attend evening support groups.

Director: Lana Peacock

Child Abuse Intervention Program (CAIP)

Clients served at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Smith County are child victims of physical and sexual abuse and their families. Program works closely with a team of law enforcement investigators, Child Protective Service investigators, sexual assault nurse examiners and criminal district attorney prosecutors to detect, investigate and prosecute incidents of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse in Smith County. The program also provides individualized yet comprehensive services to child victims of physical and sexual abuse, child witnesses to violent crimes, their protective caregivers and siblings.

Director:  Terri Smith

Parenting Program

The overarching goal of all parenting programs at the Children’s Advocacy Center of Smith County is to prevent child abuse by strengthening families in Smith County. The Parenting Program at CAC recognizes parents should be a child’s first and most influential teachers and seeks to provide evidence based curriculum, support and resources to ensure both CAC parents and protective caregivers and those court-ordered or self-referred have the opportunity to overcome barriers and succeed in this most important role regardless of demographic, geographic or economic considerations. This goal is accomplished through the offering of the following: Support Groups at the CAC; family therapy; and through curriculum based programs: Circle of Security Parenting, an 8 week course designed to help parents reflect on their past and present and make changes resulting in a stronger parent/child bond; Anger Management, an 8 week course which helps participants learn to effectively and appropriately control and manage their anger; and Middle Way Parenting, a 10 week course which helps parents discover the extremes in parenting and encourages a balanced approach to raising children. Specialized 1-8 hour parenting seminars are also held to address issues specific to the group requesting the presentation, such as schools, Municipal Court, PTAs or other agencies. The CAC also hosts a weekly newspaper column in the Tyler Morning Telegraph and a monthly blog on the website, Kids In The House. In 2016, a Speakers Bureau on topics relevant to parenting and featuring professionals from across the community will be implemented.

Director:  Terri Smith