The Grackle

Observations, Reflections and Miscellany from the Wacoan

Nonprofit Round-Up

A guide to upcoming events to support local charities

10 months ago

By Avery Ballmann

The nonprofits of Waco are always hard at work, making sure that our community is given all the resources to help those in need. WACOAN magazine is proud to support many local nonprofits; we even have an entire issue dedicated to nonprofits every year. This September and October, several nonprofits — including CareNet, Advocacy Center, Mission Waco, Christian Women’s Job Corps, Caritas, Jesus Said Love and the Family Abuse Center — are hosting their annual fundraisers that are open to the public and hopefully open to your consideration as well. Explore a few of Waco’s upcoming nonprofit events with our round-up below.

CareNet: Abundant Life Beyond Measure Banquet

CareNet, a local Pregnancy Center and one of Waco’s nonprofits, is hosting its Abundant Life Beyond Measure Banquet on September 14, at 7 p.m. at the Waco Convention Center, 100 Washington Ave. The banquet will serve dinner and special guest speakers Abby Johnson and Steventhen Holland.

Abby Johnson was a former Planned Parenthood Clinic Director now turned Pro-life. After working with Planned Parenthood for eight years, Johnson had a life-altering experience with a patient that led her to leave the profession. Now, Johnson is a pro-life advocate, podcast host, and founder of And Then There Were None ministry, which helps abortion care workers make a smoother transition out of the profession. Johnson is also the author of several books including “Fierce Mercy”, “The Walls Are Talking” and “Unplanned”.  You can hear Johnson speak about the realities of abortion Post-Roe at the banquet.

Steventhen Holland is the banquet’s second speaker. Holland is a pro-life speaker, author, recording artist, worship leader, motivational speaker and founder of Broken Not Dead Ministries. This ministry hosts workshops, retreats, captures stories of people through their YouTube Channel and hosts the 3-21 Festival, a festival celebrating human rights and inclusivity for disabled people. During the banquet, Steventhen will share his personal testimony in his walk within his faith.

Tickets for the banquet begin at $125 and increase by table. The doors will open at 6 p.m., dinner served at 6:30 p.m. and the program beginning at 7 p.m. To purchase tickets or to donate, visit their website.

Advocacy Center: Designer Purse Bingo

Bring your stampers and bingo card because the Advocacy Center is hosting its annual Designer Purse Bingo! The Advocacy Center is hosting this event on September 17 at the Lee Lockwood Library, 2801 W Waco Dr., from 5–10 p.m.

The Advocacy Center is a local nonprofit that supports crime victims and children. They offer a 24-hour crisis hotline, counseling, support groups, prevention and educational services for victims.

This fundraiser has packed the evening full of fun with a Photo Booth, luxury raffle, a classic game of Heads or Tails, cash bar and door prizes. Guests can indulge in the dinner and dessert buffet while playing their hearts out. Ticketholders can now enter the Louis Vuitton Bag raffle by clicking here. Individual tickets start at $50, and with 600 expected in the audience, you better get your ticket fast!

Mission Waco | Mission World: Walk for the Homeless

The annual Walk for the Homeless by Mission Waco | Mission World takes participants to the various organizations that work together to serve our neighbors experiencing homelessness in Waco. This event showcases the resources available and how you can help those in need.

For $50, walkers can donate a new pair of shoes for someone. Mission Waco | Mission World will take the person to pick out their own pair of shoes. Just type “Shoes for the Homeless” at the donation page here.

The walk is two miles through downtown, beginning at The Meyer Center at 1226 Washington Ave. and concluding at Church Under the Bridge, with transportation available to bring participants back to The Meyer Center. The walk starts at 7:30 a.m. and no registration is required. Just show up ready to walk and learn.

Christian Women’s Job Corps: Baskets of Hope

Christian Women’s Job Corps (CWJC) helps women in McLennan County receive their GED and job training free of charge. These programs need the support of donors and volunteers to keep them up and running. Baskets of Hope is designed to do just that.

This nonprofit fundraiser is September 19 at the Waco Convention Center Brazos Ballroom, 100 Washington Ave., from 11 a.m.—1 p.m. Guests will have a catered lunch, networking opportunities, a silent basket auction and hear from the keynote speaker Dr. Marlene Reed, an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at Baylor University and is the founder of National CWJC.

An exciting way for guests to directly contribute to CWJC and impact a local woman in need is by sponsoring her GED. For $200 you can provide all the materials needed for a woman to complete her GED and graduate. There are many other opportunities to change the lives of Wacoans at this event. To purchase tickets or to learn more visit their website.

Caritas: Feast of Caring

Indulge in the annual Soup and Dessert Cook-Off, silent auction items and a fierce game of Souper Spoons at Caritas’ annual Feast of Caring Fundraiser! The fun begins October 3 at 6 p.m. located at the Waco Convention Center, 100 Washington Ave. Caritas is a local nonprofit helping locals fight hunger and food insecurity.

This year’s Feast of Caring is once again sponsored by H-E-B! While at the event guests will learn about Caritas’ initiatives in the community such as Hidden Treasures Thrift Store, Food Pantry, Senior Boxes and Gift-in-Kind. Tickets are only $35 and can be purchased online or by calling 254-753-4593. For local business owners reading: Caritas is looking to fill spots for the cook-off. To apply, contact Kim Klimt at

Jesus Said Love: WildTorch

When Emily Mills, founder of Jesus Said Love, found herself spreading the gospel in a nightclub on Good Friday she made it her mission to show compassion to sex workers, even though they are written off by society. As a sexual abuse survivor herself, she was able to relate to these women and ultimately, was able to show them love. Jesus Said Love is a nonprofit determined to find reliable jobs for ex-sex workers. Since then, the nonprofit has supported newfound local businesses such as Waffle Chic, Luna Juice Bar and Sunshine Recovery Home.

To spread awareness and funds for Jesus Said Love, they are hosting their annual WildTorch Fundraiser. This event uses visual arts to promote awareness of sexual exploitation, trafficking and trauma of victims. WildTorch is focusing this year’s fundraising efforts on opening doors to Lovely Village, a two-year residential community for survivors and their children.

WildTorch is held at the Waco Hippodrome Theatre, 724 Austin Ave., October 19 with General Admission tickets starting at $75. General Admission includes seating, an open bar and Hors d’oeuvres.

Family Abuse Center: Dancing with the Waco Stars

The Family Abuse Center is a local nonprofit that supports and shelters families experiencing abuse. They also provide counseling, prevention, awareness and educational services to ensure families in Central Texas do not have to experience abuse in the place they should feel the most safe; home.

The Dancing with the Waco Stars Fundraiser is October 26th at 7:30 p.m. inside the Waco Hippodrome Theatre, 724 Austin Ave. Watch 12 teams of local and professional dancers compete for the most votes. As they dance the night away, you can vote for your favorite team while also donating to the Family Abuse Center; one vote equals $1.

This year’s theme is the glitz and glam of old Hollywood. With all the sponsorship and table packages, you’ll feel like the red carpet was rolled out for you. The Jazz Hands package is $100 and includes a general ticket located on the floor or balcony of the Hippodrome, two drink tickets and access to the after-party at the Palladium, 729 Austin Ave. Want an even more glitzy evening? Check out their website for premium packages including dinner and other exclusive items!