New Group Joins Hands to Hands Community Fund

New Group Joins Hands to Hands Community Fund

<br><font size="2"><p dir="LTR">Four years ago, seven agencies that lost funding from the United Way united to form a new agency called Hands to Hands Community Fund.</p> <p dir="LTR">And that non-profit organization has been going strong ever since but as Mechell Dixon found out, the organization is extending its hand to allow a new agency to join.</p></font>

Straight Street opened in Wichita Falls in 1997.

Over the years, it's received funding from the YMCA and the United Way.

And now it's the first group to join Hand to Hands Community Fund since it formed in 2009.

When it comes to funding Straight Street, a christian-based non-profit organization for at-risk teens, will soon go straight to Hands to Hand Community Fun for financial assistance.

"I just have to say, Straight Street hands down was something we wanted to include in our campaign," says Ty Thacker with Hands to Hands Community Fund.

The Hands to Hands campaign started four years ago with Camp Fire, the Boy Scouts and four other non-profit organizations that were funded through the United Way.

Soon, Straight Street, another former United Way funded group, will joins hands with Hands to Hands.

"There are no hard feelings. We were blessed at the time to have that funding. We're extremely excited about being part of the hands to hands family," says J.J. Schweiger, executive director of Straight Street.

"When you look at Straight Street, which is the eighth agency now, they provide programs to youth that weren't being touched by these seven other agencies. So, we felt like it was a good fit. They have a strong program," Thacker says.

According to Straight Street officials, the United Way's application process involves lots of paperwork for a grant.

But Hands to Hands only required a letter of application and several meetings with the board, which eventually led to this group joining the program and getting access to what the executive director considers a major benefit.

"They go into businesses and do payroll deduction and that is just not available to us at all. So it provides a major piece to our funding puzzle," explains Schweiger.

Straight Street officials say they haven't received funding from the United Way for more than a year.

As for funding from Hands to Hands, they say that will start in January.

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