HTH: Downtown Wichita Falls Development

Helping the Helpers

Like all our area nonprofits, Downtown Wichita Falls Development could use a helping hand to get back on track and we show you how in this week's edition of Helping the Helpers.

WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The organization dedicated to the revitalization of downtown Wichita Falls by combating deterioration, promoting the general welfare of the community, improving living conditions, and promoting economic development has also fallen victim to COVID-19 and is in need of your support.

Executive Director of Downtown Wichita Falls Development Jana Schmader said donations were decreased by 80% between 2019 and 2020.

She said as they continue to work hard to build a downtown that everyone can be proud of, they will need everyone’s support.

“In 20 years of doing events we’ve never canceled one,” Schmader said.

Not until the 2019 novel Coronavirus that hit the city in 2020.

Schmader said slowly canceling all their events in 2020 took a toll on the organization.

“It was hard on us, it started with the cancellation of the Saint Patrick’s Day festival and we really couldn’t wrap our heads around it you know,” Schmader said. “We knew we wanted to put the community first and do our part in protecting everyone.”

But as officials called off events Texomans were highly anticipating such as Cajun Fest, the downtown art walk, and the St. Patty’s Day festival, the nonprofit felt the financial burden that came with the pandemic.

“We all-in-all lost over a third of our revenue stream in 2020,” Schmader said.

And as the organization brings back events, Schmader said they need volunteers like Dustin Nimz, who has been involved for five years now, to support.

“There’s a lot of things that no matter how much time you have to give or how much money you have to give you’re able to participate downtown,” Nimz said.

Nimz said it is also a fulfilling experience to, in some way, assist in the growth of downtown Wichita Falls.

“Being able to see economically an area that didn’t have a ton of business in it come back and see that we can really grow that right here in Wichita Falls with our own institutions, our own businesses,” Nimz said.

While they are known for great street festivals, the nonprofit however does so much more.

“Property touring, matching investors, working with local lenders, working on incentive packages for people to be able to develop properties, project management,” Schmader said.

To name a few.

Schmader and Nimz said downtown is the heartbeat of the city and a little time or monetary donation will have a huge impact on the city as a whole.

If you would like to volunteer or donate contact Downtown Wichita Falls Development.

If there is a non-profit you would like featured in this series, email Shatanya Clarke at sclarke@kfdx.com.

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