In 2020, homeless shelters in North Texas and around the country were forced to reduce the number of people they served due to Covid-19. The pandemic stretched an already strained system, throwing more people into homelessness.
Jason Vallejo, who had spent many years working within unhoused communities and had just launched Dallas’ first transitional living center for at-risk youth, knew young people between 18 and 24 were especially vulnerable to homelessness and other tragedies. They ranked among the highest for unemployment and had no facilities for their age group. Most felt unsafe in adult shelters.
Vallejo founded Elevate North Texas to bridge the gap in the region’s homeless system and provide a haven for young adults through emergency shelter, diversification and reunification, and host home placement programs.
Jason learned about the All Angels Foundation from a colleague at the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas who encouraged him to apply for startup funding.
The All Angels Foundation (AAF), formerly The Saint Michael and All Angels Foundation of Dallas, is the charitable arm of Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, governed by a 15-member board elected by the Church, serving six-year terms.
“When Jason reached out to the Foundation, my fellow board members and I recognized that his mission to provide a safe, healthy, and affirming environment for an overlooked demographic in the homeless community aligns with our mission,” said Nita Clark, All Angels Foundation’s grants committee chair. “We believed in his leadership and helped him launch Elevate, expedite a matching gift challenge, and serve as a catalyst for additional community support.”
All Angels Foundation is aligned with Saint Michael in purpose and mission, partnering with the Church and other nonprofits dedicated to serving and caring for the most vulnerable in our communities.
“I joined All Angels Foundation’s board because the organization’s calling—to bring our church’s light and love to the world— deeply resonated with me,” said Katherine Blachly. “My belief in the Foundation’s vision to bring lasting, transformative changes to people’s lives inspired me to become part of this movement.”
The Saint Michael and All Angels Foundation of Dallas was founded in 1953 when generous parishioners asked how they could further support the Church. Their donations were used to help build the main church and educational building.
As parishioner support increased over the years, we saw an opportunity to help even more people in need by expanding our focus within and beyond the Church.
In 2021, AAF was repositioned and renamed the All Angels Foundation to support this vision of becoming more intentional in our quest to uplift those who need it most by empowering, enhancing, and enriching our parish and communities.
WHAT WE DO
The All Angels Foundation’s mission is to transform lives through acts of love. We believe love is a verb. Loving our neighbors calls us to demonstrate kindness, acceptance, and caring through positive action and the guidance of three pillars:
ELEVATING ACTS OF LOVE
We empower, enrich, and enhance our neighbors’ lives by supplying grants that support the mission of Saint Michael and affiliated outreach initiatives proposed by clergy, staff, and parishioners.
EMPOWERING ACTS OF LOVE
We offer sustenance to vulnerable community members by funding programs that address issues like food insecurity, joblessness, and disaster relief.
HEALING ACTS OF LOVE
We help heal those who are hurting through restorative causes, such as reconciliation initiatives, interfaith and youth dialogues, and community revitalization projects.
The Foundation prioritizes grants to the community that is aligned with these pillars.
HOW WE’RE FUNDED
As a separately chartered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, AAF is funded by donations from parishioners and non-parishioners, including gifts made through wills, trusts, insurance policies, and retirement plans.
Contributions to the Foundation are separate from annual stewardship. Stewardship funds support the operations of Saint Michael and All Angels, while AAF donations are non-operational.
All Angels Foundation donations, including bequests, can be designated for a specific purpose, such as music, outreach, or youth ministry. Undesignated contributions support the special opportunities and ministries of the Church and other community nonprofits in North Texas and across the country.
Through a streamlined grants program and as part of Saint Michael’s 75th Anniversary Celebration, AAF made available more than $1.4 million in 2022 to support the Church through the music program, Youth Ministry and Worship Enhancement. The foundation also supported community organizations, including Project Moses, The Stewpot, Bachman Lake Together, United to Learn, Jubilee Center, Elevate North Texas and Tomorrow's Women.
“Our long-term vision is to become a growing force for good in the community,” said Stewart Thomas, All Angels Foundation’s President. “We are building partnerships to advance the outreach goals of the Foundation and the Church. And we are strengthening our grants platform to enhance our ability to identify and qualify organizations that align with our mission.”
ALL ANGELS SOCIETY
The Foundation established the All Angels Society to commemorate gifts made to the parish through bequests and other estate planning. Anyone who has remembered SMAA in their will qualifies for membership. Society members will gather a few times each year to have fellowship and hear about the latest grants and activities of the Foundation.
To enroll in the All Angels Society or find out how to include the Church in your estate planning, please get in touch with Caroline Moore at (214) 692-3015 or [email protected].
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
In 2021, the Foundation’s name changed to “All Angels Foundation.” We chose this name because angels symbolize taking care of others, which is the heart of our mission.
The All Angels Foundation logo features three angels representing the Foundation’s outreach focus: Elevating, Empowering, and Healing. The angels’ outspread wings symbolize outreach to our communities and the fulfillment of our mission to spread God’s love.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
To learn more about the All Angels Foundation, please visit our website at allangelsfoundation.com.
**This article was featured in the 2023 Spring Archangel.
Tags: Blog & Newsroom / Lent 2023 at Saint Michael and All Angels / Featured Parish Stories