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Passionate about supporting the community, dentistry practice invites everyone 

to help those most often overlooked

 

Even with masks on, there were smiles all around. Celebration was in the air as a team of staff from MINT dentistry thanked the dedicated staff of Healthcare for the Homeless – Houston (HHH), and on Thursday presented the non-profit with a special gift: more than 20,000 disposable medical masks that the organization will use in its dental and medical practices and will also be providing to residents in supportive or temporary housing.

Each mask was an acknowledgement of a MINT dentistry patient’s visit to MINT dental practice, allowing the dentistry practice’s patients to participate in supporting a worthy cause while also caring for their own health. “It is an honor for MINT dentistry to be able to provide masks for the community,” noted Clint Rachal, CEO of MINT dentistry. “We would like to thank our amazing patients and staff for making this possible. Donating masks to those in need in honor of our patients was truly rewarding for all involved. MINT is always eager to find ways to give back and to share that joy of giving with others, too.”

HHH is focused solely on providing care for individuals who are experiencing homelessness, tailoring its clinical model and services to meet the distinct and often complex health and social needs of those the organization serves. HHH takes a holistic approach in providing integrated services, which include medical care, mental health services, addiction counseling, case management and dental care. Offering health, hope and dignity, HHH serves people without a fixed permanent residence, including individual residing literally on the streets; under bridges; in parks, vehicles and abandoned buildings; as well as those utilizing emergency shelters, residential treatment programs, temporary housing or people who are “doubled up” with friends or family and without the means to secure a permanent residence.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of MINT dentistry,” Carlie A. Brown, executive vice president of HHH, said. “Those who are without stable housing or who are living in supportive housing are often in need of new masks to help keep them safe, but they lack consistent access to them. This means a lot in terms of being able to protect themselves from COVID-19.” The masks donated by MINT dentistry will be used to help keep shelters, bunk houses, encampments and supportive housing sites safer by helping to mitigate community spread, Brown explained.

“Healthcare for the Homeless - Houston is truly doing the Lord’s work,” Rachal said. “As we toured their facility, we were inspired by all they do to uplift those in our society who are often overlooked. We encourage the community to join MINT and others who have chosen to support this incredible cause.”

To find out more about the work of HHH, or to learn how you can help, please visit homeless-healthcare.org.

MINT dentistry serves patients through 18 locations in the Houston area, providing exceptional dental services at affordable prices for everyone. The company also offers free teeth whitening with PPO dental insurance.For more information on MINT dentistry, please visit MINTdentistry.comor call 833.879.6468 to make an appointment. 

 

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Astra Development is pleased to announce that an entity affiliated with its company sold 145 acres of land on the north side of Denton to home builder D.R. Horton. The deal, which closed December 10, will establish a new neighborhood development at the northeast corner of Stuart Road and Long Road called Stuart Ridge. Upon full build-out, Stuart Ridge is projected to be valued at more than $150,000,000. 

Stuart Ridge is a shovel-ready project platted for 561 single-family lots just north of Loop 288. In working with the City of Denton, Astra Development has obtained the approval of construction plans and a final plat for 163 lots in the first phase of the development. 

“The property’s location in the extra-territorial jurisdiction (ETJ) of the City of Denton created unique challenges in terms of obtaining necessary approvals,” said Justin Bono, founder and president of Astra Development, “but we welcomed the opportunity to put our industry experience to good use in creating solutions that brought this project to fruition. Astra worked closely with the City of Denton on the creation of this development, and are pleased to be able to turn it over to D.R. Horton to carry the project forward.” 

Davey Davis represented Astra Development in the deal with D.R. Horton. Kimley-Horn & Associates serves as the land planner and civil engineer for the project. 

Astra Development has owned the property that became Stuart Ridge since November 2019 through Denton Stuart Ridge LLC, but has been working on approvals for project for more than two years. Development of Phase 1 is expected to start immediately. 

In late 2018, Astra Development sold 91 acres approved for 390 single-family lots to the east of Stuart Ridge to Beazer Homes. Beazer Homes and Trendmaker Homes are anticipated to open the Stark Farms community for sale this month. 

Astra Development currently controls more than 1,800 acres for future residential development in various locations across Collin and Denton counties, which are expected to yield more than 6,000 future lots. 

Astra Development acquires land and develops residential projects in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and other select markets.  Astra Development is committed to investing in and developing only quality projects that achieve targeted returns for the company and its investors. To contact Astra Development, please visit the company’s website
 
 
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With vaccines getting approved and out, support of airline industry is critical to recovery 

Tens of thousands of aviation workers are hanging their hopes this holiday on Congress acting fast to pass a $908 billion bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill that includes $17 billion for four months of payroll support for aviation workers. Some airlines have already furloughed, leaving workers without jobs. Dallas-based Southwest Airlines--for the first time in the airline’s history--sent WARN Act notices to approximately 6,800 of its aviation workers this December, including 1,500 flight attendants.

“Our highly-trained men and women in the air and on the ground need this support,” Lyn Montgomery, president of TWU Local 556, the union of Southwest Airlines flight attendant, said. “We urge Congress and the public to support front-line aviation workers by advocating for this relief funding.”

TWU Local 556 joins other aviation unions in advocating for federal support that would provide a desperately-needed bridge to this spring, when the positive effects of the vaccines will begin to be felt. Also, distribution of vaccines will require the transportation of critical people and immunizations all over the country, something the airline industry is poised and ready to help accomplish.

To save jobs, flight attendants have already stepped up to help Southwest Airlines in unprecedented ways. In the spring of 2020,more than 5,000 flight attendants of the Dallas-based carrier took extended leaves or voluntary separations, reducing flight attendant headcount by 32 percent. These voluntary actions helped result in $1.1 billion saved for Southwest Airlines in 2021, according to the company. Yet, just weeks before Christmas, 1,500 Southwest Airlines flight attendants received WARN Act notices that their jobs could be in jeopardy in early 2021.

“Flight attendants are doing what they can to help. Members of TWU Local 556, flight attendants of Southwest Airlines, are serving customers bravely during the pandemic, and those that could afford to have stepped up to take voluntary leave or separation programs to reduce costs. We ask for the public’s help in advocating for federal support that is badly needed,” Montgomery said.

It’s not just jobs on the line: the critical infrastructure that is air travel not only carries economic recovery on its wingtips, but also facilitates the critical travel of people and vaccines.

Please contact your elected representatives and encourage their support of this bipartisan relief action. Help is needed now!

About TWU Local 556

The Transport Workers Union of America Local 556 (TWU Local 556) represents more than 16,000 flight attendants at Southwest Airlines. The mission of TWU Local 556, through collective bargaining, is to provide adequate wages, retirement, and safe working conditions for its members. The union promotes legislation and engages in other activities to safeguard the economic security and social welfare of working people, to protect each member from unjust discipline and to promote the well-being and continued employment of all members. www.twu556.org

 

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Goats and Animals as a Christmas Gift

Gifts that Change Lives in World Vision Gift Catalog – Teach Kids the Meaning of the Season and help Families in DFW Struggling from Pandemic

In a year that has been especially challenging and uncertain, World Vision is urging families to choose hope, embracing the meaning behind the season, and finding joy in helping others. Through World Vision’s Gift Catalog, people can not only help those in need around the world, but also those right here in North Texas, while relishing in the true meaning of the season.

Gifts of animals like alpacas, goats, chickens and ducks, sheep, beehives, fishing kits and more are  available in World Vision’s Gift Catalog, which features more than 100 life-saving gifts, ranging in price from $16 to $50,000. Items include handmade gifts, livestock, water filtration systems, economic empowerment services, access to medicine, clothing, school supplies and more. Owning animals provides vital nutrition to children and families from food like milk and eggs, and brings income from the sale of food and wool. Shoppers give the gifts in their loved one’s name and send a personalized card describing the gift and its impact, while World Vision delivers the animal to the families in need. Through this program, the catalog offers a powerful way to make a long-term difference.

Trying to teach kids the meaning of the season? Many families use World Vision’s Gift Catalog as a teaching tool, giving children a tangible way to learn about the needs of others. 

The catalog also offers a way to help our friends and neighbors right here in North Texas: This year’s catalog includes Family Emergency Kits,14,000 of which have been given to families in North Texas, reaching more than 70,000 people struggling from the effects of COVID. These kits provide non-perishable food for a family of five and are being distributed here and across the U.S. in partnership with churches and schools to reach those who need it most. World Vision works from a domestic response warehouse located in North Texas, on Orr Boulevard in Grand Prairie, employing North Texans and offering a place to volunteer to help others, as well.

Also located in North Texas is the World Vision Teacher Resource Center (TRC) program, which provides new school supplies, backpacks, clothing, and other classroom resources to students in schools across DFW with 70 percent or higher poverty rates. Many teachers and other school staff come to a World Vision warehouse facility or mobile TRC and "shop," free of charge, for the products most useful to their students and classrooms. During Covid-19 in 2020, World Vision has added mobile distribution to get the supplies to DFW schools in need.

“In our own neighborhoods and churches, we see the economic hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are moved to help. My prayer for this Christmas is even as we may be more isolated physically, God will use this moment to bring us closer to his heart for those desperately in need, who are often unseen and forgotten,” said Edgar Sandoval Sr., president and CEO of World Vision U.S.

It’s an especially critical year for children in the world’s toughest places. Due to the economic impact of the pandemic and shutdowns, more than 70 million more people could be pushed back into extreme poverty – the first rise in global poverty since 1998. World Vision is estimating this could put up to 10 million children at risk of famine if immediate action isn’t taken.

World Vision partners with Gifts with a Cause,a fair trade organization that provides a sustainable income to artists in developing countries. Each artisan receives a living wage, a safe place to work, business development training and opportunities to build long-term business relationships in their communities. 

This year, Emmy® Award-winning actor, producer and author Patricia Heaton; actor, director and producer Melissa Joan Hart; Sadie Robertson Huff, TV personality and best-selling author; Leanne Ford, interior designer, author and HGTV star; and Wé McDonald, singer and author, all have items featured in the catalog. Each woman lent her unique style to the design of a beautiful artisan-made gift. 

Proceeds from the handcrafted gifts in the catalog go to the World Vision Fund, which addresses specific, urgent needs in World Vision’s humanitarian work that empower people out of poverty. Launched 25 years ago, the World Vision Gift Catalogis one of the most popular gift-giving platforms for families across the United States. 

 

To order from World Vision’s Gift Catalog visit www.worldvision.org or call 1-855-WV-GIFTS (1-855-984-4387). 

 

 

 

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The holiday season has officially begun! As you string the lights and sing the carols, enjoy the most heartwarming season of the year with gifts that make a difference. The Mommies In Need Gift Guide has wonderful presents for everyone on your list.

Idea: Gift some sparkle from Kendra Scott

Perfect for: Those special ladies in your life

Beautiful jewelry that gives back to the causes we love most is the very heart of Kendra Scott. Gift special ladies in your life with a piece she will cherish. On December 4 and 5, Mommies In Need receives 20 percent of proceeds when you use the code GIVEBACK-0LQ9.

“We make a choice to see the good in every day – in the mirror, in each other, and in our communities. When we see the good that’s possible, together, we can create it.”  - Kendra Scott

Idea: Give the Gift that Gives Back

Perfect for: That thoughtful person you adore, a mom or grandmother, or even corporate holiday gifting

The gift to give this year is one that acknowledges our many blessings and helps others in need. With a gift to the Mommies In Need Holiday Giving Campaign, you can provide childcare for a parent battling a health crisis and take at least one big worry off their minds.

Donations of any size are acknowledged with a dedicated bowwith their name on it on the giving wall at Annie’s Place. Donations of $100 or more, or sign-ups for monthly donations, are acknowledged with a special bell featuring their name on our giving wall. Mommies In Need Founder and CEO Natalie Boyle will be reading off names on special Facebook Lives throughout the month of December, so tune in to hear yours!

Additionally, donors who give $25 or more may request a new Mommies In Need gift card to be sent to the person they are honoring with their donation (or we can send it to you and you can tuck it inside a Christmas package as an added surprise!). Your recipient can keep the card as a special memento of your gift to them, while your thoughtfulness provides a day of care for a family in need.

Donations are tax-deductible and any dollar amount helps. (Did you know that $25 provides a day of care at Annie’s Place?) To learn more or to make a gift, click here.

Idea: Gift Beautiful Notecards 

Perfect for: Teacher gifts, stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, or for anyone who loves to write beautiful notes

Send your sweetest thoughts on beautiful notecards from Mommies In Need, or gift these to that hostess or teacher. Available in packs of 10 for only $25 (plus shipping), these beautiful notecards each feature a piece of art in the very first Mommies In Need Art Collection. Ten North Texas artists—all talented women—have contributed their art to benefit our mission to provide childcare, community and compassion to parents battling a health crisis. This pack of 10 notecards has 10 different beautiful pieces of art to admire, making this a perfect gift for yourself or someone special in your life. Gift cards are available here.

Idea: Gift a Virtual Visit with Santa

Perfect for: The littles in your life – children, grandchildren, neighborhood friends

Don’t miss this: The Big Guy in Red will make an appearance at Annie’s Place on Sunday, December 13, live from the Mommies In Need Facebook page. Sponsored by Comerica Bank, Santa will read a holiday story for all of the good little boys and girls at 1 p.m.

Then, from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on December 13, Santa will be doing individual live virtual visits with the kiddos in your life. Parents will even receive a keepsake photo of the visit. Advance registration is required (click here). And because Comerica Bank covered Santa's travel expenses from the North Pole, the suggested donation of $20 goes directly to the Mommies In Need mission of caring for the children of parents battling a health crisis!

The staff and volunteers of Mommies In Need wishes everyone a happy, healthy holiday season.

 

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Local non-profit launches holiday program to bring Santa to kids and food to tables
 
Metrocrest Services is offering a unique opportunity to help bring joy this holiday season, to both people in need and to children who look forward to their chat with Santa Claus. The non-profit, which is dedicated to helping those in need in the Metrocrest area of Addison, Carrollton, Coppell and Farmers Branch and the portion of Dallas in Denton County, will do Santa Calls to help bring smiles this season. 
 
Reservations are now open for a call from Santa Claus December 14-22 when, for only $15, your child can receive a special phone call from the North Pole. Have more children in your household? Each additional good little boy or girl is just $5. This tax-deductible donation helps to fund important programs that help those in need through Metrocrest Services, including hunger relief. Phone calls can be made to children anywhere in the U.S., so this makes a great gift for grandparents, aunts and uncles, or anyone with littles on their list. 
 
To spread additional cheer this holiday season, Santa Calls can also be donated to a child in need right here in North Texas. For only $40, the child receives a phone call from Santa, and that child’s parent has the opportunity to select a gift perfect for their child from Metrocrest Services. The gift is wrapped and ready for that child on Christmas morning, preserving the special traditions many families enjoy at Christmastime. 
 
“We all know how special Christmas is to children, and we want as many children as possible to be able to enjoy the season,” said Nicole Binkley, COO of Metrocrest Services. “Even more importantly, this program will help provide nutritious meals to those who desperately need it. So many people are struggling this year, and we are grateful that our volunteers are helping extend the magic of the season to those who might have lost hope.” 
 
Visits to Metrocrest Services are up significantly over last year as North Texas families struggle with the effects of the pandemic. In 2019, Metrocrest Services provided more than 913,000 meals to adults, children and seniors in need. This year, the non-profit organization has provided more than 1,950,000 meals thus far. Food Pantry visits to Metrocrest Services have increased more than 279 percent over last year. 
 
Metrocrest Services assists individuals living in Carrollton, Addison, Farmers Branch, Coppell and the city of Dallas (75287) residents located in Denton County. The focus of Metrocrest Services is assisting families, individuals, and senior adults who are coping with crisis situations, need help stabilizing their lives, or who require support to live independently. Services provided include rent and utility bill aid, financial and budgeting assistance, and food. We also provide employment counseling along with gas cards or bus vouchers for job-seekers and transportation, minor home repairs, and home-delivered meals benefit seniors. 
 
“The volunteers and staff of Metrocrest Services are dedicated to building a stronger community together, and this year more than ever, we need your help,” Binkley said. “We can all help be Santa in this magical Christmas season.” 
 
To book or donate a Santa call, please click here
 
Metrocrest Services, Inc., is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing programs for individuals, families, and seniors that lead to self-sufficiency and foster independence. Programs include rent and utility bill assistance, financial and budgeting assistance, food pantry, employment counseling, and transportation, minor home repairs, and home-delivered meals to benefit seniors. Additionally, Metrocrest provides programs focused on children including holiday gifts, summer food, and school supplies. For more information, visit www.metrocrestservices.org
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Dr. Field Harrison of MINT Dentistry serves the community with Grocery Giveaways

Two events on November 22 celebrate Thanksgiving; giveaways will continue weekly 

through end of 2020

 

MINT dentistry is going beyond the world of dentistry in its mission to serve the community. To help people in need, MINT has partnered with Trinity Church to give away free groceries every Sunday until the end of the year to help people experiencing food insecurity. To give thanks and share that gratitude with others, MINT dentistry and Trinity Church will start by conducting two grocery giveaways this Sunday, November 22, in special, dedicated drive-throughs set up by Trinity Church.

The first Thanksgiving grocery giveaway will take place at the Cedar Hill campus of Trinity Church, located at 1231 E. Pleasant Run Road in Cedar Hill, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and runs through 12 p.m. noon, or until supplies run out for 750 Thanksgiving meals (feeding approximately 3,000 people). The first 500 people will receive a 22-pound turkey or a 20-pound hen, along with non-perishables perfect for a Thanksgiving meal: corn, green beans, cranberry sauce, stuffing and more. Others will receive non-perishable groceries such as pasta, canned goods and more. People can simply line up in their vehicles to receive a box (touch-free, from volunteers wearing masks), and a message of hope. 

A second Thanksgiving grocery giveaway will then take place at the Fairmeadows campus of Trinity Church at 734 Cavan Road in Duncanville beginning at 12:15 p.m. on November 22. At this giveaway, 300 Thanksgiving meals (feeding approximately 1200 people) will be available and include a cooked ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, bread and cake.

“We are grateful to partner with such a phenomenal church in this mission to provide for our friends and neighbors,” Dr. Harrison, founder of MINT dentistry, said. “Serving families by giving them food is an honor--but providing them hope through that donation means even more.” Dr. Harrison, his wife, Sabrina, and the team at MINT dentistry have donated more than 100,000 meals so far in 2020, and they look forward to many thousands more through this partnership with Trinity Church. 

If you or someone you know is in need of groceries, please join one of these two Thanksgiving grocery giveaways on November 22. MINT dentistry and Trinity Church will continue to serve the community with free groceries every Sunday through 2020 at the Trinity Church main campus in Cedar Hill. There is no need to sign up – just show up!  Giving is first-come, first-served in a drive-thru style pick-up line with no contact (following CDC guidelines). 

As a result of the effects of COVID-19 on the economy and nation, one out of every four families in America is struggling with food insecurity. The global pandemic has put many individuals and businesses out of work and many are in need of weekly groceries to feed their own families. 

MINT dentistry has more than 50 locations in Dallas and Houston, with a highly skilled support staff that specializes in general and cosmetic dentistry. The company also offers orthodontic and oral surgery at various locations throughout the DFW Metroplex. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, visit MINTdentistry.com, call 214-821-MINT, or visit MINT dentistry  @MINTdentistry on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Luminova Holidays 3_Photo Credit Luminova Holidays

Don’t miss the bright spot of the year at Luminova Holidays, where you can celebrate the season in style! Now through January 3, Globe Life Field, the all-new stadium in Arlington, transforms into a winter wonderland. Surrounded by 2.7 million twinkling lights, there is so much to see and do at the socially safe indoor and outdoor Christmas experience. Luminova offers you something that gets you and your family out of your car to enjoy the most wonderful time of year that we all love so much….and do it safely.

Marvel at larger-than-life displays that include Christmas trees, reindeers, snowflakes, ornaments and brilliantly lit tunnels that are large enough to stroll through. In addition to the more than six acres of lights at Luminova, families and friends will enjoy attractions that provide opportunities for unforgettable holiday memories. Safely snap those selfie-worthy pics that will be perfect for this year’s Christmas card photo. It is even a great place to romantically pop the question to the person you love in a memorable and unique way. 

There are lots of activities at Luminova Holidays that are guaranteed to put smiles on faces, too. Strap on ice skates and experience the thrill of gliding on the largest outdoor rink in Texas. Feel like a kid again as you leap up and down on an interactive lighted hopscotch path. All aboard! Families will enjoy riding on trackless train rides, all while enjoying a tour of the Luminova wonderland. Relax and enjoy snacks and drinks that are sure to please everyone. Even the Big Guy in red will be at the sprawling wonderland, ready to hear everyone’s holiday wishes.

With more than 270,000 square feet of outdoor and spacious indoor areas, there is ample social distancing at Luminova Holidays and it is your safe holiday experience this Christmas. Skip the extra cleaning prior to and after gatherings to keep your home and guests safe from germs and viruses. Invite family and friends to meet at Luminova for a socially safe and fun experience. In addition to following the CDC and Texas Department of State Health Services guidelines, Luminova Holidays works closely with Tarrant County, the City of Arlington and the Texas Rangers to make sure the holiday celebration meets all guidelines and safety protocols recommended. Be prepared to wear a mask if you are over 10 years of age. No bags are allowed inside Globe Life Field except for necessary medical bags and diaper bags that accompany infants and young children. Small clutch bags and clear bags are not allowed.

When purchasing Luminova tickets online, select a timed entry to avoid lines at the entrance. Stay as long as you wish once you enter.  The light path experience will be in a one-way directional path, where you can space out accordingly as you wander through the dazzling light trail. 

Limited tickets are available nightly to keep the experience enjoyable while social distancing, so be sure to purchase your Luminova Holidays tickets early to secure your preferred night. Prices start at $14.99. A family pack, which includes two adults and up to three kids, starts at $59.99.Online ticket purchases are suggested to avoid in-person contact. From December 3 - 12, the Luminova plaza will be part of the National Finals Rodeo experience. For a full list of available dates, please visit the Luminova website. Globe Life Field is located at 734 Stadium Drive, Arlington, Texas 76011. 

Make Luminova Holidays your plan for safe holiday get-togethers this year. It is where the most wonderful time of the year is fun for all ages. For tickets and more information, visit LuminovaHolidays.com

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Non-profit partners with Parkland to provide first-of-its-kind care
 
 Patients at Parkland Health & Hospital System experiencing a health crisis now have access to safe, loving childcare at a new drop-in childcare facility, Annie’s Place. This is the first childcare center from Mommies in Need, a Dallas-based non-profit that provides community, childcare and compassion to families, and is believed to be the first partnership of its kind between a non-profit and a public hospital to provide free, on-site childcare. Annie’s Place allows Mommies in Need to serve even more parents, who should never have to forgo life-saving care for themselves because of a lack of childcare. 
 
“Having a serious health condition is just one thing these parents wrestle with,” noted Natalie Boyle, founder and CEO of Mommies in Need who has battled cancer and other life-altering conditions herself while raising two small children. “They also think about how they are going to possibly care for these little humans who depend on them. Supporting parents on this journey means taking this one very important worry off of their minds and allowing them the time and space they will need to heal.” 
 
A Parkland studyshowed that nearly two-thirds of mothers have difficulty finding childcare during their medical appointments. Many of them even delay or forego treatment entirely when faced with finding a safe place to keep their child. 
 
According to Kimberly Kho, MD, MPH, a Parkland OB/GYN and Associate Chief of Gynecology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, who led the research project, “What we found is that caregiving responsibilities are the number one reason that patients surveyed are missing appointments, which means they are delaying care and often ending up in the emergency room. That is not only costly, but it’s not the ideal place to get healthcare.” 
 
“This partnership with Mommies in Need will have a positive impact on health outcomes for many Parkland patients, allowing them to access timely care for life-saving services such as chemotherapy and surgical procedures,” said Marilyn Callies, Senior Vice President of Transitional and Post Acute Services at Parkland. 
 
At this time, Parkland is offering the childcare service available at Annie’s Place to a limited group of Parkland oncology patientsfacing a medical crisis. 
 
Boyle’s own battle brought her to the realization that other moms out there needed the help she was able to get, and Mommies in Need was born in 2014. To date, Mommies in Need has provided more than 25,000 hours of care at no cost to families, all funded by the generosity of donors. 
 
With the opening of Annie’s Place, the first drop-in childcare center from Mommies in Need, on November 2, patient families can receive complimentary childcare on Parkland’s main campus, home to Parkland Memorial Hospital, Parkland outpatient specialty clinics, ambulatory surgical center and more. Named for the first mom to receive support from Mommies in Need, Annie’s Place will care for up to 36 children per day (a number well under capacity to create appropriate distancing precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic), allowing their moms, dads or other legal guardians to receive treatment. The 4,200-square-foot facility offers care on both a licensed and exempt basis under State of Texas laws, and is expected to serve 3,650 unduplicated children, ages 0 to 6, during its first year of operation. Annie’s Place is staffed by teachers who receive special training, including trauma-informed care, to provide for the needs of a child whose parent is experiencing a health crisis. Ongoing training for teachers and staff happens on a monthly basis, with additional modules on hospice care, stress management and play therapy, caring for children with special needs and personal professional development skills as part of the ongoing curriculum. 
 
“We look for qualified, experienced people who also have a heart of gold to serve our families,” Boyle said, “and the relationships they build with our families in their time of need is an incredible part of the compassion and community Mommies in Need offers. It’s not just about the childcare; it’s also about giving support and hope.” 
 
Teachers and staff have also completed COVID-specific training through the State of Texas to be prepared to create a safe and supportive environment for children during the pandemic. In addition, the strict infection prevention procedures that were already in place for the facility were taken to new levels in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
Boyle considers the timing a silver lining to this health crisis plaguing the world. “We already had strict precautions in place for cleanliness to protect our families, but this allowed us additional perspective as we prepared Annie’s Place for our families. That influenced everything from how many toys we purchased, to which furniture we used, to how children were separated and even how team members move around to different assignments during the day.” With the effects of the pandemic also allowing parents fewer options in where to get care for their children, Boyle said that the timing for opening Annie’s Place couldn’t be better. “Protecting the health of the parents and families we serve has always been our top priority, and now we’re called on to help in what is a very dark time for many people, especially parents fighting a battle for their health. We feel called and compelled to be there for them.” 
 
Mommies In Need is a non-profit organization that relies on the generous support of compassionate individuals, foundations and businesses that recognize the value of the services Mommies in Need provides to families. Among its many supporters are The Crystal Charity Ball, The Simmons Sisters Fund at the Dallas Foundation, The Constantin Foundation, Hamon Charitable Foundation, The Meadows Foundation, The Moody Foundation, and Perot Foundation, as well as in-kind partners The Beck Group and Winstead PC. 
 
A ribbon-cutting for Annie’s Place is planned for November 19 that 9:30 a.m. 
 
More information about Mommies in Need is available on its website and through its Facebook and Instagram. For more information about services at Parkland, please visit www.parklandhospital.com
 
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Visit with Santa and enjoy holiday shopping and carriage rides  in this beautiful outdoor lifestyle destination
 
Celebrate the holidays with the time-honored tradition of a visit with Santa Claus. November 22 through December 24, Southlake’s premier lifestyle destination, Southlake Town Square, hosts Santa’s Village, where kids of all ages can enjoy a contactless visit with the jolly old elf himself in a magical winter wonderland in the outdoor pavilion of Rustin Park. In addition to a visit with Santa, visitors can also take carriage rides and holiday shopping in Southlake Town Square, a beautifully-decorated outdoor lifestyle destination. 
 
“We’re pleased to offer the picture-perfect place to enjoy the magic of the holiday season in our outdoor setting,” Liz Barth, director of marketing for Southlake Town Square, said. “This year, more than ever, our guests are interested in those time-honored traditions that allow them to enjoy each other and make memories together. Whether it’s visiting Santa, taking a carriage ride, or shopping for all their loved ones, Southlake Town Square is ready to be everyone’s home for the holidays.” 
 
In Santa’s Village at Southlake Town Square, visitors will find Santa in a traditional red suit with a real beard white as snow, sporting his genuinely jolly personality. This holiday tradition is complemented with a modern-day need to promote safety for visitors with regard to COVID-19. Children can enjoy telling Santa all about their wish lists in a socially-distant way that allows for all the fun and photos. Elves in Santa’s Village will conduct cleanings between each visit, and will wear masks and maintain social distancing. Santa’s sleigh and suit will be sanitized between each photo shoot, and clear dividers allow children to visit Santa and his elves safely in this outdoor setting. 
 
To visit with Santa, families need to check in when they arrive in person to the Elf Station next to Santa’s Village to put their names on the reservation list (same-day visit only). If there is a wait time, they can enjoy time in the Square. Guests will receive a text 10 minutes prior to their visit with Santa. 
 
For a list of hours, visit the Santa’s Village pageon the Southlake Town Square website (please note: Santa breaks for milk and cookies every day between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.). 
 
“We are excited to keep the holidays merry and bright,” Barth said. “While this experience may be a little different this year, it will be joyful and memorable!”