WAXAHACHIE — Waxahachie Junior Service League presented a $15,000 grant to Common Ground Ministries, improving its after-school and summer day-time programs for at-risk students.

“It was a day to celebrate the partnership with the Waxahachie Junior Service League (WJSL) and the kids,” expressed Stacey Dixon, Common Ground Ministries’ program director, about the presentation of funds last Monday, July 10.

Extended over a three-year period, the grant allows $5,000 to be dispersed every year, adding up to a total of $15,000.

“Our goal for each one of our kids is to have a good foundation and to be able to be positive, and to go to college,” Dixon described. “A lot of our kids feel like they can’t go anywhere but we’re hoping to instill in them that there’s a future for them and they can do anything they want to.”

Formed in 1991, the Christian outreach program has provided spiritual, emotional, and education benefits to at-risk children and youth in East Waxahachie, continuing its influence today.

As part of WJSL’s “Long Term Project” to help a worthy organization within the community, the nonprofit chose Common Ground Ministries as the honored recipient of the grant.

“So we take all the proceeds we earned from our Christmas Market that happens every year in December, and we put all of that back out into the community,” explained Lauren Hargrave, WSJL’s Long Term Project chair.

“Our Long Term Project is our biggest project. Through an application process, our committee and organization voted, and we chose Common Ground’s project this year,” she articulated. “Because they not only help the kids emotionally, academically, and spiritually, but they also wanted to reach their kids with special needs.”

Dating back to 1952, the WJSL was established as an organization that serves the interest of Ellis County through volunteerism and financial donations for organizations that help women and children.

Through the financial partnership, the investment will be used to improve Common Ground’s curriculum, educational manipulatives, and update technology for their students.

“The funds will be used for books which are adapted for reading and math improvement, and written at a specific reading level so we can work with children where they are now,” explained Jim Jordan, board member of Common Ground Ministries.

“We need something where we can meet the child where they are, do something they can manage, and progress from there, so the funds will provide educational materials,” he added.

Previous beneficiaries of the Long Term Project Award include the Gingerbread House of Ellis County, Campfire Creek, and Hidden Miracles, adding Common Ground Ministries to the list.

“It’s wonderful to see how much the community cares about our ministry,” acknowledged Victoria Cobbs, Common Ground Ministries' interim assistant director.

“Some days’ it’s more difficult than others and some day’s we have less help than others, but it’s nice to be reminded that there are people out there who care and are willing to support us financially, with prayer, or donations,” she thanked.

Looking towards the future, the partnership of both organizations will encourage students to succeed in their academic dreams.

“We are a lighthouse and a safe heaven on the east side of Waxahachie. I’ve had a lot of parents agree with that, and I’m very thankful for that, and I’m proud of it,” Dixon recognized.

“This is a big financial support from the Waxahachie Service Junior League and an exciting partnership that will allow us to grow and expand in many different areas,” she concluded.

To connect with Common Ground Ministries, visit cgmwax.org or call (972) 923-2224. For more information about the Waxahachie Junior Service League, visit waxahachiejsl.org.

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Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer

(469)-517-1450