Given that dozens of other Dallas-area nonprofits actively seek to partner with Hope Supply Co. to address critical needs, the organization is making a tremendous difference while also making a name for itself.
Founded in 1989 as The Hope Foundation for the Homeless, the agency later went by another name. In 2015, it rebranded again, this time as Hope Supply Co. The latest rebranding and tagline (“Driving change for homeless children”) reflects the organization’s deep commitment to meeting the critical personal needs of homeless and at-risk North Texas youth.
At the organization’s helm now is CEO Barbara Johnson, who first became sensitive to the issues destitute families face while she was a child.
Her father was an international businessman, and her family’s Southeast Asia experiences allowed Johnson the opportunity to look beyond the safe confines of her comfortable home life to recognize the suffering of her poverty-stricken neighbors. The contrast was sharp, and those early encounters had a lasting impact, sparking in her a desire to make a difference in the world.
Today, Hope Supply Co. prides itself on securing and distributing the kinds of critical items (diapers, clothing, school supplies, toys) that nurture a sense of comfort, wellness and worthiness in recipients.
The nonprofit’s work is a large-scale effort requiring grassroots buy-in, dedication and sustained collaboration.
Their numbers are impressive.
Currently the organization fulfills its mission thanks to a robust network featuring 70 partner nonprofits that work together through a hub-and-spoke collaborative model. In 2018, Hope Supply Co. distributed more than 30,000 diapers each week. Additional supplies, programs and services also enriched the lives of 64,000 children through the distribution of $2.8 million worth of items.
Whether it’s providing a personal hygiene kit for a homeless teenager, a supply-filled backpack and school uniform for an elementary student or a colorful, shiny new toy for a preschooler, Hope Supply Co. operates as the only North Texas nonprofit that exists solely to supplement the inadequate supply of critically needed youth items.
Even after 30 years of service, it continues to develop new approaches to close the North Texas supply-and-demand gap. For instance, four diaper pantries now operate around Dallas where mothers can go directly to obtain the exact infant and toddler supplies they need. To help the nonprofit stay nimble and responsive, the organization meets monthly with 12 other key nonprofit stakeholders to brainstorm solutions to community needs.
Yet Johnson believes it’s the one-to-one personal interactions with Hope Supply Co. beneficiaries that keep her and her team motivated.
“It really gives you a sense of perspective about not having the newest, most expensive sofa or the latest popular brand of shoes. It keeps you grounded,” Johnson said. “You see firsthand just how much having a supply of clean diapers can impact a family. That’s something you don’t take for granted.”