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Man on a mission

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Ian Lawson is a man on a mission. As the Chief Development Officer of Lewisville-based Christian Community Action, he is in the final stretch of a capital campaign called Shared Independence, designed to raise $4 million to enlarge the reach of the non-profit and almost double the number of clients or “angels” they serve. 

When CCA helps someone, the effect is immediate rescue for the family in need, but they also provide pieces of the puzzle that will allow them to become self-sufficient. One example is Jack Parks.

“Jack is the personification of the campaign’s designation as Shared Independence; his story is why CCA is so beloved in our community,” added Lawson.  “When we complete this capital raise and build the new donation center, we will be in a position to significantly broaden our scope and transform twice as many “Jack’s!”

Parks is now the furniture manager at the Carrollton CCA reSale store, but before CCA came to his rescue, he and his wife Kimberly were in financial crises. Lawson said they have been “angels” since April 2010. 

“They have been weekly shoppers at the food pantry.  We have provided financial assistance including rent, gas, electric, and water and they have also been clinic patients.”  Now, Lawson said, Jack is a fabulous upbeat reSale associate with a can-do attitude.

“We give them a lot,” Lawson said, “but we ask for a lot, too. We rescue folks first, and then the accountability comes in. Our end goal is to make them self sufficient, so we give them skills, not just money.”  

As it turns out, many of their “angels” turn out to be employees of CCA, and people like Jack Parks are the reason a man like Ian Lawson is a man on a mission.

“We are in the home stretch. It seems it’s the easiest part, but it has it’s challenges,” Lawson said, adding that their current challenge is to raise $500,000 by Dec. 31st in order to receive a matching grant from the Mabee Foundation in Oklahoma, a group that aids Christian religious organizations, charitable organizations, institutions of higher learning, hospitals and similar organizations.

The money raised will go toward a new distribution/donation center proposed in Flower Mound’s Lakeside Development, and Lawson said they hope to break ground this summer and open in the first half of next year. After looking for an existing building, Lawson said they just couldn’t find one to meet their needs, so they decided to build.

The new facility in Flower Mound will enable CCA to help more and more people. In today’s economy, Parks said the face of poverty has really changed; more and more of their clients have led stable lives in the community, but after being out of work for a year or more and going through their savings, they need some type of help. Once the new Flower Mound facility is up and running, with new store locations in place, Lawson said they will be able to serve 20,000 angels annually instead of their current 12,000.

CCA currently raises half of their budget each year through their reSale stores, which are located in Old Town Lewisville, Business 121 in Lewisville, The Colony and N. Carrollton. The proceeds from those four stores allow CCA to operate a medical clinic, a food pantry, housing support, seasonal programs, vocational and educational training; in addition to their critical family financial assistance.

To learn more about CCA and their capital campaign, e-mail ian.lawson@ccahelps.org.

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