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$4 gifts that fill the void

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Filling The Void _Lunch_PictureIf you haven’t found that perfect gift for your special someone, here’s a novel idea: Do something great in their name by giving to a good cause that helps your fellow man. It’s even local. And tax-deductible.

Filling The Void Dallas is a Flower Mound-based niche non-profit that feeds and cares for the homeless and needy in the Metroplex. The group was incorporated in 2012 as an offshoot of its founding namesake (Filling The Void) in Oklahoma that has garnered two national awards for community service.

The Dallas branch is now nearing its 10,000th meal since its inception after serving 3,400 meals so far in 2015. That might not seem like an eye-popping number until you consider a couple of factors.

First, every one of those meals represents someone in need. Second, the organization has no paid employees. Everyone, including its board of directors, serves on a volunteer basis. This allows 100 percent of your gift to go toward feeding folks.

Those volunteers typically hit the streets three times a month, mostly on Saturdays, in pursuit of opportunities to lift up the hope and courage of people in need.

Filling The Void places an emphasis on one-to-one, personal interactions and the quality of what goes into the sack lunches it serves. The group has never done a PB&J and never will. Recipients find sandwiches from Chick Fil A, along with chips, cookies, bottled water, a fruit bar and an encouraging note.

Each meals costs about $4. You can feed multiple people for $20, $50 or $100. The organization can also mail a card to your special someone to tell them about the gift you made in their name.

“This is not about a hand-out. Our mission is to lead people into lasting life-change,” said Gary Nilson of Flower Mound who leads the organization.

“That process can start with something like a sack lunch, a hug, a handshake – anything that lifts up their dignity and reinforces the value of their life. We’re like a front door to the shelters and other agencies.”

Checks can be made to Filling The Void Dallas and mailed to 5209 Remington Park Drive in Flower Mound, 75028. You will receive a receipt for your gift. Find out more at www.fillingthevoid.com.

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