The numbers…

I believe that stories are more impactful than numbers.

I think it’s more important for you to know the stories of the families we serve than the numbers and data behind it. We can all relate to financial struggles, challenges of family and raising children, finding meaningful employment, and appreciating our community and quality of life.

But the numbers are impressive…

  • Last year ACO assisted 14,601 Collin County residents with services and programs to prevent hunger and homelessness.
  • ACO provided $541,850 in rent and utility assistance to keep families in their homes and their lights and heat on for their children.
  • ACO also provided $3,529,292 to families for food, household essentials, and clothing. 1,995,059 pounds of food were given to families in need, the equivalent of approximately 20,000 grocery carts filled.
  • 883 students began the school year with new backpacks and school supplies, valued at more than $75,000.
  • 2207 children and teens were given bags of toys, bicycles, gift cards and Christmas wishes to assist Collin County parents who could not afford gifts for their children during the holidays.
  • 8,401 volunteers served 29,126 hours to support ACO programs and services. That’s the equivalent of an additional 14 full-time employees working year-round, which is 1/3 of ACO’s current staff.

Imagine all of these numbers and relate them to stories of thousands of grateful moms and dads, children will full tummies who did not go to bed hungry, and families who had a place to turn for help when faced with desperate times.

This month two years ago, in March 2020 we all were faced with new struggles as COVID-19 changed our world. How ACO had operated for more than a decade completely changed overnight as we adjusted to the issues that the pandemic brought to Collin County families.

24 months later, we are serving our community very differently. We covered our parking lot at the ACO Food Pantry entrance so that our staff and volunteers could provide groceries to families directly into their cars and be protected from the weather as well as COVID, while not bringing crowds of people together inside the pantry. That process continues as the number of families in need of food has remained more than double what they were pre-pandemic. Our processes for client information intake and communications have improved, and our case managers are now welcoming families back into our offices for appointments that had gone virtual at the height of COVID-19.

At ACO Staff meetings we share stories. We share the struggles, the tears, the hugs and the accomplishments as we serve our clients and customers. We celebrate the student graduates we have in our GED program. We tell stories of single moms who are so grateful to have free essentials at the ACO Cares Center when they can’t afford things like diapers. We tell of the sleeping children in their car seats as we load free food into their cars and the gratitude expressed because those babies never need to know the struggles their parents face to simply feed them.

The numbers constantly increase, the way we operate changes, the stories continue…but our mission remains steady. Our staff remains committed and our community stays strong- all because of YOU- our donors, supporters and volunteers. I will continue to share our stories in 2022, and I ask that you continue to join hands with ACO as we serve those in need. Please continue to donate to ACO so that our stories can continue. Donate online at acocares.org or see how you can support in other ways.

One more thing…

It’s going to be a sell-out! Only 10 team slots open…

Collin County is home to a nationally known golf tournament each Spring, the AT&T Byron Nelson held at TPC Craig Ranch. The beautiful and prestigious course is private, open to its members and guests only, and to the pros each year for one tournament. Thanks goes to McKinney Mayor, George Fuller and Allen Mayor Pro Tem, Baine Brooks who are serving as Honorary Hosts to bring the ACO Golf Classic to TPC Craig Ranch, just weeks before the pros arrive for the Byron Nelson!

I want to thank George Fuller, Baine Brooks, David Craig and TPC Craig Ranch for inviting ACO to bring our fundraising efforts to McKinney and provide our golfers with this unique experience on Monday, March 21st. I want to thank our sponsors who are making this event possible, including Premier Sponsors: Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen and KCK Utility Construction Inc.

Space is limited, and tomorrow the foursome registrations opens- however only spots for less than 40 golfers remain at this time. Sponsorships are still open today and will guarantee your team spot if you register today.

Don’t delay if you want to enjoy an incredible day of golf with friends and colleagues. Team Registration opens at 8:30AM on March 1st.

For more tournament info, visit acocares.org



President, Ross Mesquita, ZRG Partners
Vice-President, Keon Byrd, Church Eleven 32
Secretary, Darion Culbertson, Alliance Data
Treasurer, Robin Sedlacek, Community Volunteer
Immediate Past President, Brad Hempkins, Hempkins Insurance
Karen O’Connor, CECO Environmental
Matt Foster, AT&T
Mary Beth Hardesty-Crouch, First United Methodist Church Allen
Randy Sandifer, Sandifer Law Office, P.C.
Neera Yanus, Securus Technologies
Connie Cagle, BKD Cpa’s & Advisors
Marianna Sennour, Community Volunteer
Shubha Srivatsa, Concentra, Inc.
Dr. Robert Schwab, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Allen
Ex-officio, Amy Gnadt, The Hartford
Board Liaison, Deputy Chief Ken Myers, City of Allen Police Department
Board Liaison, Cheryl Loving, Allen ISD
CEO, Marjorie Burr, All Community Outreach
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