Community giving event provides exposure for local nonprofits


Fred Kaiser

One of the ways Developing Working Hands helps provide resources for the Mayan population of the Atitlan region is through education. Although the Guatemalan government provides a free education, students are responsible for additional costs such as uniforms and supplies which can make it difficult for many children to attend school.

What started as an event designed to bring awareness to nonprofits in north Texas, Thursday’s North Texas Giving Day is the largest community-wide giving event in the nation with a 10th anniversary “Party in the Park” Thursday from 4:30-7:00 p.m. at Finch Park in McKinney.

For economics teacher Fred Kaiser, the day helps provide the greatest exposure for Developing Working Hands, his non-profit organization designed to “support education, economic development, and community outreach of the indigenous populations of the Americans in order to reduce poverty and increase standard of living.”

Fred Kaiser
In addition to helping provide educational opportunities, Developing Working Hands also sponsors (and take part in) community clean-ups.

“The reason we decided to get involved there was the exposure more than anything else,” Kaiser said. “Now with North Texas Day of Giving, the money has to stay in North Texas so even though our organization is primarily helping people down in Guatemala, we also do things here in North Texas as well, specifically on education side like educating students so some of the things that we have done up here for the students are like teaching things just about poverty and distribution of income in other countries, what people in other countries are facing.”

The work of Kaiser’s organization is getting a boost from several clubs on campus.

“Last year, the Junior World Affairs Council sponsored two kids in Guatemala education for a year,” AP Human Geography teacher Tim Johannes said. “We did that in December through the candy grams we did last year and we were able to sponsor two kids, plus a little bit more, ended about $200 of raising money and we gave it to Developing Working Hands.”

In 2017, North Texas Giving Day raised $39 million that benefited 2,723 local nonprofits, bringing the nine year total to $195 million for the community. The money earned goes towards nonprofit organizations to help reach their goals.

For Developing Working Hands, the goal is education.

“A girl, instead of picking coffee beans in the field, is now going to school,” Johannes said. “I know that doesn’t seem like much but that girl is getting another year of education which hopefully will help her in the future. If we can do it again, great. If she can get a second, another year, and another year, then maybe she can learn to read and write. Maybe she can get a job that will benefit her family even more in the future.”

Fred Kaiser
Some funds donated to Developing Working Hands also help provide the opportunity for the people of the Atitlan region to play soccer. Playing in the streets is relatively common, but Developing Working Hands seeks to give the people to play against other teams.

In addition to raising awareness to issues faced by people in the Mayan population of the Atitlan region, Developing Working Hands has taught Spanish 3 preAP students a few lessons.

“Our students learned about the school system in Guatemala and the challenges students face in continuing their education, whether it was due to distance or economic reasons, or both,” spanish teacher Ashli Taquino said. They felt good about themselves and also felt a sense of appreciation for what they have here in Texas and Frisco. I believe it also helped to instill some compassion for people in other parts of the world who are living in very different conditions. We will plan to contribute again this year when we reach this unit in our curriculum, “Desafíos Mundiales”, in order to give the students an opportunity to give back to the global community.”