Category Archives: Home page Blog

Why Teams Work Best

By | community, Home page Blog, teams | No Comments

teamWorking with a team always has benefits.  At the Longview Dream Center we have discovered that teams accomplish more than any one individual can do alone.  In the early 2000’s, organizations shifted from one dominant leader to team leaders, and team driven groups.

The Dream Center is a team driven organization and almost every department is team driven.  There are actually few jobs that we can do alone.  One of our primary goals is to unite organizations, churches and individuals to serve our city with maximum effectiveness.

Our latest team connect has been with Feed the Children.  This team connect has proven to be a game changer for the Dream Center. When teams connect on these levels everyone gains.

Teams can connect when both teams have something to gain and something to give.

An organization our size must have multiple teams and layers of teams to reach our goals and accomplish our purpose.

In our desire to attract high-capacity volunteers and high capacity relationships we have made the following observations.

1. A team has more strength than any one individual

2.  Teams bring diverse thinking resulting in dimensional innovation

3. Every team is as good as it’s communication level

4. Teams provide accountability to deadlines on projects

5. Teams need accountability to produce maximum results

  • Accountability works at it’ s best when given by every team member. Teams begin to disintegrate when some members begin to expect accountability from those who fail to give it.  When team members value accountability to one another a high level of trust is added and enhances the team.
  • Teams without accountability suffer when the weakest or slowest member fails to cooperate and performs at a less-than level of the team.  This also creates poor morale resulting in a culture of conflict and possible mediocrity.

6. Teams provide individual members the opportunity to serve one another.

7. Teams create inter-connection and inter-dependency upon the other members.

Our first awareness must be to realize that greatness can rarely be reached alone.

Volunteer Opportunities

We have a variety of volunteer opportunities at the Longview Dream Center. If you would like to VOLUNTEER and join one of our TEAMS just click the volunteer button at the top of  the home page.  You can fill out an application there or you can call and ask for Victoria.  She will gladly answer all your important questions.

 Many are also asking what can we do?  Here are a few suggestions.

  1. You can make a donation here on the home page.  Just click on the PayPal button.
  2. You can become a food assistance partner by giving a regular monthly donation.paypal
  3. You can report to us any child or family that is suffering from hunger.
  4. You can make a difference by joining a volunteer team.

We would love to hear from you, please leave a comment.

 

Why I should volunteer?

By | community, generosity, Home page Blog, values | No Comments

busyWe live in an age of so many options.  The social media craze has opened up fresh opportunities to experience the world and  challenged us in managing our life and time.  Our phone alone may be the greatest test of our life.  Most Americans now spend 4 hours a day on their phones.

So, our busyness is not always based upon our schedule or demand but most often our priorities.

We have also became a generation that struggles placing priorities in the right slot.

We love great outcomes but often fail at making great choices.

We love the idea of having a child and often resist the responsibility.

We love the idea of being married and hate doing laundry.

We love having a new car but resist making our payments on time.

We love the idea of helping others and resist being generous enough to help.

We enjoy organizations that serve the community but often fail to give our time.

We have seen first hand that the VIP’s in most all Non-Profit Organizations are the volunteers.  That is certainly true at the Longview Dream Center.

Our volunteers are the difference!

 

We are so thankful for the many volunteers that have learned some vital lessons in life.  They have learned to place a proper  priority on something beside their own lives.  This is definitely a different heart than what we see in most of our culture.

 

 

volunteers

Our Volunteers have taught us:

 

1. Their lives make a difference

We see this first hand every day. We witness the power of sacrifice every time a volunteer serves our clients.  They serve, give, listen, and share.  They are not only providing man power but heart power.  They are hope providers.

 

2. The importance of contribution

Contribution is the number 4 major need of humans.  In other words making a contribution is one of those things that assists us on our way to emotional wellness.  Serving as a volunteer is one of the most positive contributions you can make in life.

Contributing to others is the exception and not the normal.  Making a choice to contribute to others may be something for us to consider.  The rewards far outweigh the cost. When we contribute to others we live with a deeper sense of significance.  It is proven that people who volunteer are happier, and live longer than those who don’t.

Volunteer Opportunities

We have a variety of volunteer opportunities at the Longview Dream Center. If you would like to VOLUNTEER at the Dream Center just click the volunteer button at the top of  the home page.  You can fill out an application there or you can call and ask for Victoria.  She will gladly answer all your important questions.

Many are also asking what can we do?  Here are a few suggestions.

  1. You can make a donation here on the home page.  Just click on the PayPal button.
  2. You can become a food assistance partner by giving a regular monthly donation.paypal
  3. You can report to us any child or family that is suffering from hunger.
  4. You can make a difference by joining a volunteer team.

We would love to hear from you, please leave a comment.

 

 

 

 

What and Why?

By | community, giving, Home page Blog | No Comments

what“What” we are doing is obvious.  It is seen by the activity we are involved with.  If we are changing a tire it is quite easy to see. But to know “why” is not always obvious. It may be that we had a flat or the tire was totally used up.  There are also lots of other why’s we could apply.

“Why” is one of life’s most important questions. When we know “why” we know the inside story and the purpose behind the action. Knowing the “why” to something opens the door to discovery, passion, and purpose.

Why are we feeding 400 families a month? 

The Dream Center began due to the extreme poverty in our area and seeing the condition of impoverished families. This poverty is not only physical but generational and pervasive in our East Texas culture. We are working fluidly to create assistance for goods, programs and education for these families. This poverty cannot be broken by simply providing food and clothes but must be countered with programs and Life Skills that break the poverty cycle.

We must also break the cycles of low self worth and generational cycles that permeate the hearts of East Texas. Confidence can be imparted along with skills that prepare the learner for jobs and employment. At the Dream Center we have started our goals to break poverty by providing food and clothes that form a relational foundation of trust and care. Through providing needed resources we have found an entrance of trust that enables us to go deeper into our clients struggles.

Why are we so focused on helping others?

Our LifeSource Food Program serves a variety of families. One of our primary clients are grandmothers raising children. We estimate that a large portion of our food clients are in this category.   The struggle with this segment of society is they are locked into a desperate situation. The struggle includes age limitations and no possible means to enter back into the job market. Most of these grandmothers are past the age of employment and their retirement funds are either social security or low-income pensions. The need is obvious.

Why are we needed?

The things we have previously accomplished reveal the need of the future!

  • We have distributed over 37,560 pounds of food in 2014
  • We have hosted 720 volunteers in the city of Longview
  • We have logged a total of over 30,000 volunteer hours.
  • We have started a Senior Box Food Program for East Texas                                                                                                          currently serving over 150
  • Senior’s a healthy box of food every month.

We can do more?

We must also break the cycles of low self worth and generational cycles of poverty that permeate the hearts of East Texans. We believe we can give hope and instill confidence through life skills classes.  These classes will empower people to become gainfully employed and stand on their own in the future.

If you would like to serve at the Dream Center just click here. paypal

If you would like to make a donation to one of our projects or programs simply click on this then click on the Paypal link.

We would love to have you become a volunteer with US!

You can also check out more opportunities by visiting our website.

We would love to hear from you.

Please leave a comment on how the Dream Center has blessed your life or family.

Programs that Make a Difference

By | community, Home page Blog, hope, programs | No Comments

BarleyPrograms often…

get a bad rap.  There are a variety of reasons why. Most of which are laced to the reality that the maintenance of a program often steals the relationship aspect.  In other words programs often get a bad rap for making us more task driven than people driven.

At LDC we so understand the tension of this reality.  It is quite easy to focus on the wrong thing.  The trouble is that we can never birth a right result with the focus on the wrong thing. And when it comes to people we have learned that they must remain the main focus.  This is the very reason we began the Dream Center.

“Our desire is to serve others and assist our clients to experience a better life.”

We desire to do more than just give stuff away.  We want to see people’s lives empowered and changed.  This means we must take the time to discern what that looks like, and create the path to change.  We are certainly working on ways and means to accomplish this in a greater way.

As we pursue…

the greater efforts we have also found that what we provide is life-changing.  And we have learned that we give more than food, clothes or free items.  That in our giving we also provide hope for the hopeless, and joy to the joyless.  We are also seeing that our generosity is also providing for people a way to see life differently.

Many of our clients have been hurt, wounded, disappointed and more.  As they watch our organization consistently serve and deliver as promised they are being healed.  Our clients are seeing that life can be good and that there are good people in the world.  They are also seeing God’s love poured out in a very tangible way.

Barley Life Program 

One of our very special programs is our Barley Program.  This program is provided by one of our partners. Her name is Dr. Mary Ruth Swope. Dr. Swope is a doctor of nutrition. You can learn about her here.

 

maryruthswopeDr. Swope is also a close friend of the Dream Center and provides a large supply of Barley Life to our clients.  Barley Life is made from the most nutritious plant on earth, BarleyLife is a whole-food concentrate with a complete nutritional profile – from pH balance to essential vitamins and minerals. Barley Life contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals, in natural forms.

Our Barley Life product is provided by Dr. Swope for those with chronic disease or health issues.  This includes obesity, immune deficiencies, and other disease related symptoms.  We have the joy of watching clients health improve.

If you would like to check our barley products or place an order you can do that here.

Our efforts continue as we dive into our community to establish strong partnerships and effective programs.

We will continue to FIGHT HUNGER and GIVE HOPE to our community!

We hope you will join us on this journey.

Partnering with us: paypal

  1. You can make a donation here on the home page.  Just click on the PayPal button.
  2. You can become a food assistance partner by giving a regular monthly donation.
  3. You can report to us any child or family that is suffering from hunger.
  4. You can also make a difference by joining a volunteer team.

Thank you for your love, prayers and support.

Your comments are solicited and appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

The Joy of Everyday

By | community, dreams, Home page Blog | No Comments

joyEveryday at the Dream Center is new day. And unlike the movie Ground Hog Day every day offers us a fresh opportunity to make a difference. Our days are different because each day serves us a different set of clients with a different need.

Now, this is both challenging and unique.  Many people go to work everyday and do the same thing over and over again.  This creates stability and some people truly enjoy that.

But at the Longview Dream Center the day, the people, and the stories are ever changing.

While serving this week I was approached by an older gentlemen.  He kindly ask; may I tell you a story?  I said, or course.  He said I cannot tell you how this place has made a difference in my life.  He went on the say how much he loved the store and the people. And then he shocked me when he said; “I live in Carthage and I pick up my neighbor and every month we drive here just to shop with you and watch what you are doing for all these people.”

I cannot explain how much that touched my heart.  As he is talking to me, there are people walking by with food and clothing. They are walking with one of our volunteers telling them about their life and what a blessing the Dream Center has been to their families.

The stories are endless.

Everyday is different because every person is important and every story is unique.

 

differenceEveryday we are living life and life is living us. We have the opportunity to be the difference and make a difference and at the Dream Center we have learned that this truly does not require much.

We can make a difference with a smile.

We can make a difference with a generous greeting.

We can make a difference by listening.

We can make a difference by serving.

Most of these cost us nothing or little and are the “difference makers” in life.

Everyday is different and you can make a difference!

Another way you can make a difference is to Partner with us.  Here are a few ways you can!100slide

  1. You can make a donation here on the home page.  Just click on the PayPal button.
  2. You can become a food assistance partner by giving a regular monthly donation.
  3. You can report to us any child or family that is suffering from hunger.
  4. You can make a difference by joining a volunteer team.
  5.  You can join our 100 giving 100 campaign.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a New Year

By | community, generosity, Home page Blog | No Comments

20162016 is here!  We are so excited about the new year and the opportunities that a New Year brings.  2015 was a great year for us as we completed our first calendar year.  We experienced many great moments of serving our community and being a resource to so many.  Choosing the main highlight of the year would be difficult but sharing many stories would be exceptionally easy.

Every day at the Dream Center we see so many people served, empowered, and encouraged.  Our food assistance program and our free clothing touches hundreds of people every week.  These 2 programs also provide needed resources that are basic needs for life and living.

Maybe you have heard that we were privileged to take over the operations of Mothers on Missions. We are humbled and honored to inherit and carry on the legacy of Mothers on Mission.  This ministry has been providing free clothing in Gregg County for 8 years.  In 2015 alone we distributed over 109,000 pieces of free clothing and  Mom’s has distributed over 300,000 pieces of FREE CLOTHING since their beginning in 2007.

In December alone we donated over 7,972 pieces of free clothing to our clieIMG_1525nts.

2015 was a year for us to celebrate.  Our greatest achievement was the new relationships we established with a variety of partners, friends, and organizations.  One of our prized relationships is with the East Texas Food Bank.  The Food Bank has been a great resource to us and a true partner in providing hunger relief to Gregg County.

The East Texas food bank not only provides us quality food for the best price possible but also supplies us with a variety of free resources, food scholarships, and other supportive means.

The East Texas Food Bank is also our partner in serving the Senior Citizens of our city.  Every month we partner together to serve over 150 clients.  We have increased this program over 50% in 2015 alone. This program provides a large size quantity of food and the quality is top notch to qualified families.

The best part of this program are the relationships that our team has established with these wonderful people.

We hope you will join us on this journey.

Partnering with us: paypal

  1. You can make a donation here on the home page.  Just click on the PayPal button.
  2. You can become a food assistance partner by giving a regular monthly donation.
  3. You can report to us any child or family that is suffering from hunger.
  4. You can make a difference by joining a volunteer team.

 

And finally…You can also be one of the first

partners in our 100 for $100.00 campaign.

100slide

 

 

 

 

Ending Our Year and Ready for 2016

By | community, giving, Home page Blog | No Comments
DreamCTR_n
 Last Sunday Chele Bass turned over the reigns of Mothers on Mission to the Longview Dream Center.  We are humbled and honored to receive such an impacting ministry. Mothers on Mission has been providing free clothing in Gregg County for 8 years.  They have distributed over 300,000 pieces of FREE CLOTHING to those in need.

Our ministry is honored to receive and protect the legacy of Mothers on Mission.

We are also very passionate for the other areas we are providing care. As we reflect on the year, we are thankful for so many things! In 2015, the Longview Dream Center operated its first full calendar year.  During this year, we have served countless families, who were in need of food or clothing, and most were grateful just to know there is still someone out there who genuinely cares about their well-being.

At the Dream Center we call this serving HOPE back to our community.

It is amazing how a few bags of groceries or a pair of pants or shoes can positively change a person’s mindset and attitude. Many of our clients experience chronic hopelessness, or just need a small amount of encouragement or help them to make it through another season of their lives.

None of this would be possible without your help. I am writing today to thank you for your  encouragement, and your partnership.

I am also writing to thank you for your financial support in the months ahead.  Our annual budget is nearly 100,000.00.

Will you consider a recurring gift of $84 a month which would provide $1,000 a year to support our ministry?

Will you consider a one time donation between now and December 31st?

You can mail all tax-deductible contributions to the Longview Dream Center, 803 Gilmer Road, Longview, Texas 75601.

Or you can click this link to make a secure online donation.

paypalYour gifts can make a difference in the lives of so many!

Thank you for partnering with us.

Reflections from 2015

By | dreams, Home page Blog | No Comments

2015As we reflect on the year, we are thankful for so many things! In 2015, the Longview Dream Center operated its first full calendar year.  During this year, we have served countless families, who were in need of food or clothing, and most were grateful just to know there is still someone out there who genuinely cares about their well-being.

At the Dream Center we call this serving HOPE back to our community.

It is amazing how a few bags of groceries or a pair of pants or shoes can positively change a person’s mindset and attitude. Many of our clients experience chronic hopelessness, or just need a small amount of encouragement or help them to make it through another season of their lives.

This is why the Longview Dream Center exist!

 

We exists and thrive on providing hope to these families who are struggling daily.  We also have a vision to help change our community, one person at a time. We will do this by training and teaching people who want to better their lives, but may not have the skills or means.  This is the purpose of our Life Skills classes.

As the year comes to a close, we a gearing up for what’s in store for 2016!

 

Our efforts will begin by reaching deeper into our community and to establish strong partnerships.  We will continue to FIGHTHUNGER and GIVE HOPE to our community!

We hope you will join us on this journey.

Partnering with us: paypal

  1. You can make a donation here on the home page.  Just click on the PayPal button.
  2. You can become a food assistance partner by giving a regular monthly donation.
  3. You can report to us any child or family that is suffering from hunger.
  4. You can make a difference by joining a volunteer team.

That Time of the Year

By | generosity, giving, Home page Blog | No Comments

thanksgivingOne year ago we were so excited to provide a turkey for over 300 families.  Our excitement for this year is equally matched by many of our staff and the friends of the Dream Center.

Here at the Dream Center our heart rate rises every time we sow into the lives of others.  Our motto is find a need and fill it.  One of the greatest needs this time of year is to make sure that everyone has an adequate Thanksgiving meal and that no one suffers hunger.

Our main efforts is to be a catalyst for fighting hunger and become an education center to empower others.

As we make this one of our primary passions we also desire to empower and encourage our guests and clients.  Every person who walks through our doors deserves deep love and highest dignity.  We also consider it a privilege from God for us to serve others.

We serve our clients our Tuesday and Thursday from 4-6pm. Our food distribution is called LifeSource.  In our desire to plant love and dignity to our clients we shifted from handing them a box of food to allowing our clients to select their own food.

We call this a Choice Pantry. This also gives our volunteers the opportunity to better engage our clients and plant some love, hope, and inspiration. This also helps us to discover other ways we could serve the family or get personally involved.

We are committed to make an impact and to make a difference in our city as we endeavor to inspire others to join us to make a better Longview and a better East Texas. 

 

Thanksgiving Outreach

In the next 10 days we are focused on our Thanksgiving Outreach. Once again this year our goal is to provide 300 turkeys to families in Longview and East Texas.  This is so rewarding and such a blessing for many.  Our greatest reward is to see a smile and to hear the gratefulness from those who feel encouraged by our efforts.

We realize that we can only do this with your assistance.

 

difference

 

We are humbly appreciative of every gift and every person who has made the Dream Center so effective over the last 20 months.

Many are asking what can we do?  Here is a few suggestions.

  1. You can make a donation here on the home page.  Just click on the PayPal button.
  2. You can become a food assistance partner by giving a regular monthly donation.paypal
  3. You can report to us any child or family that is suffering from hunger.
  4. You can make a difference by joining a volunteer team.

If you would like to serve at the Dream Center just click the volunteer button at the top of  the home page.

We would love to hear from you, please leave a comment.

Risk versus Reward

By | Home page Blog | No Comments

risk

The Dream Center has been one of the central parts of our dreams for nearly 15 years.  Our founder dreamed of having a place that would serve the community and make a difference in the lives of those with legitimate needs. As many of you know great things occur where someone dreams and takes risks.

The Dream Center has been risky and miraculous from it’s beginning and the truth is we have never had the funds to do what we do.  

We began LifeSource (food assistance) out of the trunk of an automobile. We simply drove around and gave food to the needy and even delivered food to houses that looked as if there was a need.

From there, we began to use a closet located at the Ramada Inn on McCann Road.  We simply filled it with food every week and gave it to people who dropped by.  The word quickly spread and we rented some space in the same hotel and expanded again.

We shifted from a Food Closet to a Food Pantry.  The pantry was open on Thursday afternoons from 3-5.  By this time we were serving nearly 75 families per month.

The next expansion was to a church building.  We moved the Food Pantry into LifeBridge Christian Center on Alpine Road. At this time we had been serving food for nearly 3-4 years. We made another shift.  This shift was serving food on the 2nd and 4th Saturday mornings from10a-12noon.  Suddenly another increase in families served.  This shift created more opportunity for families in need.  We began serving 200 families a month.

And remember, while all this happening America has entered and gone through several recessions, lost jobs, and a difficulty economy.  There are legitimate reasons that people suffer from a shortage of food and even hunger.  Many of the middle-class cannot relate to this scenario. The reason we can’t, is due to a failure in understanding and having empathy for crisis, extreme poverty, and severe economic depression.

 Listening to stories is so paramount in finding compassion for those who are not like US!

As the Food Pantry continued to grow the church facility at LifeBridge was not able to facilitate the growing needs.  We were not able to serve produce there or grow the pantry to serve frozen foods. We desperately wanted to serve a better quality of food and therefore another shift was required.  The next step was risky but needed.dream center zoom header

Our founder decided to purchase a building. He had inquired about this particular building about 2 years prior only to find the purchase price was well over 1 million dollars. That was no doable.  But one morning he felt the need to check on this building again only to find out that the price had been reduced (24 hours before) to 500,000.00 dollars. It was the perfect location for the Dream Center.  It was risky but possible.

Our Founder devised a plan. He would meet with businessmen one and one and raise the 75,000.00 down payment.  Over the course of 45 – 60 days he scheduled meetings with 29 businessmen and ask each one to consider a minimum donation of 1,000.00 dollars.  Within 60 days the Dream Center had raised 90,000.00 and was able to close on the property at 803 Gilmer Road.  It was miraculous and exciting but not without challenge!

Of course a building has financial demands.  We have faced every challenge with faith and tenacity.  Many of our friends have stepped up to help and give.  Those stories require another post but the main story is the many rewards of having the Dream Center in Longview.

hopeWe have seen thousands of people who have been given hope.  Thousands have been served and  encouraged.  We can never compare the cost of a risk in comparison to the lives that are changed and the hope that is seen.

 

reward

Today, the risk continues.  We now serve 400 families every month.

Today we:

  • serve as a viable organization in fighting hunger
  • have united several organizations in our community
  • have hosted several community wide events
  • provide programs that make a difference in empowering others
  • provide free clothing (Mother’s on Missions)
  • provide free computer classes
  • have given away countless dollars of free items
  • have united hundreds of volunteers throughout East Texas

The rewards have certainly exceeded the risk!