Staff from Collegiate Edu-Nation / Hamlin ISD receive grant for STEM center improvements.

(August 22, 2022) — The 2022 grant cycle of the Dr. Paula Windham Fund for Education and Community Development has awarded $296,950 to 11 surrounding area nonprofits, a first-time disbursement of awards from a fund at the Community Foundation of Abilene (CFA) made possible by the late Dr. Paula Andree Windham of Oplin, Texas.

Dr. Windham was a pillar of the Oplin community. She was known to be a trailblazer, a ranch woman, scholar, and woman of faith. This new fund extends the impact on nonprofit causes beyond Abilene.

“We are committed to making a charitable impact beyond Abilene’s city limits,” said CFA President/CEO Katie Alford. “The generosity of Dr. Windham positions the foundation to support our outlying communities in the greater west-central Texas region.”

Grants from this fund support a range of rural nonprofit initiatives serving the counties within a 150-mile radius of Oplin, including: Brown, Callahan, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, Fisher, Haskell, Jones, Kent, Knox, Mitchell, Nolan, Runnels, Scurry, Shackelford, Stephens, Stonewall, Taylor, and Throckmorton.

The final list of recipients and their projects can both be found in alphabetical order below.

Grant Recipients

1. Abilene Library Consortium – capacity building for rural libraries across a 19-county service area

2. Cisco ISD FFA – expansion of project center and community garden

3. City of DeLeon – recreation picnic area for community and visitors

4. Collegiate Edu-Nation – Hamlin ISD STEM Center improvements

5. Cross Plains Public Library – capital improvements to programming, accessibility, and safety

6. Friends of the Gap, Inc. – adult leadership class for residents of Buffalo Gap

7. Joseph Thomas Foundation – additions to medical closet program serving families across Texas

8. Museum of the West Texas Frontier – hiring of an educator to support increased programming

9. Old Jail Art Center – Art-to-Go program for K-12 students

10. Rusted and Weathered, Inc. – repair services for homes of qualifying elderly or disabled persons

11. Snyder Community Resource Center – emergency assistance and programming support