(September 1, 2023) — The 2023 grant cycle of the Dr. Paula Windham Fund for Education and Community Development, a fund established at the Community Foundation of Abilene (CFA), has awarded $278,988 to 16 surrounding area nonprofits.
Dr. Windham was a pillar of the Oplin community. She was known to be a trailblazer, a ranch woman, scholar, and woman of faith. The fund awarded its first grants in 2022, awarding more than $296k to 11 nonprofits. Learn more about Dr. Windham and how the fund extends the impact on nonprofit causes beyond Abilene.
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.
1. Big Country Area Health Education Center (BCAHEC) – rural healthcare workforce pipeline program for high school students
2. Buffalo Gap Presbyterian Ministries, Inc. – capital improvements with the addition of bathrooms and kitchenettes to each cabin
3. Butman Methodist Camp & Retreat Center – capital improvements of updated bathrooms of Irvine Lodge
4. Camp Able – addition of a staff coordinator to lead community volunteer program
5. Cisco ISD – purchase of a plasma cutter for the Ag Mechanics student program
6. Citizens Emergency Medical Service, Inc. – purchase of an emergency generator for the EMS building
7. Cross Plains Food Pantry – purchase of a commercial cooler, additional awning, wire shelving, and general food items
8. Holiday Hill, Inc – capital improvements to the HVAC system
9. Museum of the West Texas Frontier – capital improvements to the exterior of the Museum's building
10. National WASP WWII Museum – archival program in which interns will help support the staff in preserving the Museum's collection
11. Operation: Stockshow – purchase of a trailer and needed equipment to support "The Buddy Program" that helps youth with special needs to learn about stockshow animals
12. Second Chance Dog Rescue – community spay and neuter assistance program in Nolan and Scurry counties
13. Sight Savers America – equipping families in rural communities with children impacted by low vision or blindness with medical equipment needed for their child's diagnosis
14. The Old Jail Art Center – "Art-to-Heart" program, a memory and movement program for area senior adults
15. West Texas Veteran Support Services – "Restoring Texas" program, helping provide free home repair services to low-income veterans, elderly, and disabled individuals
16. Winters Public Library – capital improvements to the flooring of the library