Harris Fund Awards Grants to Nonprofits Serving Shelby County

September 14, 2023 - Grants from the John Harris Community Fund held at East Texas Communities Foundation (ETCF) in Tyler, Texas, were awarded to Shelby County Outreach Ministries, Inc., Shelby County Children’s Advocacy Center, Fannie Brown Booth Memorial Library, Shelby County Historical Commission and East Texas Food Bank.

Shelby County Historical Commission was awarded a grant to install period appropriate light fixtures for the first floor of the Shelby County courthouse and provide repairs and paint to the ceiling of the Transportation and J.J.E. Gibson rooms. “Our courthouse was built over 130 years ago and is in need of some routine maintenance,” said Ted Hopkins, Board President of the Shelby County Historical Commission. “The Harris grant will allow us to work with the Texas Historical Commission to secure period correct light fixtures and to have them installed by a professional electrician.”

Fannie Brown Booth Memorial Library received funding to provide internet hot spots at the library and purchase a new laptop computer for the assistant librarian. “Internet service here in the country is spotty or too expensive for many in our community,” said Fannie Brown Booth Memorial Library Executive Director, Sandra Davis. “Many of our clients depend on our internet connection to pay their bills electronically, check on insurance benefits, access emails and complete homework assignments. By offering these services, we provide our clients a valuable resource that they may would not have had access to otherwise” 

“John Reagan Harris was a generous benefactor, giving both his time and his resources to many groups and worthy causes in and around Center,” said Kyle Penney, President of ETCF. “The John Harris Community Fund was established to support worthy civic, religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational projects which benefit the Center, Texas, community.”

Other recipients include:

  • East Texas Food Bank for BackPack Program, Senior Box Program and SNAP benefits assistance to eligible residence.
  • Shelby County Children’s Advocacy Center general operating.
  • Shelby County Outreach Ministries, Inc. to purchase food and provide healthier food options as well as emergency food boxes.

About ETCF.org

East Texas East Texas Communities Foundation is a nonprofit corporation serving 32 counties in East Texas. The Foundation distributed $12.3 million in grants in 2022 and currently manages over $115 million in over 430 unique charitable funds which support non-profit organizations and student scholarships. The Foundatio¬¬n, which was formed in 1989, has awarded over $138 million in grants and scholarships since its inception. Philanthropy builds community and changes lives. East Texas Communities Foundation supports philanthropy by offering simple ways for donors to achieve their charitable goals.