Parkhill, Smith & Cooper Inc. gives $149,000 in grants, pro-bono work to nonprofits

Posted by on Apr 5, 2017 in News | 0 comments

Figuring out a sick child’s one true wish is complicated.

Several factors and influencers can often affect their decision, said Jordan Perry, development officer for Make-A-Wish North Texas.

“We want to create a magical experience for a child to come through and let their imagination grow and figure out their one true wish in a Wish Room,” Perry said.

On Wednesday morning, Parkhill, Smith & Cooper Inc. announced the disbursement of $149,000 in grants and pro-bono work for several organizations, including Make-A-Wish North Texas, as a part of the company’s Community Investment Initiative.

“For an agency to qualify, they have to have a specific project and an employee sponsor,” said Joe Rapier, CEO and president of Parkhill, Smith & Cooper, a Lubbock-based architecture and engineering firm. “Our employees make an application for the agency.”

The Community Investment Initiative is in its third year, he said, and recipients include organizations from the company’s “entire footprint,” which covers Lubbock, El Paso, Midland, Abilene, New Mexico, Frisco, Austin and Amarillo.

This year’s recipients include Make-A-Wish North Texas, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lubbock, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Southwest, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Texas Engineering Foundation, Somehow Here Again Foundation, Texas Boys Ranch, West Texas Food Bank, Community Foundation of West Texas, American Cancer Society Hope Lodge, Unpack Incorporated, Williamson County Crisis Ctr/Hope Alliance and My Possibilities Campus.

Since it was started in 2015, the program has funded more than $600,000 for 40 projects.

Though Parkhill, Smith & Cooper is an architecture and engineering company, Rapier said the projects funded through the Community Investment Initiatives program don’t necessarily have to be related to the field. The company hopes to make a positive impact in the community.

Dina Jeffries, president and CEO of RMHC, said the nonprofit was a grant recipient last year.

The grant went toward upgrading the kitchen in the house, Jeffries said.

“They redesigned our pantry area, gave us a recycling area, made space so we have a McCafe coffee machine in the house,” she said.

The upgrade helped make the kitchen a more efficient space for families and volunteers to navigate, Jeffries said.

With the $15,000 grant RMHC received from the Community Investment Initiative this year, Jeffries said the office spaces will be remodeled.

“We’re serving more families all the time and we’ve brought on more staff,” she said. “With that, we’ve got to define space, make sure departments are together, not across the building. It aids efficiency.”

Make-A-Wish North Texas is a recipient of a $4,000 grant and $4,000 worth of pro-bono work.

“It needs to be designed,” Perry said. “So they’re giving us free labor to design the room and the $4,000 will cover what they need to put in it.”

Rapier, with Parkhill, Smith & Cooper, typically budgets around $50,000 worth of pro-bono services per year.

“We put a dollar value to (each project) and force ourselves to treat the pro-bono services like real services, more as a real project to give it the attention that it deserves,” he said.

2017 Grants

Make-A-Wish North Texas – $4,000

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lubbock – $2,000

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Southwest – $15,000

Muscular Dystrophy Association – $5,000

Society of St. Vincent de Paul – $6,000

Texas Engineering Foundation – $5,000 (over four years – this is year three)

Somehow Here Again Foundation – $23,000

Texas Boys Ranch – $7,000

West Texas Food Bank – $7,500

Community Foundation of West Texas – $4,000

American Cancer Society Hope Lodge – $7,500

Unpack Incorporated – $14,000

Pro-Bono Projects

Make-A-Wish North Texas – $4,000

My Possibilities – $25,000

Williamson County Crisis Ctr/Hope Alliance – $20,000