Celebrate AmeriCorps Week in Texas | March 8-14, 2020
27 FEB 2020

AmeriCorps Week is a special opportunity to celebrate the individuals, programs, and organizations that get things done and strengthen our communities through service. Join us in sharing the story of national service in Texas March 8-14, 2020. Here are a few ways that you can get involved, and be sure to check out the CNCS AmeriCorps Week webpage for even more ideas and resources. Submit to our #DayoftheA Photo Contest How do you wear your A? AmeriCorps members, alums, and AmeriCorps program staff are invited to send in their most creative photos f...

Getting Things Done in 2020 | A Letter from the CEO
31 JAN 2020

With the dawning of a new year and a new decade, there is an energy and excitement in the air as we look ahead to a fresh start. Since my appointment as President & CEO of OneStar Foundation this past fall, I have had the opportunity to meet with partners and stakeholders to discuss their goals and vision for Texas. Many of us are seeing 2020 as an opportunity to finally take action on our well-laid plans. Well, it sounds like this is the year we are going to get things done! As we embark on a new chapter together, a few critical themes have emerged that we must bear in mind as ...

“Lead & Teach in your Strengths, Serve & Learn in your Weaknesses” | Meet OneStar Board Member Girien Salazar
02 JAN 2020

Girien Salazar is the Executive Director of the Faith & Education Coalition for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and was appointed to the OneStar National Service Commission in December. Check out Girien's bio to learn more about his impressive background and accomplishments. We sat down with Girien to talk about how his upbringing and military service have fueled his passion for service and volunteering and his commitment to serving diverse faith communities. Why did you want to serve on the board of OneS...

OneStar Year in Review | Ten Notable Highlights from 2019
31 DEC 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, OneStar reflects on 10 notable highlights from the past year. We are so grateful for our wonderful partners who are committed to promoting service and volunteering in Texas and are proud of everything we have accomplished together. We look forward to seeing how the seeds we planted this year strengthen our communities in the new decade! 1. Texas Strong Summit In January, OneStar launched the inaugural Texas Strong Summit, which brought together nearly 200 partners from the local, state, and federal levels to explore creative, community-based ...

How State Agencies Connect with Faith-Based & Community Organizations | 2019 Interagency Coordinating Group Legislative Report
12 DEC 2019

A strong public sector requires government agencies to work closely with nonprofits, churches, and other local organizations to ensure important social services and resources are reaching local communities. To encourage these partnerships to flourish and thrive, the Texas Legislature established the Interagency Coordinating Group (ICG), a convening of Texas state agency liaisons who are appointed to ensure ongoing outreach and cooperation with faith-based and community groups. As chair of the ICG, OneStar convenes these state agencies twice a year to share best practices and report on their work. These meetings have been instrumental in improving communication between agencies and getting the word out about exciting new initiatives.

This month, OneStar released our 2019 Interagency Coordinating Group Legislative Report, which is an inspiring look at how several state agencies have worked with faith-based and community organizations to better serve Texans over the past year. Here are five highlights from the report that you can share and potentially implement in your own local community!

  • Texas has one of the highest rates of human trafficking in the nation, with an estimated 234,000 victims of labor trafficking and 79,000 victims of youth and minor sex trafficking in the state at any given time. The Office of the Attorney General has been leading the fight against this heinous crime with their Be The One resources, which includes a training film, online platform, and public service announcement. The materials provide an understanding of what human trafficking is (and is not), identify vulnerable populations that are more likely to be victimized by human traffickers, identify indicators of human trafficking and methods of reporting to the authorities, and highlight actual cases of human trafficking prosecuted in Texas. The campaign has been widely shared with other Texas state agencies, schools, churches, and community-based organizations statewide and is publicly available to organizations for training and education purposes. You can find the video and other Be the One resources here and are encouraged to use them in your own organizations!
  • The Department of Family and Protective Services engages people of faith to support children in foster care and their families in a variety of ways, such as through the Clergy in the Court for Kids program. This initiative invites members of local faith communities to attend court proceedings and gain first-hand understanding of the child welfare system. By facilitating this connection, faith communities are better able to identify and provide resources to families—including food, counseling services, parenting classes, and other goods and services. You can learn more about how DFPS has effectively partnered with Texas CASA on this program and contact DFPS to get your faith community involved.
  • Texas Comptroller’s Statewide Procurement Division has opened up the Texas SmartBuy Membership Program to state-funded nonprofit assistance organizations that offer educational, health or humanitarian services, allowing these entities to purchase equipment and supplies at excellent value and receive discounted rates on fuel and travel, including flights, rental cars, fuel, travel agency services, and hotels. The program empowers local buyers with access to the same competitively bid statewide contracts as Texas state agencies—and without spend thresholds to receive savings. Common purchases include items such as office furniture, vehicles, books, food, and medical supplies. As of this fall, more than 120 assistance organizations participated in this program. You can learn more about the eligibility requirements and benefits and apply now, or contact the Texas SmartBuy Membership Program with any questions.
  • Texas Health and Human Services Commission makes it easy for nonprofits to engage through their Community Partner Program, a statewide network of nearly 400 community partners that receive support, training, certification, and resources on how to access and navigate the state’s YourTexasBenefits.com website. This online portal allows individuals to apply for and manage their public benefits, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP), Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program and TANF. This year, Community Partner Program took part in 66 statewide events and facilitated 41 webinars to over 1,500 participants providing information about health and human services programs. You can learn how to become a community partner here and access community partner resources here.

Check out the full report here to explore more resources and opportunities to partner with Texas state agencies.