The White Rock Center of Hope was founded in 1988 by the late Donagene
Christian, a member of Central Lutheran Church in East Dallas. Mrs. Christian,
inspired by a Bible verse (John 21:17) in which Jesus orders Peter to "Feed my
sheep", established the Center with the help of her pastor and 13 area churches in
the basement of the Colonial Presbyterian Church on Garland Road.
Since most churches constantly received requests for aid, yet did not always have
facilities to give as they would have liked, it made good sense to chip in and
support a central agency where the needy could go for emergency help.
Donagene Christian became the Center's first Executive Director, a post she filled
voluntarily until 1991. The Center was entirely staffed by volunteers from the
Starting as a food pantry, services have expanded to include clothing, toys, school supplies, rent and utility assistance. By 1999, the
Center was feeding over 12,000 needy neighbors a year — 8000 of whom are
children — with the support of over fifty churches and several civic organizations. As of
December of 2010, over 300,000 people in over 100,000 families have received help and
hope from the White Rock Center of Hope.
A volunteer Board of Directors elected by representatives of member organizations
has continued to control operation.
By 1998 it became apparent that the Center had outgrown its basement quarters
and a formal campaign for funds with which to purchase a permanent home began.
Sale of the 16,000 square foot property at 10021A Garland Road to the Center was
concluded in late 1999 with the aid of many generous gifts both great and small.