Cultivating hope through basic needs and personalized empowerment.
An East Dallas where all thrive
Faith. We are rooted in Christ’s love for all.
Relationship. We need each other.
Compassion. We care wholeheartedly.
History (est. 1988)
The White Rock Center of Hope was founded in 1988 by the late Donagene Christian, a member of Central Lutheran Church in East Dallas. Donagene was inspired by the Bible verse (John 21:17) in which Jesus aks Peter to “Feed my sheep.” She established the Center with the help of her pastor and 13 area churches, in the basement of the Colonial Presbyterian Church on Garland Road. With her husband’s support, Donagene became the Center’s first Executive Director, a post she filled voluntarily until 1991, when the Center hired its first paid employee.
Today, White Rock Center of Hope is powered by a staff of 10 employees and more than 450 volunteers who cultivate hope by assisting with the basic needs and empowerment programs.
After a garage sale fundraiser in 1997, volunteers surveyed the plethora of leftover items and said, “With all this stuff, we ought to open a store!” Not long after that, Ed Boyer and his wife Rita founded the White Rock Center of Hope Thrift Store, which has raised over $4 million to support the Center’s basic needs service to low-income community residents. The store now provides $500,000 a year to help fund the Center’s community services.
By 1998, it became apparent that the White Rock Center of Hope had outgrown its space in the church basement. That realization began a campaign to purchase a permanent home. With the growing support of over 50 churches and organizations and many generous gifts great and small, the Center moved to its current location in 1999. In 2020, the debt on the building was retired.
What started as a food pantry serving two zip codes has expanded to include five east Dallas zip codes where neighbors can access basic needs (Food Pantry, Clothing Closet and Financial Assistance for rent and utilities) and empowerment programs. In 2022, the White Rock Center of Hope helped 6,362 unique individuals thrive.