Especially during and following very catastrophic events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, many who had never experienced financial difficulties were faced with many significant issues. There is no shame in admitting to needs at any time, much less after the financial devastation many incurred after losing jobs, etc., and, in fact, 40% of those needing financial assistance have never needed help before.
But, regardless of the reason, Community Lifeline Center (CLC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1989, was specifically created to help. Their goal is to serve as the premier resource for assistance, information, and referral services for the residents of McKinney and north Collin County. Feel extremely blessed to have the support of great community partners such as businesses and churches.
Many see Collin County as very affluent, but according to the Director of Marketing and Communications, AJ Micheletto, it surprises many that, for example, about a third of MISD students are on some kind of financial aid. AJ’s empathy for those in need drove her to wonder “what if” and she became involved. When speaking with her, and surely anyone involved in this fantastic organization, you can tell the commitment to help their community.
Not surprisingly, the pandemic created tremendous needs for many, and CLC provided food for over 240,000 meals in 2020 as compared to 50,000 in 2019. Also, in 2020, CLC joined the Alliance of Elite Youth Leadership (AEYL) to launch Feeding Friends and Families to provide meals for the 100,000 who needed help. AJ added, “A donation of only $20 feeds a family of four for a week”. She attributes that to the assistance of a lot of local companies and churches. Plus, she states that many contributed their pandemic stimulus checks if they didn’t need the money for their family.
CLC has helped many who were only “one month away” from homelessness. By providing services for such items as rent and utilities they have saved many from disaster. AJ attributes much of the success achieved by CLC to the Executive Director, Scott Elliott. According to Scott, CLC is preparing to continue to grow to meet demands since the effects of the pandemic will continue for some time. This follows their normal path of growth as they expanded their educational programming in 2010 and added the food pantry in 2013.
AJ balances the demands of CLC with raising 11 yo Bella who enjoys soccer and is involved with the North Texas Performing Arts program, and 14 yo Gavin who enjoys biking and the theatre as well. The family is filled out by two loving chinchillas.
Visit www.communitylifeline.org to learn more and to donate or volunteer!