Contact: Jenni Smith
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650


September 10, 2001


DALLAS (SMU) -- Six months after paying her husband’s funeral costs, a new widow discovers she doesn’t have enough money budgeted to buy food. A family man’s new business venture fails, leaving his finances too short to pay his family’s bills.

Stories like these are what have made the White Rock Center of Hope in East Dallas a place of refuge, assisting between 25 and 35 families each day, by helping them through short-term circumstances that have left them unable to provide for themselves.

However, due to a 40 percent increase in demands, the cupboards at the White Rock Center of Hope are nearly bare. Southern Methodist University’s Office of Community Involvement, the Hunt Scholar Program and other university volunteers are partnering with the White Rock District of the Circle Ten Council of the Boy Scouts of America and Dallas-area businesses to hold a “Save the Rock” food drive Saturday, Sept. 22, and Sunday, Sept. 23, to restock the shelves of the White Rock Center of Hope.

“Save the Rock” is an organized effort to get churches and individuals to work together collecting non-perishable food items to restock the shelves of the non-profit, volunteer-driven organization. SMU students will contact local grocery stores and businesses seeking permission to solicit food items.

On Saturday, Sept. 22, Boy Scouts from the White Rock District will seek donations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of 18 area grocery stores. On Sunday, Sept. 23, volunteers from 80 area churches will take collections from their congregations. Boy Scouts will transport the total collected food to the White Rock Center of Hope. An Eagle Scout candidate will organize the Scouts in front of the stores as his Eagle Project and another Eagle Scout candidate will organize the effort to sort and box the food once it arrives at the Center.

Organized in 1988 with four churches, the White Rock Center of Hope has grown into an ecumenical organization supported by a community coalition of more than 50 congregations and service groups. The center has assisted more than 123,000 members of 45,000 families since its founding and currently assists between 4,000 and 5,000 families per year. Two-thirds of those assisted are children.

To become a sponsor or to get more information, contact Adam Tunks at (214) 346-9084 or