Carol Dingman, long-time civic leader in Farmers Branch, knows the Metrocrest community. She also knows real estate, non-profits, local government and the importance of civic involvement.
Where all of this knowledge intersects for Carol is in how to meet a growing need – and that’s why you find Carol at Metrocrest Services.
Along with her husband, Joe Dingman, Carol has been a long-time supporter of the non-profit social service agency. Involved since Metrocrest Services’ inception, Carol has worn a variety of hats: president of the inaugural board of directors, volunteer, board member, campaign chair, lifetime achievement honoree.
When Metrocrest Services recently launched its biggest fundraising goal to date, the Building Our Future Capital Campaign, Carol again pledged her support as a donor and also as a member of the capital campaign committee.
“After all this time, one thing I continue to admire about Metrocrest Services is that they have stuck to their original mission, which spells success for a non-profit,” Carol said. “I’ve been on a lot of non-profit boards in my life and one thing I’ve learned is that if you don’t follow your mission, you’re going to go into the weeds.”
Carol points to excellent leadership from the organization’s executive directors, including Tracy Eubanks, current CEO of Metrocrest Services. “Because of Metrocrest’s history and because Tracy is a guy who does a good job out and about, I don’t have to tell people to get involved in Metrocrest; they know it’s important,” she said.
During the pandemic, Metrocrest Services scaled up exponentially to meet an already rising need – one that hasn’t slowed down.
“I think the new building is going to help,” Carol said. “I agreed to join the capital campaign committee because of that. It made sense after 50 years! There are very few non-profits who can say they’ve been around for 50 years!”
Expected to open in mid-2023, the new campus for Metrocrest Services is the first facility specifically designed to meet the growing needs that the non-profit meets through its wrap-around services. The new facility is being built through funds raised from the Building Our Future capital campaign.
The new campus of Metrocrest Services will be located on 4.6 acres of property near the intersection of Josey Lane and Belt Line Road in Carrollton. A 48,000-square-foot facility will become a welcoming hub for all of the agency’s daily operations, including providing access to nutritious food, workforce development and financial literacy, rent and utility assistance, senior services and other programs for individuals, families and seniors that lead to self-sufficiency and foster independence.
Metrocrest Services’ new home also will include shared space for complementary service providers to support clients from one central location and a volunteer center offering greater access to opportunities for community engagement. Bringing all Metrocrest Services programs under one roof, the new campus will allow for improved efficiency in all operations, and will house the expanded programs that the non-profit has launched to meet today’s elevated need while planning for the future.
“It’s just enriching and extending their mission,” Carol said of this landmark development in the organization’s 50-plus-year history.
To date, more than $14.8 million has been committed to the Building Our Future capital campaign for Metrocrest Services. Members of the community are encouraged to visit msbuildingourfuture.org to pledge their own support. Every gift makes a difference and helps to create a place that serves Metrocrest neighbors in need with dignity and respect.
The influx of people coming to DFW has been one of the biggest in the country, Carol emphasized. And with that, the Metrocrest cities of Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Coppell, Addison (and of course Dallas), continue to be desirable places to live and work, offering close proximity to all that North Texas has to offer and neighborhoods that create a sense of community. “It’s location, location, location,” Carol explained, noting that soaring home prices coupled with inflation were putting many families in precarious financial situations.
“Metrocrest Services was set up in the 1970s because the Community Council of Greater Dallas saw the growth and a need for social services,” Carol said. “The need grew and the cities have been supportive in providing funding as a contract for services.” Cities view Metrocrest Services as a partner in meeting a need — in addition to its role as a respected local charity—and are stakeholders in Metrocrest Services offering services for their community members, she said. “Metrocrest Services has been a real integral part of our community.”
“If your city grows, there’s going to be people there who have crises and needs, and the city is going to have to help them in some way. The approach was and is that Metrocrest Services has the experts who can help more effectively and efficiently than anyone. When cities provide funding, that helps Metrocrest to provide those important services in that city.”
What does Carol see as next in the future of Metrocrest Services?
“Ideally, they should go out of business, because there’s no need,” Carol laughed, “but that will never happen!
“I think they’re going to keep doing what they’re doing and finding more ways to serve the community, to build community. They’re trying to help make people self-sufficient. I hope they go for another 50 years!”