Four small seedling plants growing in dirt outside

The tiny seed knew that in order to grow, it needed to be dropped into the dirt, covered in darkness, and struggle to reach the light.

Sandra King

This is how it has felt during the days of the coronavirus pandemic. I wake up thinking about how we will thrive in what can feel like a struggle to reach the light that is inevitably ahead.

Our families, businesses, and communities are being challenged in unprecedented ways, grappling and learning how to thrive in this new way of life. And the strength of our community and our country is inspiring. It is reaching for its new life and light. We are growing through this together.

For decades, Southwestern Medical Foundation has witnessed the incredible progress people have made when they come together to better a community.

I see a few themes that are strengthening our community and leading us to a new and renewed future:

1. Common Goals

Various nonprofit organizations have unified to swiftly address the challenges ahead and directly benefit our community members. North Texas Cares, a collaborative initiative of North Texas nonprofits and United Way, has provided support for organizations that work with people and communities who may be most negatively affected by COVID-19. Under the leadership of The Dallas Cowboys, Communities Foundation of Texas, and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, a global giving movement, “North Texas Giving Tuesday Now,” was created. This day presented an opportunity for funds to be raised for the first responders and nonprofits who are on the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19.

2. Innovation

Our community has witnessed exceptional medical leadership. UT Southwestern doctors and scientists are driving pioneering research, leading at the forefront of COVID-19 treatment, diagnosis, and prevention. The Medical Center is leading research and clinical trials to pinpoint important behavioral characteristics of COVID-19, and rapidly work to treat and cure those suffering in our community. I am grateful for the resources and talents our community has helped to fund in leading academic medicine. Many more people now understand why it is important and how it leads us toward the light of discovery.

3. Acting on Needs

A lesson the COVID-19 pandemic continues to teach us is that we can each do something. Recently, a beautiful testament to the powerful goodwill of our community in a time of need was demonstrated by a man’s actions in tribute to his late father. This story about a man named Tim Proctor, who donated 12,000 N95 masks to UT Southwestern, inspires me deeply. I am seeing many people like Tim taking action to help. Each of these actions takes us closer to the light ahead.

To stay informed on the evolving COVID-19 situation and to learn how you can help, click here.

I wish you and your loved ones safety and health.


Kathleen Gibson

woman in navy dress and pearls