By Sheryl Lilly Pidgeon
Partners Card is the signature fundraiser for The Family Place, the largest family violence agency in Texas. The premier charity shopping event in DFW runs now through November 7th.
Founded in 1993 by Sally Hoglund and Sally Johnson, and with Gene Jones serving as its first Honorary Chair, The Family Place launched Partners Card with 175 participating stores and raised $90,000. Now in its 29th year, Partners Card has over 550 retail partners and has raised over $20 million to help break the cycle of family violence in the DFW community.
The 2021 co-chairs Rachel Osburn, Caroline Snell Wagner and Jane Wallingford plan to have a record-breaking year with the support of the DFW community. Here’s what they shared with Good Life Family.
Q: Why did you become involved with Partners Card?
A: In 2012, I started purchasing a Partners Card as a way to get ahead of the Christmas season. I look forward to this time each year. In 2018, one of my dearest friends, Tierney Kaufman Hutchins, was chairing and asked me to be a Community Seller and sell cards to friends and family. I started to see the real impact Partners Card has in our community helping victims of domestic violence. In 2019, I became an RSL (Retail Sales Liaison) and started working with the retailers that are an integral part of the success of Partners Card. This gave me a different perspective on Partners Card from the retailer perspective. The business that these retailers look forward to each year. This year is a special year. I am honored to serve as a co-chair along with Jane and Caroline. Together, we are working hard to raise as much money as possible. With the impact of Covid and the winter storm this past February our efforts are more important than ever.
Q: What brought you to The Family Place?
A: Volunteering and giving back to our community is very important to me. It is an opportunity for me get out of my little bubble and do something impactful for others. My friends, Tierney Kaufman Hutchins and Nina Sachse, brought me to The Family Place but the mission and work of The Family Place has kept me engaged.
Rachel’s other philanthropic service includes being a member of Junior League of Dallas (going on 10 years), Cattle Baron’s Ball Committee Member, and on the Council of Patrons for TBT. In addition she and her husband Michael have supported Community Partners of Dallas, DMA, Dallas Historical Society, DeliverFund, The Nasher, Equest, and North Texas Food Bank.
“With the impact of Covid and the winter storm this past March our efforts are more important than ever.”
CAROLINE SNELL WAGNER
Q: How long have you been volunteering with The Family Place?
A: My mom chaired Partners Card in the early 90’s and has been a long-time supporter of The Family Place, so I’ve been involved since then. I still remember visiting one of the facilities as a child and the impact it had on me. My mom, sister and I work together to sell cards each year and then we go shopping. It’s become a fun family tradition with purpose.
Q: What types of tasks do you perform and/or positions held for The Family Place?
A: As a Partners Card 2021 co-chair, my job this year is underwriting and sponsorships, but I’ve been wrangling friends to buy cards for over a decade. My professional background is in fundraising and it’s definitely a passion for me. The Family Place, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, Camp John Marc and Baylor’s annual Celebrating Women luncheon have been my main focus. We are incredibly lucky to have these organizations in Dallas, and I feel a civic duty to help support them.
Q: How can others get involved with this organization?
A: First I would say, buy a Partners Card and donate! Every dollar counts no matter how large or small. Recently we rebuilt one facility damaged in the winter storm, plus the pandemic has driven up domestic violence cases in general, so the need is huge. There are so many opportunities to help beyond donations as well. I’d call the office and take a tour of the facilities. See what they are doing and then determine where best you can contribute. It’s amazing what The Family Place is doing for victims of domestic violence in our community, and we need their work to continue.
Q: What drew you to volunteer for this organization?
A: The benefit is helping those that don’t necessarily have the resources to help themselves. Partners Card specifically though is a unique way to achieve this without a big chunk of the money going to a party or event. I love this fundraising tool because the donor benefits with 20% at stores all over DFW and the proceeds from card sales go directly to help those in need. It’s a win, win.
Q: Philanthropy is a big part of your own family tradition. Can you tell us more about this?
A: A penchant for fundraising and volunteer work absolutely runs in my family. This summer, my kids, Plum, 4, Luke, 5, and Hudson, 7 are making bracelets to sell and raise money for various children’s and animal charities. We take them to volunteer often around town throughout the year. My dad, Don Snell, has been active in fundraising for SMU, Camp John Marc and Salesmanship Club. My mom, Debbie Snell, has co-chaired Junior League Ball, Crystal Charity Ball and everything in between. They really set an example early on that it’s crucial to use whatever skills you have to be an advocate for others and to have a humble perspective in doing it. I try not to take a thing for granted and to be grateful always for the privileges that I’ve been given; my goal is to pay that forward any way that I can.
Caroline is a former campaign finance chair for Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and is currently a Pilates instructor & stay-at-home mom.
“It’s amazing what The Family Place is doing for victims of domestic violence in our community, and we need their work to continue.”
Q: What brought you to become involved with Partners Card?
A: I got involved with Partners Card as a Retail Sales Liaison (RSL) a few years ago. RSL’s work directly with the 600+ participating retailers, and it became particularly evident to me how the Dallas retail community really comes together to support The Family Place through the Partners Card program!
Q: How did your prior work experiences bring you to see the importance of The Family Place?
A: I first agreed to help my good friend Nina Sachse when she Co-chaired Partners Card, and then my support for The Family Place grew as I got to know more about the myriad of services they provide to victims of family violence. Prior to helping The Family Place, I worked as a management consultant in Washington, DC. One of my clients included a federal sexual assault agency (in the Department of Defense), where I supported their policy advocacy, program management, and communications with Congress, stakeholders, and victim advocates. My volunteer work includes working for a Legal Aid clinic that guided victims of domestic violence through the restraining order process and also with the Junior League of Washington DC, where I helped women prepare for a productive life as they emerged from homelessness.
“I am grateful to be in a community that is always looking for opportunities to help others.”
PARTNERS CARD 2021
October 29 – November 7
Partners Card is the signature fundraiser for The Family Place, the largest family violence agency in Texas, and a premier charity shopping & dining event in DFW. Now in its 29th year, Partners Card has raised over $20 million to help break the cycle of family violence in our community.
100% of your Partners Card purchase goes directly to supporting survivors of family violence and the services of The Family Place.
Your $75 Partners Card pays for 1 night of safety for a victim of family violence at The Family Place shelters.
Partners Card History
Partners Card revenue has made it possible for The Family Place to provide services and programs to victims of family violence including emergency shelter, 24-hour crisis hotline, trained adult & children’s counselors, transitional housing, incest recovery, youth education, job & financial training, childcare & education, legal assistance, and community advocacy.
1993 – The Family Place launched Partners Card with 175 participating stores. Gene Jones served as the first Honorary Chair. Sally Hoglund and Sally Johnson founded the inaugural event which raised $90,000.
1998 – Partners Card revenue exceeded half a million dollars with more than 10,000 cards sold.2000 – Partners Card grew to more than 500 participating stores.
2007 – Partners Card celebrated 15 years of success, raising $905,000 to help battered women, children and men.
2010 – For the first time, Partners Card raised more than $1 million. The Family Place opens its school facility for K-2nd grade students at our Safe Campus.
2017 – Partners Card celebrated 25 years of shopping with purpose! Partners Card Mobile App and E-Commerce are successfully launched to propel Partners Card into the future of technology. Partners Card raised over $1 million and provided more than 14,000 nights of shelter for victims of family violence.
2020 – In an uncertain year due to Covid-19, Partners Card was a bright spot for The Family Place and local businesses. Participation from stores and shoppers showed Partners Card as an important part of the DFW Community. Retailers, sponsors and supporters adapted to the challenging year. Partners Card raised almost $1 million and provided over 12,000 nights of shelter at The Family Place.