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Amarillo Area Foundation: Tell us about yourself…

Deetress Peoples: Hi! My Name is Deetress Peoples. I’m a single parent of a remarkable 15-year-old boy. I currently work at Wayland Baptist University in Amarillo as their Financial Aid and Business Office Advisor. I’m working on starting a homemade salsa business. I have a love for tacos that no one can match. My goal in life is to make a difference. If it’s just my son or millions of people, I just want them to know they are loved, and Jesus Christ is the way. Some of the non-profits that I like to give back to are Leaders Readers Network, Amarillo Angels, Hidden Falls Ranch, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Fill with Hope, IHeart Canyon, and Boy Scout Troop 31. But most importantly, I’m a Christian

AAF: What is your first memory of giving a philanthropic gift?

DP: My first memory of giving was in high school. I was in student council, and for Christmas, we participated in the Evelyn Rivers Project. I learned then that giving back, seeing kids smile from something so simple as a coat, can bring me joy.

AAF: What is your favorite charitable gift you have ever given?

DP: I don’t have one. Whether I am giving time, money, or a prom dress, anything that I provide is my favorite because it’s not about what I’m giving- it’s about the love behind the giving. Seeing the smiling faces of the people I blessed…That’s my favorite!

AAF: Who taught you how to give?

DP: I would like to think it’s when I found Christ. I’m a single mother, and before I found Christ, I struggled in many ways. God put people in my life that blessed me in a significant way. I knew that I wanted to bless people the way God had blessed me.

AAF: Who and what inspires you to be involved in what your community is doing?

DP: My son. I want to make a better future for him.

AAF: What advice would you give to someone wanting to be more involved in philanthropy?

DP: I love the motto,” If you can’t find a kind person, be a kind person. “Philanthropy is just that. Be involved in making this world a better place, and it will also change your life.

AAF: What motivates you to give in your community?

DP: My motivation is knowing that I am giving someone a chance to know that there are kind and loving people in the world. Not only do I love them, but so does God. I remember volunteering with IHeart Canyon one year and helping a lady who really needed backpacks and school supplies for her kids. As I helped her get to her car, she started crying. When I asked her what was wrong, all she could do was hug me and say thank you. She was so grateful because she did not know how to get her kid’s school supplies if we didn’t help her that day. She felt so blessed that people had shown her love and kindness. We cried, and we prayed together because I knew how she felt. This is my motivation.

AAF: How does philanthropy make our community better?

DP: It gives us a chance to make a difference. There are so many people in the world who just want to know that someone cares and that they are not alone. We get a chance to do that, show love.

AAF: What is our community’s strength and weakness?

DP: I would like to think that our strength is standing up for each other. Being there for each other by showing love and kindness. A weakness I see in our community is that we will complain about issues instead of understanding.

AAF: My favorite thing about my community is….

DP: I feel more love here than hate.

To learn more about how you can join women in philanthropy throughout the Texas Panhandle through the Women’s Philanthropy Fund.  Learn more HERE