The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation is pleased to share our 2020 Annual Report. The report showcases the impact we are making and our commitment to the residents and institutions of the Borderplex region: a binational area that encompasses El Paso County, Texas, Doña Ana County, New Mexico, and Ciudad Juárez in México - and the place we call home. We invite you to learn more about our efforts by reading the 2020 Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation Annual Report.
Dear Borderplex Residents, Partners and Friends,
For most of us, the year 2020 will forever be linked to COVID-19. We all know someone who lost a job, a business, or - far worse - a loved one to the pandemic.
For the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation, it was a year of challenge and growth. The COVID-19 crisis brought into sharp focus the resilient spirit of El Paso, our beloved hometown, and our Borderplex community - a unique and rich region we have strategically supported with our philanthropic giving since 1987. Across the region, people came together to lift each other up, recognize everyday heroes, and help clear the road to recovery; we know we still have a long way to go on that front. Schools, businesses, and nonprofit leaders worked around the clock to overhaul their entire operating models so they could continue reaching their students, customers, and neighbors - especially those most impacted by this pandemic.Read More
We focused our philanthropy to meet the urgency of the moment, and had the privilege of supporting organizations and initiatives that were at the forefront of responding to the pandemic.
For example, we contributed to a challenge grant for the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank and helped ensure no family went hungry during this time of need. We supported a regional campaign, led by the Medical Centers of the America Foundation, to ensure our region had a coordinated response across borders and industries to the COVID-19 pandemic. And we provided funding for a new initiative that helped get money into the hands of 1,078 local families affected by the crisis to help them meet any outstanding financial commitments.
The Foundation is funded through shareholder contributions from Hunt Companies, Inc. As a family owned holding company that invests in operating businesses, real estate assets and infrastructure assets with offices across the country and globally, the company and shareholders focus philanthropic giving on the Borderplex region. We do so because although the region is rich with culture, it is under-resourced and with less capacity to address community needs. Our philanthropic giving allows us to build capacity and encourage others to create greater impact and transform the Borderplex into a globally competitive region.
That is why, despite all the changes that 2020 brought, our philosophy and giving strategy remained the same. We believe that strategic investments can help the Borderplex region become an even better place to live for everyone, and we believe that each of us has a role to play in this effort. Much of our giving continues to be in the form of matching or challenge grants to encourage more individuals and institutions to come together around a shared vision for the Borderplex, and invest in that vision.
Our 2020 Annual Report features stories of ingenuity, generosity, and determination. We are proud to live and work alongside those working to make the Borderplex a more vibrant, healthy, and competitive community, including other corporate, philanthropic, and public sector partners. Thanks to them, and with all of us contributing what we can, we know we will come out of the pandemic stronger than ever.
In 2020, the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation continued our commitment of investing in initiatives and organizations that help create a healthy and competitive Borderplex region: arts and local heritage, economic development, education, healthcare, and quality of life. We also supported organizations whose efforts in Texas or nationally, have a direct impact on the Borderplex region. Read about some of our grantees below.
2020 was a difficult year for local institutions dedicated to preserving the art, music, heritage, and ecology of the Borderplex region. Many had to close their physical facilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then figure out how to maintain their missions despite unprecedented constraints on visitors and budgets. The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation was proud to work with groups that rose to the challenge of this moment while also looking to the future.Read More
From virtual exhibits at the El Paso Museum of History to virtual programming and shows by the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and El Paso Opera, we invested in El Paso institutions throughout 2020 that help preserve and share our region's unique cultural offerings for years to come. We continue to value the magical combination of people, history, and places that defines our hometown, and we can't wait to join you in exploring and celebrating these in person again.
The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation has long celebrated our region's unique interwoven economies of El Paso, Las Cruces, and Ciudad Juárez, and it has long supported our region by investing in initiatives that allow our regional economy to grow, attract external investment, and create new jobs. We have supported organizations and institutions that equip our residents with the skills and training needed to obtain in-demand jobs since investing in our people and our businesses is the best way to create a globally competitive economy.Read More
When the COVID-19 pandemic brought our economy to a halt, it became vital that the progress made in our region's economic growth did not suffer. We worked to ensure that our investments were strategically placed to support ongoing economic and workforce development efforts such as helping organizations effectively use technology and virtual methods to continue their economic development activities, and stay operational during this pandemic. Key investments we made towards preserving economic development in the region included supporting organizations like the Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness, NMSU Hunt Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Bridge Initiative led by the El Paso Community Foundation.
The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation believes the future of our region lies in our young people, and it begins with a high-quality education. Since its inception, the Foundation has recognized the link between a quality education for all students and economic prosperity within the Borderplex region. By investing in programs and initiatives that aim to increase educational attainment and outcomes from kindergarten through college, the Foundation helps open the door to educational opportunities and build a highly-skilled workforce in the Borderplex region.Read More
Our education investments in 2020 ranged from scholarship programs for local students needed to complete college, to supporting education advocacy organizations that are advancing comprehensive change and innovation in our education ecosystem. Our foundation also invested in local institutions of higher learning so they can deliver a world-class education to students pursuing college degrees and post-secondary certification in the Borderplex region. Key investments we made in 2020 included supporting organizations like CREEED, and scholarship programs at St. John's College, UTEP, and the Ysleta Education Foundation.
The healthcare community faced unprecedented challenges as COVID-19 impacted the Borderplex community. The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation continued investing in our region's health, led by a partnership with the Medical Center of the Americas (MCA) Foundation and Battelle Institute, a national science and technology company and leader on the COVID-19 pandemic response.Read More
Utilizing best practices and data-driven approaches, MCA created a coordinated response to bring together the City of El Paso and healthcare professionals across the region to ensure there was a coordinated response to keep our community safe. Amidst the pandemic, the Foundation completed the last installment of a 5-year $1M match grant program with the Fundación Paso del Norte, which allowed the organization to raise much-needed funding for organizations in Ciudad Juárez - including those who are on the frontlines of providing health services and COVID relief to residents in Juarez. In 2020, we also saw one of our key health grantees, the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing, reach its 10th year anniversary and continue its mission of meeting critical health workforce needs in the Borderplex region.
The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation is dedicated to improve the quality of life for our Borderplex residents by supporting the organizations who share our same goal to create a prosperous community to live and grow. Like so many regions around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted our residents and brought numerous challenges such as economic hardship and food insecurity that made 2020 a difficult year for families in the Borderplex.Read More
Through thoughtful investments, we partnered with nonprofit organizations such as UpTogether to ensure that families had the resources and ability to meet their needs: paying for rent, putting food on their table, and weathering the storm of this pandemic. Because improving quality of life is also about looking towards our future, we invested in initiatives such as the soon to be El Paso Children's Museum and Science Center that will inspire families to learn and play, and renovating entertainment venues that provide our residents a place to celebrate the arts and local sports events that bring families together.
The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation has long been dedicated to ensuring that the Borderplex region has a seat at the table when its interests are on the line. The strain of the COVID-19 pandemic on our community was tangible, and therefore we needed to ensure that our community was not ignored in the national and state conversations around this pandemic.Read More
Therefore, our investments outside the region ensured that organizations leading in biomedical research benefited our region, that students who wanted to attend universities outside of our region were able to do so without economic hardships, and that our small businesses were in conversation with others about solutions to innovate and rebuild during the pandemic. And we ensured that our region's voice was included in state and national conversation about what the response to the pandemic should be. Key investments we made in 2020 to elevate the Borderplex region included fellowship programs at the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program, research and initiatives at Texas 2036 as well as the Foundation for a Globally Competitive Texas.
The COVID-19 changed life as we knew it. In the space of just a few weeks, schools, sports, and cultural activities went online or shut down completely, and thousands of El Pasoans lost jobs as businesses shuttered and manufacturing ground to a halt. The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation responded quickly to this sudden and urgent crisis.Read More
To support families suffering economically, we helped launch a $1 million matching grant to the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank, and we introduced an innovative poverty reduction program, UpTogether (formerly known as the Family Independence Initiative), to our region, enabling 1,000 local families affected by the pandemic to receive direct cash support. The Foundation also supported the Medical Center of the Americas' work to coordinate medical resources and communications across the community in response to the pandemic. And we kept an eye on the future, funding efforts to preserve and advance our region's quality of life in the face of one of the most challenging years in memory. We helped local organizations ensure they could hit the ground running when our community reopens, and we look forward to being there as it does.
Number of Organizations / Initiatives Supported
Total Amount of Grants & Commitments
For additional information on previous giving for the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation, please see the below annual reports.