The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation provides grants primarily to organizations that support and elevate the Borderplex region and our community. The Foundation's giving is focused in six key areas: Arts and Local Heritage; Economic Development, Education, Healthcare, Quality of Life Initiatives, and Elevating the Borderplex Region with state and national engagement.
For over 34 years, the Foundation has made grants and commitments totaling close to $117.5 million to over 606 organizations, supporting over 2,777 initiatives. A key focus of our giving is to promote program sustainability. To ensure prolonged impact with our giving, many of our grants include multi-year commitments. We also encourage community participation, whereby we match private contributions made to grantee organizations.
The Foundation's giving within our six focus areas is further defined below.
The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation celebrates the strong culture of the Borderplex region by supporting the organizations that make this community so vibrant. The cherished music of our border, the unique geography of the Franklin Mountains and the Rio Grande, and our binational traditions all contribute to our rich and unique culture. The Foundation invests in organizations that work at the intersection of these values - art, music, history, preservation - such as after-school art and music programs for children, and initiatives to preserve the history of our region by protecting its natural heritage and resources. We recognize the importance of the arts in our community and work to elevate them by supporting organizations like the El Paso Symphony and Orchestra, which celebrated its 90th Season in 2020, and is the longest continuously running symphony in Texas.
Our culture is our identity, and we welcome the opportunity to support, celebrate and amplify it.
"I am so grateful to the Woody and Gayle Hunt Foundation for their years of steady support and generous giving, without which we would not be able to operate at this scale. On an average week, we run 70 programs across El Paso, working mostly with economically disadvantaged families. Our programs teach children to always give their best and never give up"
- Courtney Elam, Executive / Artistic Director of Kids Excel
The Borderplex region is home to one of the largest binational and bilingual communities on the U.S.-Mexico border. The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation has long celebrated our region's unique meshing of the cultures and economies of El Paso, Las Cruces, and Ciudad Juárez, and it has long supported our region by investing in new initiatives and developments that allow our economy to grow, attract external investment, and create new jobs for those living here.
We support the organizations and institutions that equip our residents with the skills and certifications needed to enter in-demand and well-paying jobs. We know that investing in our people and in our businesses is the best way to create a globally competitive economy.
"The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation gift has been a game changer for the Arrowhead Center, It has allowed us to exponentially expand education and regional economic development collaboration in support of , and support more young entrepreneurs within the Borderplex region."
- Kathy Hansen, Director of Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University (NMSU) and CEO of Arrowhead Center, Inc.
The future of the Borderplex region lies in our young residents, and it begins with a high-quality education. Since its inception, the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation has recognized the link between a quality education for all students and regional economic prosperity. By investing in programs and initiatives that aim to improve student achievement and outcomes from kindergarten through college, the Foundation helps build a highly-skilled workforce and a more competitive Borderplex region.
Our education investments include scholarship programs for teachers at El Paso County school districts to college foundations that offer students the financial resources needed to complete a college degree, The Foundation supports education advocacy and organizations that are advancing comprehensive change and innovation in our education ecosystem. We also invest in our local institutions of higher learning so they can deliver a world- class education to students pursuing college degrees and post-secondary certifications in the Borderplex region.
"The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation has been instrumental in helping increase educational attainment for all El Paso students. Woody was a visionary in helping Texas develop its 60x30 plan to increase the number of post-secondary graduates, with particular focus on the Hispanic Demographic. As a result, here in El Paso, this plan has guided CREEED's vision for how we approach educational attainment in our region and ultimately create a 21st Century workforce. The foundation is making critical investments to ensure that we make progress in reaching our local 60x30 El Paso plan and get more of our students to pursue and obtain a college degree."
- Eduardo Rodriguez, Executive Director, Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED)
Our community is strong and competitive when we are healthy. The well-being of our Borderplex region is a top priority for the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation. Since launching our foundation, we have invested in efforts to create a world-class healthcare system that not only serves the needs of our binational community, but also is at the cutting-edge of medical innovation. The Foundation supports organizations that are working with residents to stop the spread of preventable diseases like diabetes and heart disease, delivering quality healthcare services to our communities, and creating a strong bilingual health workforce for the region.
Healthcare investments are led by the establishment of the Woody L. Hunt School of Dental Medicine, accepting its first students in 2021, and the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing, celebrating it's 10 year anniversary in 2021. Both of these investments at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso are part of our ongoing commitment to create a fully-integrated medical research system to produce our region's future doctors, nurses, dental and medical professionals. The new dental school is the first in Texas in more than 50 years and the first American dental school on the U.S.-Mexico border.
"The value that the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing has added to the Borderplex region is immeasurable. Our students are incredibly resilient, and continue to serve on the front lines, in tragic situations such as the August 23rd shooting, and currently during the COVID-19 pandemic. The students have continued their clinicals, and always put our community first."
- Dr. Stephanie Woods, Dean, Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing, TTUHSC El Paso
The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation has long-been committed to investing in organizations that are improving the quality of life in the Borderplex region, and building the type of community where residents want to live, work and worship. This includes supporting organizations focused on improving our region's strengths and those that address its challenges.
Through thoughtful long-term investments, the Foundation has helped build an infrastructure of support for those in need. As in so many regions across the world, we know that food insecurity, housing insecurity, and poverty are real issues that our residents face. The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation supports nonprofit and civic society organizations that work tirelessly to tackle these challenges. Because improving quality of life is also about looking beyond the horizon, we also invest in initiatives that celebrate life in the Borderplex region, bringing new exhibits and programming to our local zoo, investing in world-class museums that inspire the imagination of children and the elderly alike, and building cultural centers and entertainment opportunities that provide families a place to gather, connect and celebrate hometown pride.
"The Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation has allowed El Paso's only food bank to sustain drastic and unimaginable times, led by an unprecedented refugee crisis in early 2019 that left hundreds of thousands of people and families entering our country's border without food.. Through their contributions, we have been able to serve millions of meals and adapt to unseen changing conditions. We are incredibly grateful for their continued investments in the food bank, as well as the health of El Paso and our region."
- Susan Goodell, Chief Executive Officer, El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank
"UTEP is very grateful for the generosity of the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation and their investment in the Sun Bowl Stadium Renovation Project. Their gift will have a transformational impact on the iconic venue, helping us address much-needed safety and accessibility concerns while providing new premium amenities for patrons. All these upgrades are essential as we continue to serve the Borderplex region by providing first-class entertainment in this storied facility. Thank you to the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation!"
- Jim Senter, UTEP Athletic Director, The University of Texas at El Paso
While close to 87% of the Foundation's grantmaking focuses on supporting the Borderplex region, we also recognize that in order for our community to be strong and competitive, we need to ensure that our region has a seat at the table to ensure our interests are promoted. The decisions that are made in Austin, TX, or Washington, DC have a real impact on our region's ability to grow and thrive. That is why the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation makes strategic investments in organizations and initiatives that elevate the unique assets and opportunities of our binational, bicultural region, and situate our strengths in conversations about the future of our state and nation.
The Foundation's grants include providing fellowship and scholarship programs for Borderplex civic and nonprofit leaders to participate in national policy and research programs, initiatives that share real stories of life and promise along the border in media and corporate America, and efforts to ensure we maintain strong bilateral relationships between Texas and Mexico.
"The Woody and Gayle Hunt Aspen Institute Fellowship incorporates important perspectives from members of the Borderplex community into Institute programming, reflecting diverse ideas and contributions to thought leadership and provides participants the opportunity to strengthen their leadership capabilities and expand their networks. The Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program is grateful to the Woody and Gayle Hunt Family Foundation's continued faith in our program's and the Institute's ability to affect change for the betterment of society."
- Maria Samaniego, Acting Director, Aspen Institute Latinos & Society