By TJ Parks
Those of us who have lived in Lea County for any length of time are familiar with the impact the JF Maddox Foundation makes in our region. As the former superintendent of Hobbs Municipal Schools, I have firsthand experience on how a grant from the foundation made transformational change for the Career and Technical Educational Center of Hobbs (CTECH). Our quality of life also significantly improved thanks to the foundation’s support of the multi-generational recreation facility, the Center of Recreational Excellence (CORE.) Of course, the health of our community will benefit from the foundation’s investment in the new Covenant Health Hobbs Hospital for years to come.
But what about all of the other, lesser-known investments that are also making big change in our community? Each year, the JF Maddox Foundation invests in many organizations that improve our social services, diversify our economy, educate our youth, provide valuable community assets, and create safe, healthy, and engaged communities. The foundation’s innovative grantmaking helped Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore build a sustainable revenue stream that will in turn house financially under-resourced families. Support for Antoinette’s Haven helped provide women and children a place to live that acts as a stepping stone as they work to get back on their feet and eventually find a home of their own. An investment in Cissy’s Food Ministry gave senior citizens access to weekly hot meals and food boxes, improving the health and well-being of our senior community.
While the foundation continues to provide grant opportunities that make a difference for organizations, what may be even more impressive is the team’s collaboration with nonprofits and the desire to roll up their sleeves, do the research, and help solve problems. This was evident in a recent housing insecurity meeting hosted by David Reed, Chief Operating Officer for the JF Maddox Foundation. We know housing insecurity is a complex issue that cannot be resolved with one-time funding, but David walked the group through thought provoking questions and answers to find workable, realistic solutions. The end result will mean multiple meetings down the road, but it will be well worth the effort if we can make a lasting impact.
As a person who sat on the other side of the desk and asked for funds to help solve issues beyond my wheelhouse, it is inspiring to know the true intent of the JF Maddox Foundation. They have the sole purpose of improving the quality of life
for Lea County. Serving as the foundation’s interim Chief Executive Officer, I can say in good faith that the Maddox family and board of directors are as dedicated as ever to ensure Jack Maddox’s legacy is in great hands. They believe in the people of Lea County and work with a laser focus to make our community a better place to live.
While the foundation has a vision, we know we can’t do it alone. Our partners are the boots on the ground doing the direct-service work that truly makes an impact. Because of this, we invite you — our friends, neighbors, and colleagues — to engage with us to share your thoughts and ideas on how the JF Maddox Foundation’s investments can have a positive, historical impact on our community. With your help, Lea County will continue to be a place we are all proud to call home.
TJ Parks is the interim CEO at the JF Maddox Foundation, a private family foundation in Lea County, New Mexico. Alongside its partners, the foundation invests in education, social services, and community development for a greater quality of life for Lea County residents.