Abi Erickson is doing her part to improve East Dallas so her two young daughters can grow up in a community at its best.

Her method: Lend a hand to organizations that have the potential to work miracles where they are most needed.

Mission East Dallas is a charity clinic that serves uninsured families; the Ferguson Road Initiative is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to improving a deprived section of East Dallas; and The Kessler School is a private faith-based academy. Three promising organizations, each serving a different worthwhile cause, ran into similar financial roadblocks when it came to fulfilling their respective visions. So they called in the lady who knows how to get things done — or at least jumpstarted.

Erickson, one-time development director of Educational First Steps, a group that advocates the education of disadvantaged children, and former development director of the Friends of the Katy Trail, quit her job because she noticed a niche that would allow her to do more.

“I saw so many nonprofit groups out there with a profound mission, but many of them couldn’t get off the ground. Some are understaffed and some simply didn’t know where to begin with funding and development,” Erickson says.

Now she’s pursuing her own dream, which is to enhance the East Dallas community by helping as many of these charities as she can.

A visionary she is, but Erickson is as big on logic as she is on the dream. When she is called on, she comes in with a specific plan geared to get organizations the resources they need in order to achieve their goals. And because they are struggling grassroots organizations when Erickson steps in, she raises the money to pay herself for her services.

If she can’t, she doesn’t get paid at all.

Mission East Dallas contracted Erickson to develop a fundraising plan and timeline. She worked with development director Darlene Locke to find foundations that could help the charity clinic.

“We didn’t really have a plan in place before Abi came on with us,” Locke says. “Now we know what to ask for and how to do it.”

With Erickson’s help, Locke and the Mission East Dallas team received a $250,000 grant in March from the Rees Jones Foundation, and they are positioned to continue successful fundraising.

With two young children of her own, 3-year-old Lauren and 4-year-old Nina, Erickson is especially dedicated to helping groups that serve children, and she is highly focused on her own neighborhood, Lochwood. Erickson says she wants to make her community stronger so her children will benefit in the long run.

Erickson immigrated to the United States from Australia in 1999. Since then, she has helped raise nearly $3.5 million dollars for Dallas charities, and she doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon.

For more information, contact Abi Erickson at 214.663.2462 or abiericksonaussie@yahoo.com.

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