Permanent Change

The Community Enrichment Center provides immediate assistance and help to those in need, but the long-term goal is to make the people and families it serves independent and self-sustaining

When the Community Enrichment Center started 25 years ago as an outreach program of The Hills Church of Christ in North Richland Hills, its mission was to provide groceries to low-income individuals and families in Northeast Tarrant County.

That’s still the mission, but now it is only part of what the Community Enrichment Center has become. “We choose to look to the future as opposed to dwelling on the crisis of the day,” says Executive Director Randy Clinton. “Our goal is to work ourselves out of a job. We are not here just to put a Band-Aid on a problem, but to help guide families and individuals to a more independent life style.”

The organization celebrated its quarter-century mark in October at its Hearts and Hope Gala, a benefit event that featured Former First Lady Laura Bush as the keynote speaker.

“Mrs. Bush was so in tune with what we do at the CEC and was able to relate our mission to her former experiences as a teacher,” Clinton said.
The organization’s food pantry distributed more than 600,000 pounds of food last year, serving an average of 800 families each month. But the faith-based organization has moved far beyond its original mission into efforts to help people work themselves out of poverty and into jobs that pay a living wage.