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Guest Contributor

NorthPark Center Luxury Ambassador Lisa Cooley is a whirlwind philanthropist.

She has co-chaired six major benefits in the past few years, including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala, and fundraised for at least nine other organizations, such as the Crystal Charity Ball.

“I feel like people are running in high beams when I’m coming to ask them to write a check,” she jokes.

But Cooley is all business when it comes to Family Gateway and its mission to house homeless families with their children. Last year, the organization served 387 families with 818 kids.

“They will take any family,” Cooley notes. “If a child is in school, they can find a place for the family so the child can stay in the same school.”

You can help by donating to a school-supply drive for Family Gateway families at  NorthPark Center throughout August.

There are several ways to give. Slip funds or gift cards into a Family Gateway box at the NorthPark Concierge outside Neiman Marcus or deposit children’s socks, underwear, uniforms, backpacks and other supplies at NorthPark’s management office on Level One between Dillard’s and A|X Armani Exchange.

In addition, Family Gateway staff and representatives will be on site to accept donations and share information from 1 to 4PM on August 11 during Tax-Free Weekend.

Find them near the towering orange Mark Di Suvero sculpture in the NorthCourt on Level One between Nordstrom and Macy’s. A DJ will add to the festive atmosphere, and you can enter a raffle to win NorthPark Gold.

Lisa Cooley and Gina Betts serve as co-chairs of the Gateway to Opportunity Luncheon fundraiser for Family Gateway on October 19, where basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson will be the keynote speaker.

Seriously, how does Cooley do it all? The short answer is mindfulness.

“My philosophy for managing my charitable work is that no matter where I am or what I’m doing, I make a deliberate decision to be completely engaged,” Cooley says. “I don’t stress or worry about something later in the day, week, or month. This keeps me grounded, focused and grateful.”

Giving back is fundamental to who she is.

“I just truly believe that we should all aspire to do the work God commands of us, and a huge part of that is service,” Cooley explains. “We all are given gifts, whether of time, talent or resources, and I think we have a responsibility  – not an obligation – to give back to others in any way we can. Not to mention, there is nothing more rewarding in life than to make a difference in a positive way for another individual.”