Committed to a brighter future for children, neighbors and communities.

We consider a healthy neighborhood to be one that is safe, clean, and diverse; one in which it makes economic sense for people to invest and one where neighbors manage change successfully.

We consider a healthy neighborhood to be one that is safe, clean, and diverse; one in which it makes economic sense for people to invest and one where neighbors manage change successfully.

Esther’s Closet Spotlight


Women’s role in the workplace has grown over time. From being a homemaker, to working in the factories during worktime, to now running businesses and being visible in just about every industry. Esther’s Closet is an organization that support women and their path to success in the workplace. For the East Waco Community Business Spotlight, I had the opportunity to talk with Heaven Lee, the Coordinator for Esther’s Closet and hear about how Esther’s Closet support women entering the workforce or expanding their work experience in Waco.

Heaven Lee, a native of Waco, is quite familiar with how women are stepping up their game in many professions in Waco-McLennan County. Esther’s Closet is a resource boutique that provides women with outfits to suit their professional needs as they move up in their career goals as well as those entering the workforce. It was established and founded through the Centex African American Chamber of Commerce in 2016, by former president Laveda Brown. Mrs. Brown believed, “When obtaining new positions, you cannot only have the skills but must also have the look.” Heaven, who has been the coordinator for about a year, is highly motivated with working and expanding Esther’s Closet because as she says, “Women are truly the heart of the community. When you touch a woman’s life, you reach everyone around her!” In 2021, Esther’s Closet was recognized as one of the TFNB Bank Charity of Champions. To date, Esther’s Closet has served over 700 clients and has provided over 2,300 professional outfits to support women moving up in the professional work world. She also works in collaboration with many organizations such as Upskill Waco and Christian Women’s Job Corps and has received many referrals from the Texas Workforce Commission and EOAC. Esther’s Closet take donations of gently used clothing from the community. If you would like to donate or find out more information, contact Heaven Lee:

Esther’s Closet is growing by leaps and bounds and is hoping to move to a bigger location in the near future. They also host an annual fundraiser event that supports the boutique and other programing. This year’s theme is, “Big Hat Brunch” on Aug 30, 11:30am-1pm, at the Waco Convention Center. There will be a photo booth, silent auction and you will hear from a panelist from some dynamic and Inspiring Women Leaders:  Jamie Blanek, Joanna Gaines, and Dr Mia Moody-Ramirez. There is still time to get a ticket. Go to the following link to sign up:

-Jocelyn Williams



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Grassroots Community Development
Grassroots Community Development2 days ago
Are you a homeowner in the City of Waco and have some leaks in your roof? Well, Grassroots may be able to help. We are in Phase VIII of the Grassroots Community Development Roof Repair Program for City of Waco Residents. These services are supported through a grant from the City of Waco. This program is at no cost to low-income families who meet the application qualifications. The Open Enrollment and Application process deadline is November 2nd. So fill out your form NOW.
Please click on the link below to print our application or stop by Grassroots office to pick up an application. Our office address is: 1624 Colcord Ave, Monday- Friday 8-5pm
For more information, please call Project Manager Brian at 254-235-7358 ext 210.
Roof Repair Application:
We also want families to be aware of the dangers of lead-based paint. Please read the following handout about the issues with lead-based paint in your home. Check out this link for more detailed information.
Grassroots Community Development
Grassroots Community Development5 days ago
Grassroots is proud to introduce you to the new members of our board:
Crystal Diaz Espinoza is the Director of Enrollment, Career & Alumni Services at the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work at Baylor University. She has a master’s degree in Higher Education & Student Affairs from Baylor University and a PhD in Higher Education Administration from the University of Tennessee. She comes to Grassroots with 12 years of experience working in areas of enrollment management, leadership and professional development, and diversity, equity & inclusion. Crystal also serves as a race equity consultant for Waco Foundation which helps to bring together community leaders to engage in race equity efforts within their organizations and the greater Waco community. More importantly, she is married to a native Wacoan and is the mother to a beautiful 2-year-old. In her spare time, Crystal is a BIG sports fan and of course loves to cheer on and support all Baylor Bears sports. She and her family also enjoy going to the Waco Farmers Market every weekend and supporting the continued growing number of local businesses as much as possible.
Jud Griffis is a 4th generation Waco resident. He was born at the old Hillcrest hospital and graduated high school from Reicher. Jud received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University, and an MBA from Baylor. His father has also served on the Grassroots board. He has been a full time real estate investor for over 20 years. Jud is married and he and his wife have 2 daughters and a son. His experience and expertise is in financial analysis and general business acumen. He has served on and chaired many boards; Compassion Ministries Board, Waco Building Standards Commission, Waco Historical Preservation Commission, and was the Waco Montessori School Treasurer. When Jud is not analyzing numbers or researching investments, he enjoys mountain biking in Cameron Park with his son and horseback riding with his daughters.
Grassroots is delighted to have Crystal and Jud become members of the board and look forward to working with them.
Grassroots Community Development
Grassroots Community Development6 days ago
On September 3rd, we were honored to be highlighted as one of the TFNB Banks Charity Champions at the Baylor football game! Read more about the experience here,