THE MATTHEW 25:40 PROJECT BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Debbie Rima is the President of the Board of Directors. She is a graduate of UTD and a paralegal with the law firm of Sommerman, McCaffity & Quesada, LLP. While Debbie has always been passionate about volunteering, the homeless have captured Debbie’s heart. The more she learned about Mike and Judy Bencheck and their passion for helping the homeless, the more she too felt called to spend her life trying to help improve the lives of those less fortunate. According to Debbie, working with and becoming friends with many of Garland’s homeless has been a life-changing experience and has brought great joy in her life.
Debbie loves world travel and sees it as an opportunity to meet the people of the world on their ground. When you do that, you realize we're not really that different.
Scott Lessard is the Vice President of the Board. Scott has been a volunteer with The Matthew 25:40 Project for several years and joined the board in October 2017. Scott has been involved in various financially oriented volunteer ministry positions over the years. He cofounded the “Job Placement and Readiness” ministry at his church, which helped the unemployed and underemployed find work by assisting with resume preparation, interview skills, and networking. Scott ran the financial ministry for many years, focusing on providing skills to achieve financial independence through training, budgeting and small group participation.
Scott is highly involved with World Vision, sponsoring several children in Katito, Kenya and running marathons to fundraise for clean water in Africa. In 2012, Scott had the privilege of meeting his sponsored children and commission a deep water well that his fundraising helped build.
Scott lives in Sachse, TX with his wife Angie and their youngest daughter. He has three adult children who live in Austin, Seattle and Mesquite. He has worked in various roles (Engineering and Support) for large technology companies and currently works for a leader in cybersecurity. He enjoys traveling, hunting and spending time with his granddaughter.
Scott is current primarily responsible for timely completing grant applications.
Judy Bencheck is Treasurer and Secretary of the Board of Directors. As a native Texan, Judy is grateful to be a part of The Matthew 25:40 Project and to serve in the community where she grew up. She has spent over 20 years working in administrative and accounting fields. Over the last few years, Judy has felt a calling to be a voice and advocate for those who sometimes are not heard. This led her to become a full-time student after a long absence and finish a degree in Social Work. Judy lives in Richardson with her husband Mike and 3 dogs. They have 5 children and 2 grandchildren.
Bettie Wiggins lives in Garland, Texas, she is a retired “Program Support Housing Specialist”, for the Santa Ana, California Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). She is a member of Springcreek Church, serves on the WE Team, and facilitates a bible study in her home. Her hobbies include a love for cooking, especially baking and converting traditional meals and recipes to gluten-free. She also enjoys, making novelty soap, and researching the internet on various ideas and projects. Matthew 5:8 - (KJV) - Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Bettie's primary responsibility is determining deadlines for grant applications and keeping our grant application calendar up to date.
Steve Maziarz is a graduate of the ELCA Parish Lay Ministry Academy for Northern Texas/Northern Louisiana Synod and serves, in several capacities, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Garland. Additionally, he is a facilitator of the Grief Recovery Group (Grief Share) at Springcreek Church in Garland.
Steve's primary responsibility is assisting us with IT issues and setting up databases to help us with intake and determining what resources best help our friends.
Steve shares his story of his own experience with near homelessness so we can all understand how quickly this can happen to any of us. Please take a moment to read Steve's Story.
Ana Maria Aguilar DeYoung is passionate about serving others and resides in Garland. As an immigrant from Durango, MX and through her tribulations she is well aware of hunger and the feeling of homeless as she moved from house to house. She comes from a family of eight, four brothers and four sisters. But through the Lord they continue to prevail.
Ana Maria comes from the corporate world in accounting and retired about four years back to dedicate herself to the community and her family. Ana Maria is married to Greg DeYoung and has two adorable grandkids and two loveable adult children.
She is currently a community activist and has been in a vast amount of organizations, political campaigns, projects, events, etc. She is President of her own private association called Garland Flamingo Neighbors and inclusion Neighborhood Crime Watch, Vice President of Americas Chamber for Business-Garland and member of variety of other organizations.
Her passion is giving those to who are in need because the truth of this world is that we are all servants to one another, no matter the circumstances. God has our plans before hand. We must find compassion and assist all those that struggle for we know what is right as it is written in the Bible. Her favorite verse is Psalms 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God,”
David Phillips holds a BS in Education from Texas A&M Commerce and operates a small remodeling company based out of Sachse, TX and is originally from McKinney, TX.
David gained his passion of lifting up the homeless through working with a very large non-profit organization in Dallas. Recently, David and his wife, Debbie, began looking for a more local organization working with the homeless. David was impressed with the individual attention that was being offered to our friends through The Matthew 25:40 Project, especially the plans for offering a hand up instead of a handout.
David is particularly interested in working on the tiny house committee, utilizing his construction background. He also looks forward to working with the more experienced board members as he "learns the ropes" and discovers where he can best assist in the long-term goals.
David's nickname is "Cookie" because, when it comes to barbecues, hamburgers, fish frys, etc, no one does it like he does. Just turn him loose "Stay out of his way"!!!!!! David hopes he can use these cooking skills to help our homeless friends!
Once he gets established in his role on the board, David plans to enlist the help of members at his church, Five Stone Church in Garland, in setting up a group ministry catering to the Homeless in Garland.
Kathy Mahdak is a Dallas native and graduate of SMU where she earned an undergraduate degree in Mathematics. She later continued her studies and earned the CPA certification. She has done accounting project work for various companies in a variety of industries for the last 18 years.
Kathy lives in Richardson with her cats and is looking forward to helping the Matthew 2540 Project in its goal to fight homelessness.
Mike Bencheck is the CEO of the Board of Directors and Pastor of The Matthew 25:40 Project. He owns his own consulting firm after retiring from Verizon. Mike's focus is on empowering the homeless and near homeless to realize their full potential. Mike and his wife Judy reside in Richardson, TX and have five children and two grandchildren.
Mike is our "man on the ground," going out to meet our friends wherever they might be to determine their needs. He's extremely knowledgeable on what is required to replace lost identification. He assists Scott with grant applications. He works with Larry at locating housing.
Larry Walker would singlehandedly change the world if he could. He is constantly trying to help us find jobs, housing and other resources for our homeless friends.
Through his organization, Anthem Strong Families, Larry provides life skill classes for our homeless and mentoring/volunteering classes for our volunteers.
When you hear of someone doing something for the homeless, you can be sure Larry either is a part of it or is sharing that information with someone who can benefit from it.