Caris Foundation™ is a Texas Non-Profit Private Foundation established in Irving, Texas, in 2002 to aid and empower impoverished people. In doing so, the foundation seeks to establish a local presence within communities in order to understand the people’s basic needs and implement solutions that are culturally relevant and sustainable.
Caris is the Greek word for grace.
Caris – χαρις (khar'-ece): a: a favor done without expectation in return; b: the absolutely free expression of the loving kindness of God to men finding its only motive in the bounty and benevolence of the Giver; c: unearned and unmerited favor.
The Foundation is solely funded by Kathryn and David D. Halbert, Kristen and Jeff Barstad, Shannon and Patrick Halbert, and Caroline and Michael Halbert.
“The hungry are fed, the thirsty drink, the homeless are sheltered, the naked are clothed, the sick are healed, the oppressed are released.” – Jesus
Kathy Halbert is the cofounder of the Caris Foundation and is a major motivating influence behind the initiative of the organization. She has always had a passion for philanthropic work and demonstrates it in her daily life and in her community. Kathy provides the “spiritual heartbeat” for the Caris Foundation as well as leadership and direction concerning the management, application and use of Caris funds.
Christopher’s educational and professional experiences in business management have proven vital to Caris’ operational success. His abilities to problem solve and proactively manage projects across continents have resulted in a remarkable impact in the lives of those the foundation serves. Christopher’s hands on style and relentless effort in the face of adversity have become trademarks of the Caris Foundation.
Jim Reppart brings to Caris Foundation more than 30 years of experience in Africa. He and his wife Laura, prior to her untimely death in 2012, planted churches and equipped church leaders. They served the urban poor by establishing a “store front” clinic and Laura initiated a street children’s ministry that has become a testimony of God’s power and provision. Jim facilitates the Caris Foundation’s initiatives in Africa.
After medical school at Cambridge University, Nat completed his residency in Pediatrics at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospitals in London. He is a member of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health. As a Fulbright Scholar he completed an MBA and an MPH at Johns Hopkins. He helped to initiate the Caris Foundation’s activities in Haiti which have grown from supporting one hospital to over 125 clinical sites in every province of the country. His research interest is focused on efforts to reduce Mother To Child transmission of HIV and to improving the outcomes of children and families living with the disease.
Tessa grew up in the UK and graduated with a BA hons. in French and Italian from Leicester University. After living in France and Italy, she returned home to complete a Masters in PR. In 2007 she moved to Haiti as Program Director of the Caris Foundation where she has overseen the development of the organization’s activities. Tessa helped guide Caris from a two-person team to an organization of over 150 staff and seven regional offices. Tessa launched Kids Clubs and Mothers Clubs that provide invaluable education and psychological support to over 700 adolescents and 2000 mothers living with HIV. She developed curriculums that support these vulnerable groups to live positively and to realize their potential.
Jane is an integral part of the administrative staff and brings much wisdom, experience and spiritual depth to the planning and implementation of Caris Kenya projects. In addition to her responsibilities of designing, maintaining and monitoring the financial system, she also oversees women’s empowerment, personnel contracts, taxes and partnerships with other institutions. She has a heart for service, which is tempered by practicality and a marvelous sense of humor.