An Organization Assisting Those That Need a Helping Hand

Rooted in Compassion

About Us

"We see people; not problems."

The Jesse Tree is a faith-based, nonprofit organization that connects people with the health care, social services, and ministerial resources they need to rebuild their lives and uplift their spirits.

The Jesse Tree

Connecting: Through direct services and a network of partners and service providers, The Jesse Tree ensures that clients receive all the care and services they need. Our intake process is designed to screen people in—not out. We work to determine every service for which a client is eligible and then we work with clients to connect them to those services.

Rebuilding: The Jesse Tree rebuilds lives by addressing common problems in our community. From hunger to education to chronic medical conditions, The Jesse Tree works to alleviate suffering for all residents in our area.

Uplifting: It was the hope of our founders that the roots of The Jesse Tree would be works of mercy, through which those seeking help would be uplifted, their dignity restored and their independence and self-sufficiency re-established. For this reason, the name of the organization was taken from a passage from the Book of Isaiah (11:1): "A shoot will come up from the stem of Jesse; from his roots, a branch will bear fruit," and signifies the growth of mercy and compassion that we hope our work inspires in the community.

By the Numbers

  • 50,000 Galveston County residents fed annually.
  • $2 million saved by Galvestonians annually through prescription drug program.
  • 10-20 tons of produce given weekly at each Food Fair site.
  • 78,000 calls fielded annually by our bi-lingual phone helpline.
  • 5,000 new families entered into our case-management system annually.
  • 2,500 people enrolled in the chronic conditions management program annually.
  • 200 food boxes delivered on a regular basis monthly to residents of senior public housing.


The Jesse Tree was founded in Galveston, Texas, in 1995. The founders were a group of individuals, led by Ted Hanley, at the invitation of Reverend Charles Millikan of the Moody Memorial First United Methodist Church. The group gathered to explore better uses for emerging technology to address dwindling local resources and to provide direction to those attempting to find help in the community.

In September 2008, Hurricane Ike came ashore at Galveston, Texas. Amidst the destruction, The Jesse Tree lost $2.5 million in buildings, vehicles, appliances, equipment, food, and supplies. Despite its own loss, The Jesse Tree served as a first-responder to the needs of county residents due to the generosity of The Looper Family Foundation, which provided emergency funding to reopen The Jesse Tree.

We cannot do it without your support. Please consider being a monthly donor.