Donor Creates Haven for Texas Youth

May 2021 · Hi-Lites, Ministry News

Saint Francis Ministries’ donors don’t come in one size, shape or color. They aren’t all former foster children and many have never had any connection with the child welfare system. They aren’t one religion, or one profession, and they certainly don’t all agree on politics.

Instead, they gather together in support of Saint Francis because they are people who recognize the needs of the vulnerable and know they can make a difference in small and large ways.

Recently, a donor who prefers to remain anonymous reached out to our Texas team and asked to meet to learn about the needs of foster children. We pulled together some of our partner organizations and met with him, sharing stories of the challenges young people face when they enter foster care and how useful overnight bags, which contain things like hygiene products, books and blankets, can be.

“Our case management supervisor told a story about the girl we had in our office the day before and needing specialized hair care products, as she was African-American, and that those products were expensive,” said Erin Baxter, community engagement advisor. “Then, the director of CASA told another story about a teen who wanted Nikes to fit in. In essence, the group explained how helpful overnight bags are – but they don’t always have everything we actually need for the kids our care.”

The donor listened and then donated $25,000 to the three organizations at the table. He added $15,000 to help Saint Francis furnish rooms in the building where children and teens wait before they are moved to a new placement. The rooms have been rather bare, and Saint Francis had recently made an Amazon wish list for games and bean bags and other things to make the room more inviting for kids.

“This gentleman’s heart was moved by the needs and the real stories of youth in our care,” Baxter said. “We’re so grateful for his support and his heart for children, just as we’re grateful for the many community members who have been buying the items off of our wish list. It’s not just about transforming rooms but about showing the kids in our care that they’re worthwhile and deserve nice things.”

The lesson we are taught continually at Saint Francis Ministries – from the donor in Nebraska who sewed and gave hundreds of masks to employees to individual donors who give $5 a month to donors who help us build hay barns and new programs – is that every piece matters.

We could not successfully bring healing and hope to children and families without the support of community – through prayers, gifts, in-kind donations, advocacy, and, of course, becoming foster and adoptive parents.

Want to help? If you’re interested in supporting Saint Francis Ministries’ programs, call 800-423-1342 ext.1912.

To read the full version of our Spring 2021 HiLites, click here.

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