The Promise of Thanksgiving

It was a Thanksgiving as traditional as could be expected in an unexpected year. BCFS Health and Human Services Community Services Division locations across Texas were especially thankful last week for the many people and organizations that let the youth they serve enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday.

A holiday feast was delivered to the residents of by BCFS Health and Human Services-Abilene’s Our House for Young Men, a program that offers shelter and other necessities to youth who would otherwise have no home. The Our House-Abilene residents were joined virtually by Kaitlyn Bristow, Case Manager at Our House-Abilene; and Will Meiron, Program Director with BCFS Health and Human Services-Abilene.

In McAllen and Harlingen, BCFS Health and Human Services received 40 turkeys from New Life Family Church in McAllen, Texas. H-E-B Grocery Store in Harlingen donated canned corn, green beans, turkey bags, turkey cooking pans and mashed potatoes. The items were delivered to families in South Texas who are part of the programs operated by BCFS Health and Human Services Community Services Division in Hidalgo and Cameron Counties, so that they could enjoy their own Thanksgiving meals.

Meanwhile, seven residents from BCFS Health and Human Services-Kerrville’s Our House program received gift baskets filled with local goodies as well as a Thanksgiving dinner provided by the restaurant Cracker Barrel. Residents shared the meal from a safe distance via a video call with BCFS-Kerrville staff.

“Thanks was given for family, community, and friendship as the group cherished these holiday moments,” said Kamaria Woods, Director at BCFS-Kerrville. “Everyone laughed and shared stories, and the staff was pleased to see the residents bonding with one another.”

At BCFS Health and Human Services-San Antonio, youth in the Preparation for Adult Living and Texas Workforce Commission programs had 165 meals delivered to them and their families from the Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner, an annual, volunteer-powered event in San Antonio that offers a traditional Thanksgiving meal to citizens in need. In addition, 62 families from the Family and Youth Success program received Walmart gift cards to purchase Thanksgiving meals and necessities. BCFS-San Antonio programs work with families in foster care, helping the children, young adults and parents thrive in the foster system.

In Del Rio, 41 survivors of domestic violence received turkeys and holiday baskets filled with all the trimmings. The gifts were a donation from Bar 100, Domestic Violence Alliance, Monica Reyes, the Queens for a Cause, HOSA and students from the Medical High School Group. BCFS Health and Human Services-Del Rio has, for more than a decade, helped advocate and provide for survivors of domestic violence in Texas.

Though Thanksgiving was different by necessity, the gratitude shared by members of BCFS Health and Human Services Community Services Division was no less meaningful this year. The BCFS System is grateful to partners throughout Texas who kept the promise of this holiday: we all have a reason to be thankful.