Project HOPES’ Spring Fling a Success

BCFS Health and Human Services-Abilene celebrates with families enrolled in the home-based training program for parents, Project HOPES

Photo: Father with his daughter

Every month, BCFS Health and Human Services-Abilene holds an event for the families enrolled in Project HOPES, a child abuse prevention program that helps parents with children 0 to 5 years old.

On March 16, Project HOPES hosted a Spring Fling in the Family Life Center at the First Baptist Church of Abilene, open to all enrolled families as well as the public. The event celebrated the successful completion of the HOPES parenting program for several families with free skating, bowling, pizza and drinks courtesy of BCFS-Abilene.

BCFS-Abilene Parent Educator Kelly Davis said the main goal of the event was to provide a stress-free environment to help facilitate bonding between parents and their children.

At every Project HOPES event, parents receive information or resources to help them overcome any obstacle that stands in the way of their family’s well-being. In March, Project HOPES provided informative packets to families on how to get their kids to eat healthier, tips on shopping for healthy foods, and included several delicious meal recipes.

BCFS Education Services Names Taylor Executive Director

BCFS Education Services has named Jeremy Taylor as executive director. In this role, Taylor will oversee the administration and growth of the organization’s Head Start programs.

Photo: Jeremy TaylorBCFS Education Services has named Jeremy Taylor as executive director. In this role, Taylor will oversee the administration and growth of the organization’s Head Start programs.
“Head Start is a unique program that goes beyond the classroom, focusing on ensuring the whole family has the resources, tools and information needed to start their children’s lifetime of learning off on the right foot,” said Ben Delgado, BCFS Executive Vice President – Community and International Operations. “Jeremy’s experience and passion for strengthening families make him a great fit to be our Education Services leader.”
Since joining BCFS in 2007, Taylor has worked extensively with youth and families in need, building a reputation as a statewide leader in services that assist youth in and aging out of foster care, as well as youth in the juvenile justice system make the transition into independent and productive adults. He played a key part in the establishment and growth of BCFS Education Services’ Head Start programs throughout Texas, which today spans six counties and eleven school districts, and serves more than 800 children each year.
Head Start is a national program that promotes school readiness by enhancing the social and cognitive development of children by providing educational, health, nutritional, social and other services to enrolled children and families. For four decades, Head Start has propelled children from disadvantaged backgrounds toward success. The program focuses on helping preschool-aged children form strong foundations built upon academic excellence and healthy living.
Taylor is a licensed professional counselor and earned a master’s in counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s from Texas Tech University.

The Building Blocks of Faith

BCFS Health and Human Services, together with a team of compassionate and handy neighbors in Kerrville, Texas, helps a seventy-seven year old single great-grandmother with sole custody of her three young great-grandchildren expand her home to meet CPS licensing standards.

By:  Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie
To say Wanna Runyan has a full house is an understatement. The seventy-seven year old single great-grandmother has sole custody of her three young great-grandchildren: six year old twins, Payton and Paige, and their five year old sister, Kodi. Runyan, who also cares for an elderly family member, could no doubt make a happy home for the girls, but she needed another bedroom in her small Kerrville home to comply with Child Protective Services licensing standards.
Photo: Woman and girls
Runyan and her great-granddaughters loved the butterflies, pink paint and other girlie accents that made their new room feel like home.

How would she ever get a room addition? “It would have to be a miracle,” Runyan said.

Neighbors and friends heard about Runyan’s dilemma. One such acquaintance, a volunteer from Christian Assistance Ministry, contacted Partners in Ministry and the ball started rolling.
“It is indescribable how it all came together,” said Jeff Anderson, Executive Director of Partners in Ministry. Anderson began working with a neighbor, Bob Meader, who drew up plans for the project. TJ Moore Lumber Yard, Home Depot and MG Builders all donated supplies or gave discounts to make the room addition come together.
BCFS Health and Human Services’ (BCFS HHS) Kerrville Transition Center (KTC) was asked to assist with labor. YouthBuild, a program of KTC, helps young adults who dropped out of high school further their education goals while also learning the construction trade. YouthBuild construction manager, Keith Schoonmaker, said his youth put in more than 120 hours of sweat and hard work, learning to give back to their community.
One BCFS HHS YouthBuild student, Eddy, shared his excitement about the project. “To go from nothing to being a room was amazing,” he said. “I loved the experience and learned a lot.”
“When they started building, I cried,” smiled Runyan. “I could not believe it was happening to me. It was like a dream.”
“When you do not have much money, something like this is like winning the lottery,” she continued.
Runyan’s three great-grandchildren became very fond of BCFS HHS’ YouthBuild youth and staff, looking forward each day to their arrival on the construction site. Schoonmaker and his assistant, Russell Wells, even made the three young kids wear safety goggles and a hard hat when they came out to “help.”
Last month, more than thirty-six friends, staff and volunteers from BCFS HHS, Partners in Ministry and Christian Assistance Ministry gathered for the ribbon cutting and the celebration.
When the doors opened to the pink bedroom, six year old Paige was asked, “Who built your new room?”
“Jesus built this room,” she answered.