Prayer Breakfast called for heavenly aid

Hill Country Community Journal | May 11, 2019

By: Bonnie Arnold

More than 200 people attended this year’s National Day of Prayer event in Kerrville on May 1, led by Dennis Ferguson, director of BCFS Health & Human Services, Kerrville’s Community Services Division

The program for the morning said the National Day of Prayer was created by law in 1952 by President Harry Truman as an inspiring way to bring people of all faiths together to pray and mobilize with a common focus.

BCFS Celebrates “National Foster Care Month”

BCFS Health and Human Services’ Lifts Up Youth in Foster Care

May is “National Foster Care Month”

According to the Center for Public Policy Priorities and Kids Count Data Center, in 2014 there were more than 30,000 children in Texas’ foster care system. The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work’s Child and Family Research Institute has shown that foster youth, statistically, have poor educational outcomes, are less likely to finish high school, go to college or hold stable employment.
As the nation marks May as “National Foster Care Month,” BCFS Health and Human Services works daily to help young adults and youth in foster care grow toward independent adulthood and self-sufficiency.
At BCFS’ transition centers throughout Texas, local youth in and aging out of foster care and those at risk of homelessness, poverty or other challenges have ”one-stop” access to case management, counseling, mentoring, educational opportunities, employment connections, housing location and legal service – all free of charge.
Formal programs focus on equipping young adults with “real life” knowledge and skills, such as interviewing for a job, balancing a checkbook, healthy decision making, choosing a career path, teen pregnancy prevention and the consequences of being sexually active. The organization focuses on offering a support system to youth in foster care that helps them grow into healthy, productive adults.
“These young people are in our community, and some have endured serious tragedies and challenges through no fault of their own,” say center directors. “Our mission is to help youth learn responsibility, seek and find opportunities and, ultimately, create a healthy, loving environment for themselves, their families and our larger community.
“What we offer at the center teaches them that everyone is important, and everyone can make a positive difference.”
BCFS also offers foster care services that connect youth with safe and loving foster homes. Adults who would like information about becoming a foster parent can call (210) 208-5629 or visit DiscoverBCFS.net/FosterCare.
For more information about the BCFS’ transition centers, their programs or how to help, visit DiscoverBCFS.net.

Kerrville Men Gather for a Hearty Breakfast, Raising More Than $31,000 for Local Youth

Nearly 200 local community and business leaders gathered for the Men’s “Field of Dreams” Steak and Eggs Benefit Breakfast, hosted by BCFS Health and Human Services. The event raised more than $31,000 toward furnishing BCFS’ new Texas Hill Country Resource Center, which will house multiple local non-profits with a common mission to serve youth in foster care and the juvenile justice system; families that are struggling; and those facing other challenges, like homelessness, substance abuse and unemployment.

Guest speaker Jimmy “The Rookie” Morris, whose life inspired the book and movie The Rookie, attended the breakfast to share inspirational words about not giving up on your dreams. Guests enjoyed a steak and eggs breakfast, live music and a viewing of classic cars at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Several major sponsors helped make the second annual event a great success, including Cecil Atkission Motors; Family Practice Associates; Trade-Mark Air Conditioning; The Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country; and the Kerrville Public Utility Board.
“BCFS is proud to be part of a community that is so in tune with the needs of its youth,” said Kevin Dinnin, BCFS President & CEO. “When we provide young men and women with educational and economic opportunity, and serve as a stabilizing force in their tumultuous lives, it’s good for the entire Hill Country community. The men that enjoyed breakfast with us are part of that stabilizing force for the next generation in Kerrville and beyond.”
Thanks to the support of many private foundations, individual philanthropists, and BCFS Health and Human Services’ own parent company – BCFS – the organization is building a new “one stop” resource center that will serve thousands of children and families annually and house several additional non-profits, including Art-2-Heart; Families & Literacy, Inc.; and New Hope Counseling Services.
The new “one stop center,” which will open its doors in 2015, will be a safe-haven and comprehensive place for resources that help local children, youth and families, many who are at-risk of homelessness, poverty or other challenges that could inhibit a successful transition into adulthood and independence. The center will provide case management, counseling, mentorships, assistance with education, employment and housing location.
Morris shared his story – brought to the big screen starring actor Dennis Quaid – recalling how he dreamed of playing major league baseball growing up, but injuries and life got in the way. Ten years after he walked away from the minor leagues, became a father and a high school baseball coach, he told his team if they won their local championship he would try out again for the big leagues. When he kept his word and tried out, he finally achieved his Big League, childhood dreams at the age of 35.
“Many of the youth we serve have suffered some kind of abuse or neglect in their past,” said Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie, BCFS Director of Development. “So Jimmy’s advice to never give up really resonates with our youth. This event will go a long way towards helping us continue our work with young people who are struggling.”

To support the work of the transition center by donating, contact Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie at (830) 928-9387, give securely online, or send checks to 550 Earl Garrett Suite 114, Kerrville, TX 78028.