BCFS’ Lubbock Transition Center Receives Nearly $9,000 from Local Organizations

Community Partners of Lubbock, the Lubbock Area Foundation and the Junior League of Lubbock have together awarded nearly $9,000 to BCFS’ Lubbock Transition Center for special programs that celebrate academic achievement and positive decision making by youth and young adults served at the center.Community Partners of Lubbock has pledged $4,750 in support of the center’s annual “Hope Chest” event, which honors local youth in foster care who are graduating from high school and college. After a celebratory luncheon, graduates receive Target gift cards and head out with transition center staff and volunteers for a shopping trip where youth purchase household items for their new dorm rooms or apartments.

The Lubbock Area Foundation granted the center $2,950 for emergency funds as well as support for the “Court Improvement Project,” a partnership with Judge Kevin Hart, Judge Kara Darnell and the South Plains Foster Care Court that boosts youth attendance and participation in their foster care court hearings. Through the project, court hearings are held in the less-intimidating, more-relaxed atmosphere of the transition center. Since the program started, attendance and participation has increased significantly, and youth report being more satisfied with the outcomes and creative collaboration with case workers and family members.

This is the second grant from the Foundation in support of the Court Improvement Project.

The Junior League of Lubbock awarded $1,200 to BCFS to support its monthly “Alumni Nights” at the Lubbock Transition Center. Alumni nights invite young adults who have aged out of foster care to the center for dinner, fellowship and an opportunity to share big news, such as new jobs, graduation or the birth of a child.

“We are extremely honored and thankful to receive these grant awards,” said Kami Jackson, BCFS Lubbock Transition Center director. “Community Partners of Lubbock, the Lubbock Area Foundation and Junior League all work to invest in the future of our community, and their recognition of the center shows that they believe in the good work we do for Lubbock’s youth.”

BCFS’ Lubbock Transition Center provides services for youth in, and aging out of, the foster care system and those at risk of homelessness and other challenges. The center provides youth with case management, counseling, and assistance with education, employment and housing. Many of the youth served by the center spent time in foster care or the juvenile justice system. Other young adults make the center their “home away from home” to have a safe place to study after school, and mentors to keep them on the right path.

BCFS’ Lubbock Transition Center receives Betenbough Homes grant

Photo: Holly Betenbough presents Kami Jackson with check

LUBBOCK – Betenbough Homes of Lubbock has awarded the BCFS Lubbock Transition Center its $10,000 Community Grant. The funds will be allocated to the transition center’s annual Hope Chest event and its emergency fund, which helps provide housing and other necessities for youth in a crisis. BCFS’ Hope Chest event equips high school and college graduates in foster care with necessities for their first dorm or apartment, like bedding, hygiene products and kitchenware.  Betenbough Homes is West Texas’ leading builder of new homes in Lubbock, Midland and Odessa and also operates a full-time ministry of support to area nonprofits.

The BCFS Lubbock Transition Center provides services for youth in, and aging out of, the foster care system and those at risk of homelessness and other challenges. The center provides youth with case management, counseling and assistance with education, employment and housing. Many of the youth have been removed from their biological parents due to abuse or neglect and spent time in foster care, or have been in the juvenile justice system. Other young adults make the center their “home away from home” to have a safe place to study after school, and mentors to keep them on the right path.

“As a company, we are passionate about the well-being of youth and families, so the center is a natural fit for our Community Grant,” said Betenbough’s Ministry Director Holly Betenbough. “Our employees were touched by the center’s ability to love and mentor youth so well. We feel the BCFS Lubbock Transition Center is vital to our community and are thankful for its positive impact in the lives of West Texas families.”

Betenbough and the Lubbock Transition Center have cultivated a relationship that began in 2012, when Betenbough helped sponsor the center’s Hope Chest event. Hope Chest celebrates high school and college graduates who are in foster care or who aged out of the system. The graduates are the guests of honor at a luncheon, after which they go shopping for the necessary housewares of college dorm life or the beginning of independent adulthood. BCFS staff and volunteers accompany the graduates during their shopping trip, helping youth stay under budget and stick to necessities on their shopping list.

Betenbough employees also contributed cash donations matched by the company, as well as gifts, party supplies and desserts for the BCFS Lubbock Transition Center’s 2014 Christmas Dreams event. At the annual Christmas Dreams party, youth in foster care and their children are paid a visit from Santa and given Christmas gifts from their wish lists.

“The generous folks at Betenbough are passionate about helping Lubbock’s youth in need through the BCFS Lubbock Transition Center,” said Kami Jackson, program director. “The Community Grant shows Betenbough’s commitment to Lubbock’s youth who need our help. We are thankful for their support and partnership.”

For more information about the BCFS Lubbock Transition Center, please visit DiscoverBCFS.net/Lubbock or call 806-792-0526.


BCFS is a global system of health and human service non-profit organizations with locations and programs throughout the United States as well as Eastern Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. The organization is a national leader in medical sheltering and emergency management and response, providing critical emergency support services to federal, state and local governments. BCFS also provides residential services and emergency shelters for children who are abused or neglected; assisted living services and vocational training for adults with intellectual disabilities; mental health services for children and families, foster care and adoption services; medical services; early education; transitional living services for youth who are at-risk and those in the juvenile justice system; residential camping and retreats for children and families; and international humanitarian aid for children living in impoverished conditions in developing countries.

Graduating Youth in Foster Care Receive a Full “Hope Chest” from  BCFS Health and Human Services’ Lubbock Transition Center

BCFS’ Lubbock Transition Center celebrated the high school and college graduations of 19 youth in foster care and those who have aged out of care with a luncheon followed by a shopping spree for the youth to purchase adulthood necessities like towels, bedding and kitchenware. This annual event, called “Hope Chest,” not only recognizes youth for their accomplishments, but equips them with items they need for their next steps towards adulthood and independence.

LUBBOCK – On Wednesday, June 18, BCFS’ Lubbock Transition Center celebrated the high school and college graduations of 19 youth in foster care and those who have aged out of care with a luncheon followed by a shopping spree for the youth to purchase adulthood necessities like towels, bedding and kitchenware. This annual event, called “Hope Chest,” not only recognizes youth for their accomplishments, but equips them with items they need for their next steps towards adulthood and independence.

At the Target shopping spree, thirteen high school graduates, each armed with $550 in store credit and a list of practical household items, were accompanied by a staff member or volunteer helping them navigate the store. They had to calculate a 15% discount provided by Target before heading to the register. Six college graduates each received a $1,000 Target gift card.

BCFS’ Lubbock Transition Center Director Kami Jackson described the event as emotional and uplifting, filled with lots of hugs and happy tears. “The youth we serve become part of our family, so coming together to celebrate their achievements is a special homecoming – something many of them will remember the rest of their lives,” said Jackson.

Four alumni of the transition center’s programs gave speeches at the luncheon, held at Experience Life church, sharing stories of their time in foster care, inspiring other youth to overcome obstacles to pursue their dreams, and to “rise above the label of foster kid.”

All the high school grads have a plan to go to college, four of whom have already been accepted to Texas Tech University. Nationally, only 2% of youth in foster care ever graduate college, so in a particularly emotional moment at the luncheon, the grads were congratulated for “breaking the mold and beating the statistics.”

At the shopping spree, each youth is given a budget and a list of items to buy. Youth do not have enough money to purchase everything on the list or buy all name-brand items, so it is up to them to decide what is essential and how much they are willing to pay.

“One of the coolest things about our Hope Chest shopping experience is that it teaches youth the importance of money management,” said Jackson. “It’s important for us to create these parameters and give our youth a list to stick to for a couple of reasons. For one, most 18 year olds don’t automatically think of needing to buy sponges or dish detergent. And two, if we didn’t put guidelines in place, I bet every youth would walk out of Target with a big screen TV instead of a shower curtain. The former is obviously not an essential.”

According to Jackson, Hope Chest is made possible by donations from Experience Life church, Betenbough Homes, Diekemper Family Foundation, Community Partners of Lubbock, Big Plate Restaurant Supply, and several local families and individuals.

For teens aging out of foster care, the BCFS Lubbock Transition Center offers more than “one stop” ease to accessing resources and assistance. Similar to the role of a parent or adult mentor, the transition center teaches youth basic life skills, like how to manage a bank account or rent an apartment. They also offer career training and connections, educational assistance, literacy-boosting programs, and more. To learn more about the BCFS Lubbock Transition Center and Hope Chest, visit www.DiscoverBCFS.net/Lubbock.

To support Hope Chest and the work of the transition center by donating, contact Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie at (806) 792-0526, give securely online, or send checks to 125 Chicago Avenue, Lubbock, Texas 79416.