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.

“Christmas Dreams” Come True for Lubbock Youth at BCFS Health and Human Services’ Lubbock Transition Center

Photo: Mom and babyThe BCFS Lubbock Transition Center hosted its 9th annual Christmas Dreams celebration this week for youth formerly in foster care and their children. At the party held Wednesday December 17th, the youth and their guests enjoyed a Christmas meal, a visit from Santa, and over 200 donated gifts were distributed to young people in need.
“There are many youth in Lubbock who aged out of the foster care system at 18 years old to find themselves alone and discouraged without a traditional family support system,” said Kami Jackson, program director for the BCFS Lubbock Transition Center. “For these kids, Christmas can be an unwelcome reminder that they don’t have family to turn to – but we believe every child should be able to open a gift on Christmas and be surrounded by folks that love them.”
At the Christmas Dreams party, 51 youth who are clients of the transition center received gifts, as well as 25 of those young adults’ children. A total of 228 gifts were distributed, donated by First Christian Church, Betenbough Homes, Superior Healthcare, Covenant Children’s Hospital, Cynthia Shrader, the BCFS Lubbock Transition Center Advisory Council, and other generous donors from the Lubbock community.
Every year, clients at the transition center create a wishlist of three gifts they’d like to receive, including one household item, one personal item like shoes or jeans, and a restaurant gift card. If the youth has a child of their own (as is common among young people who spent time in foster care), their children also receive three gifts each.
BCFS’ Lubbock Transition Center is a one-stop-shop for youth in or aging out of foster care, those in the juvenile justice system, and others in need of a helping hand to make the transition into adulthood. The center provides case management, counseling, life skills training, and education and employment assistance. For more information about BCFS’ Lubbock Transition Center, visit www.DiscoverBCFS.net/Lubbock.