August 2020 Issue:

 A Note from our Executive Director
Community Foster Care
Mary Nicholas Legacy Society
Hands of Hope Highlight
Thank You to Our Group Volunteers
Ways to Help
Greetings!
It is officially Back to School time. Despite the many unanswered questions about what school will look like, this time of year lends some normalcy to one that has been so unpredictable thus far.

As Casa de Esperanza's Aftercare families prepare for a new school year, they are especially challenged to provide the needed school supplies for their children, and many look to Casa de Esperanza for help. We are truly grateful to the many individuals and groups who have donated supplies and backpacks so our families and children are prepared for whatever comes this fall. Thank you!

The end of summer also means saying goodbye to some of the Hands of Hope House Parents who have completed their service year at Casa de Esperanza. These dedicated individuals provided consistent love and excellent care for the infants and children in our Residential Neighborhood. We are especially grateful to them for working with us to ensure the safety and health of the children during this pandemic. Please join me in wishing them our best thoughts as they pursue their next step in advanced education or a new career.

Thank you all for your continued support and kind words. We are thinking of you as this summer comes to an end and you move into a new season. We wish you continued health and safety.

Sincerely,




Shelley M. Starr 
Executive Director
Volunteer Community Foster Care
Christine and Martin Nguyen both came to the United States as young children with their families. Each had similar experiences as they were not familiar with the language or the culture and what could have been a difficult transition into a new country was eased by the kindness of several benevolent individuals who went out of their way to help them. With the support of kind people, Christine and Martin each began new lives and came to love their new home. They were married and had four children, then they decided to become Volunteer Community Foster Parents at Casa de Esperanza. Christine and Martin eventually adopted their 5th child through Casa. They are also successful business owners of The Sweet Boutique Bakery in Sugar Land Town Square. When they reflect on their childhoods and the many forces that helped them be successful, Christine and Martin never forget the help they received from those who asked for nothing in return. They continue to remain involved with Casa de Esperanza as a way of extending the same kindness and care to others that was provided to them so many years ago.

Read more about their Volunteer Community Foster Care story here.
Introducing The Mary Nicholas Legacy Society
Mary Nicholas had a love for children and a dream that she could one day help children in need. In 1990, “Miss Mary” generously donated land to Casa de Esperanza. With the opening of the Casa de Esperanza Residential Neighborhood in 2008, her dream became a reality. Miss Mary’s love for children will continue as future generations of children heal, flourish and grow on this beautiful land.

The Mary Nicholas Legacy Society honors visionary individuals who choose to invest in the future of Houston’s children with a planned gift benefiting Casa de Esperanza. Learn more about this Legacy Giving society here.
Meet Monique, a University of Maryland - College Park and University of Maryland - Baltimore MSW graduate from Bowie, Maryland!

Why did you decide to come to Casa de Esperanza?
When I saw this job posted in email from my undergrad college, I immediately knew I wanted to apply. I plan on working with people impacted by the foster care system in the future. I saw this program as a chance to experience first hand some of what my future therapy clients might deal with and provide me a connection point that will hopefully benefit our working relationship. I also would like to be a mother in the future and I knew working at Casa would be a great way to learn more about the realities of parenthood. 

Share a favorite memory.
I have fallen in love with so many children but what has really been the most gratifying is to experience the love they develop for me in return. The ability of these children to be so resilient and open to trusting and loving new people after the challenges they’ve faced truly inspires me. I have also been so moved to see the progress that children make at Casa in such a short amount of time. I have seen kids develop language skills, grow to healthy weights, learn how to be a kid again, and so much more. The time we spend with these children really matters!

What is one thing you learned since arriving at Casa de Esperanza?
I have learned to become more comfortable with change. Life at Casa changes quickly and often, and learning to see each change as a new opportunity for something great to happen has really helped me be successful here.  

What is one piece of advice, guidance, or recommendation for someone who is considering Hands of Hope?
The best piece of advice I can give for someone considering Hands of Hope is to make sure you fully understand the internship. This job is not easy. It can be tiring, frustrating, and emotionally challenging. However, it is also one of the best and most important things I’ve done in my life so far. This is a life-changing experience and I would recommend it to anyone looking to make a difference in the world of children who need it the most. 
Thank You to Our July Group Volunteers!
A big thanks to all of our groups who provided meals or other support in July! 

Casa de Esperanza Board Members
Chevron
Daughters of Italian Heritage
Individual Meal Delivery Volunteers
National Charity League - Memorial
Prelude Music Foundation

Until we are able to resume normal group volunteer opportunities, if you or someone you know would like to schedule a restaurant meal delivery with their corporate or community group, email Mikaela Fox
Size 2T and 3T Clothing
Size 6 Diapers & Size 3/4 T & 4/5 T Pull-ups
Car Seats
Other Ways to Help