February 2020

In This Issue:

  A Note from our Executive Director
Hearts of Hope
Hands of Hope Highlight
Volunteer Thank You
Save the Dates
Ways to Help

Greetings!
February is often called "the month of love." Although we never need an excuse to show some love to our donors and volunteers, it is the perfect opportunity to do so as we highlight the importance of volunteers to Casa de Esperanza, enjoy great chili at our annual Young Professionals Chili Cook-Off, and invite you to become a part of our growing Hearts of Hope monthly giving society.

Co-founders Kathy Foster and Bill Jones often told a story that perfectly highlights the importance of volunteers to the work of Casa de Esperanza. At the very beginning of their journey, Kathy and Bill visited an organization in Tuscon, Arizona that was similar to what they envisioned Casa de Esperanza to be. As they talked with the staff there, Kathy asked them for their opinion about who should be the first official staff person hired when funding became available. Their answer? A volunteer coordinator, because volunteers would be the most important people on their journey.

Thanks to a generous grant from The Junior League of Houston, which started a volunteer relationship that continues to this day, a volunteer coordinator WAS the first official hire at Casa de Esperanza all those years ago. Our friends in Tuscon were right! From the early days, volunteers have shared in our mission, doing whatever it takes to make sure children are safe and families leave our program with hope for a better future. They have rocked babies, cooked meals, counseled, done yard work, painted, helped at events, and just about anything else needed to make Casa de Esperanza run smoothly. The volunteer program has grown from those early years but has always maintained its importance to the heart of our mission. Last year, 928 volunteers provided 120,829 hours of service (including individual, group, committee and board, and special event) valued at more than $3,200,000! If you are interested in volunteering with Casa de Esperanza, you can find out more about individual and group opportunities here or contact Mikaela , our volunteer coordinator.

Another reason we love February at Casa de Esperanza is because it means Chili Cook-Off time. This year's event, held on February 22nd at The West End, was the 10th year that our Young Professionals came together to raise funds and awareness for our mission. More than $51,000 was raised, 22 teams participated, and over 300 people were in attendance. Thank you to everyone that came out to enjoy this great day, volunteer, and help us raise vital funds for our mission.

Casa de Esperanza depends on the generous hearts of our community to provide safety for children and hope for their families. We invite you to come out for a visit and learn more about the work of Casa de Esperanza and how you can get involved. Please contact Leanne Baumel for more information.

Sincerely,


Shelley M. Starr 
Executive Director
Hearts of Hope
"Thirty-two years ago, I walked into my first Casa de Esperanza home and found compassionate staff caring for vulnerable children. Since then I have supported Casa de Esperanza by volunteering weekly and have received so much back over the years. Each week I am privileged to be greeted by children who are eager to play and be hugged, and to get to know the caring staff who so conscientiously care for them.

It is easy to give my time and money to support Casa de Esperanza in its effort to provide a safe place for children in crisis. I have observed how diligently the staff work to assure that funds are directed toward the mission of caring for children. For these reasons my husband Jim and I have chosen to support Casa de Esperanza financially over the years. Giving a monthly contribution makes that so easy and allows Casa de Esperanza to budget more effectively. That’s why I hope that you’ll join me as a member of the Hearts of Hope monthly donor program and help Casa de Esperanza plan and prepare for the year ahead. 

A monthly gift helps provide safety, diapers, food and housing for the children in our care while every day instilling HOPE.  To become a Hearts of Hope donor, please visit our website .

Thank you so much for sharing your HEART with our kids!

Sincerely,

Betty Key
Community Volunteer and Hearts of Hope Monthly Donor"
Meet Jessica, a Columbia College graduate from Columbia, South Carolina!

Why did you decide to come to Casa de Esperanza?
I came to Casa because I wanted to be able to use my Child and Family Services degree to work with children in trauma situations. This job has allowed me to work with many, many children, all of whom come from varying backgrounds and circumstances. Each and every one of my kids have taught me something about children and something about myself. No two kids are exactly alike, and they all deserve to be treated as the amazing, unique individuals that they are. 

Share a favorite memory.
There are literally hundreds of moments that will stick with me forever, but some of my favorites are the small day to day things like seeing how happy the kids are running through a sprinkler or blowing bubbles at the park with their little friends. I love witnessing the pure joy kids radiate when they are free to explore the outdoors. 
 
What is one thing you learned since arriving at Casa de Esperanza?
I have learned so much about myself and kids in general since I started work at Casa de Esperanza, but one of the biggest things I have gained is an appreciation for patience. Not only do you need patience when it comes to working long days with babies and toddlers, but you also need to be patient with yourself and your co-workers as you handle complex and emotional situations.   
How to Support Hands of Hope Interns
Casa de Esperanza’s Hands of Hope Service Year program brings together approximately 30 recent college graduates from across the country to live with and care for Houston’s most vulnerable children.

We are always looking for ways to help them experience all that Houston has to offer. If you or your company have extra tickets to the arts, sporting events, or concerts that you would like to donate, please contact LBaumel@casahope.org .

If you know someone who may be interested in a post-graduate service year opportunity, please share and encourage them to learn more and apply.
Thank You to Our January Group Volunteers!
Thank you to the following groups for coming to Casa de Esperanza and sharing time with our children, bringing meals, or benefiting our organization through other efforts. Your generous gifts ensure that children are safe and their families receive the help and hope they need for a better future!
Cavatore Italian Restaurant
Fruit of the Vine Church
Generation SERVE
Meal Delivery Volunteers
McGovern Medical School
National Charity League, Inc., Memorial Chapter
Palazzo's
Prelude Music Foundation
SCI Hispana

Find out how you can volunteer here!
Upcoming Events
Young Professionals Group
Other Ways to Help