June 2020 Issue:

  A Note from our Executive Director
Aftercare and Outreach Program Spotlight
Hands of Hope Highlight
Thank You to Our Group Volunteers
S'more Love for Young Professionals
Save the Date
Ways to Help
Greetings!
June means the first day of summer, celebrating Father's Day, eating cool treats, and engaging in lots of outside time and water play for the children in the Casa de Esperanza neighborhood! This year has presented its share of challenges for everyone, which is all the more reason that our staff is focused on making happy memories with the children in our care and providing hope for the parents that look to us to help them make better futures for their families.

This week marked the arrival of the third group of talented young adults committed to caring for our children through the Hands of Hope Service Year. Several new Volunteer Foster Care families were certified and have opened their hearts to provide a more longer-term home setting to children who need it. And more than 100 families have found security and hope this year through our Aftercare and Outreach program.

None of this happens without your support, and you have continued to come through for these children and families. Our gratitude is sincere. We continue to keep you all in our thoughts, and thank you for your enduring commitment to the children and families we serve.

Sincerely,




Shelley M. Starr 
Executive Director
Always There for Our Families
Kayla was 4 when she came to Casa de Esperanza. She and her mother, who was just 18, were struggling to survive when they arrived at our doors. Her mother loved Kayla but found it hard to be a parent at such a young age. After struggling to work her plan of service over the next year, it was determined that it would be best if Kayla lived with her paternal grandmother, Esther. Casa de Esperanza offered Aftercare services to Esther, but she required very little assistance. She had a full-time job, and over the next three years they remained stable. The Aftercare caseworker maintained contact by inviting Esther and Kayla to participate in our periodic food distributions and seasonal holiday outreach.

When we contacted Esther to see how they were managing during the pandemic, she was relieved to hear from us. She had lost her job because of COVID-19 and, for the first time in her adult life, found herself without work and an income. We immediately sent groceries to the family and an Aftercare caseworker assisted her through the process of applying for food stamps. Esther reported back to the caseworker that when the food delivery arrived, Kayla thought it was Christmas, because they had a variety of foods, hygiene products and other basic necessities for the first time since she had lost her job. We continue to follow-up with the family to make sure they have their basic needs met.  

Casa de Esperanza's Aftercare and Outreach Program provides formal case management services to families after discharge from the Residential Program. Because we want our families to always feel welcome and supported, these services are open-ended, allowing us to help families maintain safety whenever needed. The families Casa de Esperanza serves have been among the most hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Early on, our caseworkers proactively reached out to our families to determine need and how we could help. To date, COVID-19 related services have been provided to 87 Aftercare families with 207 children and 141 adults. The many ways our caseworkers are helping include delivering needed supplies like food, diapers and wipes, and masks; providing referrals for community resources; and helping with contacting landlords and utility companies to ask for grace and make payment arrangements. Casa de Esperanza is committed to assisting our families for as long as needed.
Meet Seema, a LSU graduate from Lafayette, Louisiana!

Why did you decide to come to Casa de Esperanza?
I wanted to do something purposeful and work in a capacity where I could serve the marginalized and vulnerable.
  
Share a favorite memory.
The transition phase a child goes through when he first arrives can be difficult. You spend days to weeks trying to make them feel comfortable and secure in this new environment. Then one day, the child reaches out to hold your hand or runs over to hug you, and you realize that they feel safe with you. Those are my favorite moments. 

What is one thing you learned since arriving at Casa de Esperanza?
I’ve learned how to be okay with adjusting my expectations. I can’t control everything a child does, but I do have control over their safety and happiness, and whatever gets us there is fine by me. 

What is one piece of advice, guidance, or recommendation for someone who is considering Hands of Hope?
This experience will change your life. Whether you're looking for a way to fill a gap year before you continue along your planned path or you have no idea where your life is going and want to do something meaningful, you’ll discover a part of yourself here.
Thank You to Our May Group Volunteers!
A big thanks to all of our groups who provided meals or other support in May! 

Casa de Esperanza Board Members
Daughters of Italian Heritage
Family Life Church
Texas Mutual
The Junior League of Houston
Individual Meal Delivery Volunteers
Mary Kay
National Charity League - Memorial
Patrice's Kids
Prelude Music Foundation
The Sweet Boutique Bakery
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
Hours of Service
In April, we recognized our volunteers by their years of service. But just how many hours are behind all those years of dedication?

100-249 Hours
Lindsay, Carla, Julia, Maya, Leah, Brittany T, Liz, Claire, Marris, Ana
250-499 Hours
Dafna, Sira, Catherine
500-749 Hours
Laura, Mary E., Arza, Katie, Mary Ellen, Ashley R., Juliana
750-999 Hours
Patsy, Mary S., Tempa
1,000+ Hours
Lynne, Kevin
2,000+ Hours
Betty, Ed, Rita
S'more Love for our Young Professionals
Last week, the Young Professionals Group had originally scheduled their "Camp Out" with the Casa de Esperanza kids.

While all YP events are currently on pause until it is safe to host group gatherings, our team went door-to-door and delivered a little treats to all of our Young Professionals Group annual members and board members.

To learn more how you can join, visit www.casahope.org/young-professionals .
Mark your calendars for m Strategic Partners'
annual sporting clay event
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
at Westside Sporting Grounds
benefitting Casa de Esperanza de los Niños

Come join us for fun, fellowship and making a significant difference in a child’s life! Sponsorship and early registration is now open.

We look forward to the opportunity this event creates to re-unite friends and business associates in support of a very important mission! We will be closely following social distancing guidelines and will adjust plans accordingly closer to the event date.
COVID-19 is impacting all industries and businesses, especially small businesses and local restaurants. Help us support those who support Casa de Esperanza by purchasing food to-go, shopping online, or purchasing a gift card.
Other Ways to Help