March 2020

In This Issue:

  A Note from our Executive Director
Staying Connected
Child Abuse Awareness Month
Hands of Hope Highlight
Volunteer Thank You
Gala Update
Save the Date
Young Professionals Group
Ways to Help

Greetings!
These are unprecedented times. In the blink of an eye, COVID-19 and social distancing have become every day vocabulary words and we’ve all had to change the way we go about our daily lives.

In the midst of this uncertainty, I want to assure you that, with your continued help, Casa de Esperanza remains as committed as ever to keeping children safe and providing help and hope to their families.  Over the past few weeks, we have implemented several measures in order to do our part to keep our children, staff and the community safe, including closing our neighborhood to all outside visitors and asking support staff to work remotely. However, as you’ll see below, we continue to seek creative ways to maintain contact with our volunteers, donors and remote staff. And, as always, we will continue to send these newsletters and post on social media to keep you updated.

This is also a time of transition and, after much thought, we made the very difficult decision to cancel the Fostering Hope for Children gala scheduled for May 3. We are truly grateful for the generous support from our gala underwriters and donors. This annual event is not only a major source of revenue for Casa de Esperanza but is also an opportunity to honor and recognize individuals and groups who help us fulfill our mission. We look forward to another opportunity to honor our co-founder, Kathy Foster, who recently retired after 38 years of tireless commitment to Casa de Esperanza.  

Since our founding in 1982, we have relied on the generosity and support of our community to keep children safe. Thank you for stepping up over the years and partnering with us to fulfill our mission. Without you, children and families who need us would be even more vulnerable at this trying time. While our operations look different right now, our dedication to our children and families hasn’t changed, and our operating costs remain.  Please consider supporting our efforts during this time by: 


Houston is strong, and this is yet another opportunity for us to come together in a time of crisis and uncertainty. Please know that we appreciate you and pray for your safety and health during this difficult time. 

Sincerely,


Shelley M. Starr 
Executive Director
Connecting from a Distance
The safety of the children and families we serve, and that of our employees and volunteers is always our priority, and the Casa de Esperanza neighborhood is now closed to visitors, volunteers, and staff not providing direct care of our children.

In this time of social distancing, we are finding new ways to stay connected to each other and to our mission. Prelude Music Classes are beloved by our neighborhood and are now being enjoyed online. A digital newsletter now shares child photos, activities ideas for the children and Hands of Hope Interns, updates from staff working from home, and so much more. We are setting up ways for our weekly volunteers to still feel connected to the children they have come to love.

It takes a village to raise a child, and the Casa de Esperanza village is still strong... even if from afar.
Child Abuse Awareness Month
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Primary to the mission of Casa de Esperanza is our effort to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect. In 2019 there were 235 child abuse or neglect fatalities in Texas including 76 in the Houston region. Almost 80% of these children were under the age of 3 years old. We know that the long-term physical, emotional and social consequences of abuse are wide-ranging.

We also know that this cycle can be broken. With a focus on the strength of long-term relationships, Casa de Esperanza supports families in promoting healthy medical, social, environmental and behavioral outcomes. It takes an entire community of ensure the safety of our children.

How can YOU help us break the cycle of child abuse?

  1. Learn about the issues: Throughout the month of April, Casa de Esperanza will provide educational information on child abuse, its long term effects, and what Casa de Esperanza is doing to provide safety and permanence to children and families in need. We encourage you to share what you are learning with others.
  2. Contribute financially: On the heels of a trying month with social distancing, self-quarantining, and school closures, April’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month comes as a crucial reminder that social isolation compounded with times of extreme stress or anxiety significantly increases the risk of a child experiencing neglect or abuse. Casa de Esperanza’s effort to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect is needed in our community now more than ever.

On behalf of the children of Casa de Esperanza, thank you for your support!
Meet Blake, a University of Virgina graduate from Roanoke, Virginia!

Why did you decide to come to Casa de Esperanza?
Having been a camp counselor for many summers and a Psychology major, I knew I wanted to have a career centered around building relationships with kids. When I received the Casa recruiting email I was immediately interested. Not only do I get to work with kids, but I get the opportunity to live with and raise them - no other job is offering such an experience.

Share a favorite memory.
I've had the incredible experience of working with multiple two-year-olds who are in the middle of developing their speaking skills. Many arrive not saying many words, but slowly working with them to teach basic phrases and names is both heartwarming and hilarious. Hearing a child attempt to pronounce your name for the first time will melt your heart and make you laugh. To see that growth in both social skills and trust is really special.
 
What is one thing you learned since arriving at Casa de Esperanza?
I always had an idea of parenting in my head and what it meant, but the reality is so different to any preconceived notions I had. Just the lifestyle change it entails is eye opening and is really humbling to experience.
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.

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 February 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!
Believe in Dog Therapy Dogs
Cavatore Italian Restaurant
Chevron
Elle Cavatore & Friends
Generation SERVE
Hilton Americas - Houston
KIPP Houston
Meal Delivery Volunteers
m Strategic Partners
National Charity League
Palazzo's
Prelude Music Foundation
Xi Psi Phi Dental Fraternity

While we have had to cancel volunteer events through April, we look forward to resuming our group volunteer program as soon as it is safe to do so.
Gala Cancelled
In response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and recommendations from the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and local City of Houston officials, Casa de Esperanza has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Fostering Hope for Children Gala in an effort to keep everyone safe.
 
We are truly grateful to all who have supported the gala . Thank you for supporting Casa de Esperanza. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.  

A Message from Kathy Foster, our Founder and 2020 Gala Honoree
As the honoree of this year’s gala, I would like to thank each of you for supporting this event. In particular, I would like to thank the chairs, donors and staff that have all worked to ensure the success of the gala. My greatest honor is to know that the children and families of Casa De Esperanza are safe and their needs are met. Each of you have made that possible through your support. So even though the Gala will not happen this year, the care for the children and families will continue and that would be my greatest wish. Thank you again. I hope that each of you will continue to help Casa de Esperanza provide services to children and families.
 
With love and appreciation, Kathy Foster
SAVE THE DATE

Spring is just around the corner and so is early-bird registration for Cars and Clays 2020!

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

Sponsorship and early registration is now open. www.carsandclays.com
Young Professionals Group
Other Ways to Help