May 2020

In This Issue:

  A Note from our Executive Director
National Foster Care Month
A Tribute to Kathy Foster
Hands of Hope Highlight
Thank You to Our Group Volunteers
Save the Date
Ways to Help
Greetings!
Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, a reminder that nearly half of 2020 is behind us. While nothing feels quite "usual" right now, there ARE some things that haven't changed. In fact, in many ways, they are more pronounced now than ever: children at risk of abuse and neglect need safety, and their families need supportive services to heal and stabilize. Thanks to your dedication, Casa de Esperanza is here to provide that safety and support. Your deliveries of food, diapers, grocery gift cards, and much needed cash donations have made it possible for nearly 110 families (consisting of nearly 300 children and 200 adults) to make it through this pandemic. Even in this uncertain time, you have continued to further Casa de Esperanza's mission to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!

May is National Foster Care Month . If you've ever thought about opening your heart and your home to children in need of safety of love, I hope you'll read on to find out how you can become a Volunteer Foster Parent. Children at risk of abuse and neglect need us now more than ever, and we are adjusting the way we train and license foster families so we can continue to meet the need in our community through this pandemic and beyond.

The start of summer also marks a new class of house parents arriving at Casa de Esperanza to participate in the Hands of Hope Service Year program. Hands of Hope house parents provide the care and love the children in our Residential Neighborhood need. The 80 hours of training may look a little different this year, but our Residential Program team has risen to the challenge with virtual training components and a staggered schedule to ensure the safety of everyone in our neighborhood. We look forward to introducing our new Interns to you in the coming weeks.

Your continued support during this uncertain time are deeply appreciated. Thank you for your continued commitment to the children and families we serve.

Sincerely,




Shelley M. Starr 
Executive Director
National Foster Care Month
"I always longed to be a mother. Ever since I was very little, I can remember wanting to hold babies and spent hours babysitting as a teen. I even became a teacher because of my love of children! When my husband died after only eight months of marriage, I still had a strong desire to become a parent, but just didn’t know how that would look or if it would happen.
My experience as a Volunteer Community Foster Parent for two infant girls has been very eye-opening and extremely fulfilling. The education that Casa de Esperanza provides potential foster parents is so enriching and completely changed my level of compassion for people trapped in a cycle of abuse, trauma and neglect. I learned so much - not only about how to care for and treat children in foster care, but a deep understanding that their parents faced many of the same struggles as children. Choosing to place their child in foster care with Casa de Esperanza can change the trajectory of their lives and the lives of their children.
For those considering becoming a foster parent, just take one step forward at a time. Call Casa de Esperanza and sign up for an orientation to learn more about becoming a volunteer foster parent. If that feels right, take the next step. You will know if becoming a foster parent is right for you! Many people think, “I could never be a foster parent, it would be too hard and sad to give them up!” To them I say that yes, it is hard and sad, but there are many more joyful and precious moments in the meantime! Nothing in life is guaranteed to us. Even the things we have chosen are not certain to have happy endings, but we still choose to pursue them because of the happiness they bring us no matter the outcome. Being a foster parent is no exception."

-Catherine, Casa de Esperanza Volunteer Community Foster Parent

Casa de Esperanza’s Volunteer Community Foster Families provide a high level of family-based care for our children. Families participating in this program provide a stable and loving home where children can build social and developmental skills. As volunteers, Casa de Esperanza foster families agree to provide for the children’s needs without financial compensation.

If you are interested in learning more about the Foster Care program at Casa de Esperanza please contact Chrystal or visit our website .
Gala Tribute - Click On the Image to View the Video
Thank you to Baylor College of Medicine for producing this video for us.
On Sunday, May 3rd, we had planned to celebrate Casa de Esperanza’s Fostering Hope for Children Gala, honoring our co-founder Kathy Foster. This annual event is an opportunity to raise awareness of our mission, honor those who make a difference in the lives of children and families, and raise vital funds for our work. While we were disappointed to have to cancel the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are excited that many people who otherwise would not have been in attendance can now join us as we honor Kathy's legacy.

If you are able, please consider making a donation in Kathy's honor. All donations are greatly appreciated – no amount is too small – and will be used to help us respond to the increased need of our families and children.
Meet Jessica, a Midland University graduate from Minden, Nebraska!

Why did you decide to come to Casa de Esperanza?
This internship came out of nowhere and at the perfect time. My professor knew I didn’t know what was next and when she came across this opportunity she ran to the class I was in and shared it with me. I have always had a love and passion for working with children so this internship was perfect for me. 

Share a favorite memory.
At Casa you never know where a child comes from and what they have experienced. Each child has made a huge impact on my life and I will carry them in my heart forever. The transformation in one little boy however was the moment I learned just the difference I was making. He was very quiet, wouldn’t interact with others, and was always serious. Slowly he started coming out of his shell and we saw a bright, goofy, fun loving little boy. Just watching his growth is a moment I will cherish forever. 

What is one thing you learned since arriving at Casa de Esperanza?
One thing I've learned is the effect of showing a child unconditional love and security. Being a constant individual in their life forms a trust that allows children to grow and thrive. 

What is one piece of advice, guidance, or recommendation for someone who is considering Hands of Hope?
You will make unforgettable bonds with other interns and children alike. However, with this internship comes heartache. It’s not easy to open your heart knowing it will break. During the difficult times, it is important to remember why you are here. For me that means remembering that I am here out of a passion for working with children and making a difference. It’s an honor to be here for children when they need it the most. 
Thank You to Our April Group Volunteers!
A big thanks to all of our groups who provided meals or other support in April! 

Cavatore Italian Restaurant
Charity Guild of Catholic Women
Create Face Mask Covers Houston
The Junior League of Houston
Houston Farmers Market
The Houstonian Hotel, Club and Spa
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
Our heartfelt "thank you" goes out to everyone who contributed to Casa de Esperanza during April’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Thanks to you, over $15,500 was raised!

With your donations, Casa de Esperanza is able to support families in promoting healthy medical, social, environmental and behavioral outcomes. It takes an entire community to ensure the safety of our children.

On behalf of the children of Casa de Esperanza, thank you for your support!
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
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
Want to help the Casa de Esperanza Neighborhood during this time? Consider sponsoring a Restaurant Meal Delivery! 

We are asking that meals be provided for all homes in the neighborhood, but that it be ordered and delivered for 8 different homes, in separate restaurant delivery sacks for each house, as we are not having sharing of meals or group buffets at this time. Please provide 8 adult servings per house, as this allows leftovers for some of the smaller homes. 
  
To coordinate a date and time for delivery, please contact Mikaela Fox at mfox@casahope.org. Deliveries are made at the gate and a staff person then distributes to the homes.