October 2020 Issue:

 A Note from our Executive Director
Casa de Esperanza Memories
Holiday Greeting Cards
Hands of Hope Highlight
Thank You to Our Group Volunteers
Cars and Clays
Top Needs & Ways to Help
October is Casa de Esperanza's Birthday Month, and it's always been a special time of reflection and celebration. This year is no different. In fact, celebrating 38 years has extra special meaning as we reflect on the many unexpected twists and turns 2020 has presented to us. Since its founding in 1982 by Kathy Foster and Bill Jones, more than 6,000 children and families have found safety, love, help and hope through Casa de Esperanza. You'll find reflections on special birthday memories later in this newsletter.

We are grateful that, just like in those early days, our local community continues to come out in force to support this mission through volunteerism, advice, advocacy and financial assistance. All kinds of assistance is appreciated. An especially fun way to support and share the mission of Casa de Esperanza is through a Facebook Fundraiser. You can learn more about this easy way to contribute by visiting our Facebook Fundraiser Toolkit.

After a long, hot, Houston summer, there is much to look forward to: cooler weather is upon us, the holidays are approaching, and a new year is around the corner. I hope you'll read further down in this newsletter to find out how to order your Casa de Esperanza holiday greeting cards, with original children's art.

Thank you for supporting these children and their families. As always, we are thinking of you, and hope you and your families remain safe during this challenging time.


Shelley M. Starr 
Executive Director
Casa de Esperanza Memories
Casa de Esperanza was founded 38 years ago this month by Kathy Foster and Bill Jones. Looking back, we know we wouldn't be where we are today without the incredible staff who work tirelessly to support the children and families that come through our doors. Most of our staff have been with Casa de Esperanza for many years, with 10 staff members being here for 20 years or more! Our staff were recently asked to reflect on their time at Casa de Esperanza. Here are some of the favorite memories that were shared.
"For 11 years we had a small hidden oasis in the middle of the city. It was more organic in its look; less manicured and formal than it is now, but it was beautiful. One of my favorite memories is when the older children would hear the train coming when they were outside playing near the houses and they would all run laughing down the meadow toward the nearby railroad tracks to wave madly at the engineer on the train to see if they could get him to blow the train whistle. On the occasions when the engineer accommodated them, they would at once cover their ears because it was deafening in volume and at the same time shriek in complete glee that he had blasted the horn. For those few minutes, everything else just dropped away and they were simply children having the time of their lives."
~ Susan, 30 years at Casa de Esperanza
"I started as a Thursday night volunteer at Casa in 1982, before it was officially named Casa de Esperanza de los Ninos, Inc. As you may know, Casa started in one house on Winbern. The house was very old and located in an impoverished neighborhood, not at all like the houses in our Casa Neighborhood today. But even then, I remember the feeling of community; and several times during the early years, I came to Casa on Thanksgiving or Christmas just to share a meal, since my family lived in New York. As Casa grew, I remember it moving and expanding to many different houses over the years. Many of these houses required repairs and upgrades before they could be used, and I remember coming on weekends to help paint and hang wallpaper with some of the other volunteer staff – many of whom became part of my Casa Family. There is something extra special about Casa – and it has a way of keeping a firm grip on your heart."
~ Eileen, 38 years at Casa de Esperanza
Holiday Greeting Cards
As the holidays draw near, why not support a great cause AND send out adorable holiday greeting cards featuring hand-crafted designs by the children of Casa de Esperanza? For a minimum $20 donation, you will receive a pack of 10 blank cards and envelopes to self-mail. OR Casa de Esperanza will personalize and send them for you for a minimum donation of $10 per card! Order online now before your favorite design runs out!
Meet Tricia, a Stony Brook University graduate from Montgomery, New York!

Why did you decide to come to Casa de Esperanza?
Deciding to come to Casa de Esperanza was very easy for me. I was in my last semester of college, unsure of what post-grad life looked like for me. I received an email about Casa de Esperanza and immediately felt drawn to it. Just that initial email sparked such a passion in me that I knew I had to seek more information. Once I reviewed the website and knew more about the organization, I was confident this was the right path for me. I was so intrigued by everything that Casa de Esperanza is and does. The mission, the passion to help others, and the amount of support from the community were just a few reasons why I was so drawn. The idea of moving somewhere new and caring for underserved children was amazing to me and for the first time in a long time, I found something that felt so right and something I wanted more than anything. 

Share a favorite memory.
A baby that we've had since he was 3 months old, who is now over a year old, has recently taken his first steps and can successfully walk. This is a memory that I will cherish forever. Experiencing all of his milestones has truly been amazing and it warms my heart to be a significant part of something so amazing. 

What is one thing you learned since arriving at Casa de Esperanza?
I have learned that by providing a safe, stable, loving environment, children flourish. Children are not complex. They do not need material things. They need love and stability. Showing up every day and loving on these kids allows them to grow and reach their fullest potential. I have seen children develop language, form healthy attachments, and learn to play. 

What is one piece of advice, guidance, or recommendation you have for someone who is considering the Hands of Hope Service Year?
A piece of advice to those considering coming to Casa - open your mind and your heart. You will be surrounded by people from different cultures, backgrounds, and places. You will be raising children with people who may have different beliefs from you, and as a house, you will have to communicate your thoughts and feelings. You will have children that need attention in ways you've never imagined. Opening your mind and heart will allow you to learn from the children and other adults, and learn more about yourself. 
Thank You to Our September Group Volunteers!
Thank you to all of our groups who provided donations or other support in September! 

Individual Food Drive Donors
m Strategic Partners
National Charity League - Memorial
Prelude Music
St. Catherine's Montessori
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
Cars and Clays 2020 Raised $52,000 for Casa de Esperanza!

Although m Strategic Partners had to cancel their annual Cars and Clays sporting clay shoot this year, many generous friends continued to financially support Casa de Esperanza through their registration donations and the virtual auction. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Mark your calendars for the next Cars and Clays on September 29, 2021! We can't wait to see everyone again!
  1. Diapers and Size 4T/5T Pull-ups
  2. Baby Wipes & Diaper Pails
  3. Car Seats - Infant, Convertible, and 5-Point Harness Boosters
Other Ways to Help