September 2020 Issue:

 A Note from our Executive Director
Casa de Esperanza Children Take on the World
IRA Rollover Donations
Why I Give
Hands of Hope Highlight
Thank You to Our Group Volunteers
Cars and Clays - Virtual Auction
Top Needs & Ways to Help
It is hard to believe that it has been six months since we closed the Casa de Esperanza neighborhood to all but essential childcare staff. We miss our volunteers and visitors, but we know that the health and safety of our children and staff are always the priority.

While nothing about our current situation feels "normal," I am encouraged on a daily basis by the outpouring of love, friendship and support you all show our children, families and staff. You are the reason we can continue to provide safety to children at risk of abuse and neglect and provide hope to their families. Thank you!

We are continually amazed by the willingness of our Hands of Hope House Parents to do whatever it takes to ensure that we are able to admit and care for the most vulnerable children, even during this pandemic. Along with our Volunteer Foster Care families, they are true heroes for our children.

September 30th would have marked the annual m Strategic Partners Cars & Clays Sporting Clay Event benefiting Casa de Esperanza. Like many other events, this had to be cancelled out of an abundance of caution, but we are grateful to the many companies who maintained their support despite the change. I hope you will take a few moments to recognize them further down in this newsletter. You might also see something you want to bid on in their online auction!

It takes an entire community to fulfill the Casa de Esperanza mission. No donation or volunteer effort is too small, and we remain humbled by the outpouring of financial contributions and donations of food and other needed items for our families. You can find information on ways to give throughout this newsletter and on our website. We thank you in advance for your continued support.

We are thinking of you, and hope you and your families remain safe during this difficult time.


Shelley M. Starr 
Executive Director
Casa de Esperanza Children Take on the World
Ava, in placement at Casa de Esperanza as a preschool age child, recently started her junior year in high school. While her family had been stable for a number of years, Ava’s mother lost her employment as the result of COVID-19. 

One day this summer, Ava answered the phone when our Director of Aftercare and Outreach Programs called to speak to her mom about assisting with the family’s utility bill. It was clear even over the phone that Ava was absolutely beaming as she shared with us her plans to take advanced classes this fall, attend college in a few short years and dreams of entering into a medical field. Ava also talked about her struggles – she has now gone further in school than anyone in her family and sometimes there isn’t someone to help her with her advanced school work. Ava was quick to say that she attributes her success to her time at Casa de Esperanza. She vividly remembers her foster parents reading to her and teaching her how to read. They instilled a love of reading that Ava has carried with her to this day. Ava believes that despite the challenges, the foundation set by her foster parents at Casa de Esperanza gave her many of the tools that she needs to reach her dreams. 

For 38 years, Casa de Esperanza has provided HOPE and a HOME to children, including Ava, who need it the most. Our families know that Casa de Esperanza “never goes away” and that they can count on us for support - both emotional and practical – when they need it, and we will be there for Ava and her family too. We know the future is bright for Ava, and we can’t wait to hear what she achieves next.  
IRA Rollovers (Qualified Charitable Distribution)
If you are 70½ or older you may be able to make a gift to Casa de Esperanza with a distribution from your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) by making a Qualified Charitable Donation, commonly known as an “IRA Charitable Rollover.”

  • Avoid taxes on transfers of up to $100,000 from your IRA to Casa de Esperanza.
  • Your gift through an IRA Charitable Rollover counts towards your required minimum distribution.
  • Your gift is not included in your taxable income. Even if you do not itemize your deductions you benefit by removing your distribution from your taxable income. 
  • Gifts through an IRA Charitable Rollover can be used to satisfy pledge payments. Please note that IRA Charitable Rollover gifts do not qualify for a charitable deduction.

To designate Casa de Esperanza as a beneficiary of an IRA Charitable Rollover gift, contact your IRA plan administrator. In order to be qualified as a charitable donation, your IRA administrator MUST make the distribution directly to Casa de Esperanza, or you may write a check to us from your IRA checkbook. Please contact us if you wish for your gift to be used for a specific purpose.

Casa de Esperanza is not a professional financial advising organization. The above information does not constitute financial or legal advice. Please consult your personal financial, legal and/or tax counsel with questions regarding your personal giving or tax benefits. 
Why I Give: Karen Dixon
"While I was a Foundation Trustee for years and very involved at Casa, our family decided that we wanted to support Casa de Esperanza above our annual Gala sponsorship. As a result, we initiated a monthly giving program as well as a weekly volunteer effort (which has been postponed as a result of COVID) to support the neighborhood and Hands of Hope interns directly. Through our volunteer efforts, we have seen first-hand the impact that Casa de Esperanza has on its children. They are safe, loved, protected and nurtured in ways that in a few short weeks they begin to flourish. The transformation is like nothing I’ve seen before and is a direct testament to the mission of Casa de Esperanza: to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect for at-risk infants, children and their families by providing comprehensive residential and family support programs that transform people and communities. Thank you Casa de Esperanza for your genuine concern for making lives better for children and families in our community."
Meet Nicki, a University of Texas - Arlington graduate from Arlington, Texas!

Why did you decide to come to Casa de Esperanza?
I had given little to no thought to what I was going to do when I graduated college, and then Casa seemed to just fall in my lap. As soon as I read about Casa de Esperanza's mission, I wanted to apply. I love kids, and this work is as hands-on as you can get.

Share a favorite memory.
We had a little girl who was completely shell shocked when she got here; she was 14 months, but we weren’t even sure that she could stand or walk at first. She had just gone completely blank. But after a bit of time, she was running around and hugging us, and she was learning to talk and sing. It was such a literal depiction of the safety and comfort we provide here, and it was the most incredible experience watching her open up to us.

What is one thing you learned since arriving at Casa de Esperanza?
I’ve learned the importance of going with the flow. No matter what happens around me, the children in my care still need me to be present with them. I’ve learned to better let go of what I cannot control and to be okay with uncertainty. I can make the best of any situation.

What is one piece of advice, guidance, or recommendation for someone who is considering the Hands of Hope Service Year?
Enjoy the small moments. Each time your child smiles at you, gives you a hug, or tells you they love you, it is the best reminder of why we do this. It’s about the quality of care you give your children here, not the quantity or duration of their stay. This is an experience that will always stay with you.
Thank You to Our August Group Volunteers!
An extra special shout out to our groups that participated in our Back to School Drive! Thanks to you, we were able to distribute more than 75 backpacks filled with supplies to our Aftercare families!

G2X Energy
Houston Council Member Mike Knox & Greater Houston YMCA
Champion X
Burns & McDonnell
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
Although m Strategic Partners' annual sporting clay shoot is cancelled, their dedicated support for Casa de Esperanza continues. m Strategic Partners is still raising funds for the kids through donations and a virtual auction from September 2 to September 30!⁠⠀
Items for bid include:⁠⠀
  • Guided quail hunt⁠⠀
  • Guided deer hunt⁠⠀
  • Pneumatic deer feeder⁠⠀
  • Astros package
  • Golf round
Also, mark your calendars and save the date for the next Cars and Clays on September 29, 2021!

Make a donation, check out the auction items and place your bids at - Bid now and bid often!

Many of our early-registered incredible Underwriters, Sponsors, and Teams have elected to contribute their registration as a donation to Casa de Esperanza.
Diaper Wipes
Size 5 & 6 Diapers & Size 3/4 T & 4/5 T Pull-ups
Car Seats - Infant, Convertible, and 5-Point Harness Boosters
Other Ways to Help