As with many of you, it's been a busy couple of months at Casa de Esperanza!

Spring means change and growth, and there has been a lot of it here. As always happens at this time of year, we prepare to say farewell to the Hands of Hope interns who have become like family to us over the last 12 months and welcome 21 new interns in June! It's always bittersweet to say good-bye to our interns, but we know from past experience that we will see many of them again and that they leave here having grown in ways too numerous to count. Emilee graciously shared a moving reflection on her year as a Hands of Hope Intern that I know you'll enjoy reading.

Hands of Hope interns do the essential work in our neighborhood, caring for and loving the children that come to Casa de Esperanza in need of a safe place to live while their birth parents work on improving their situations. Our volunteer foster families do the same work out in the community. Shanna and Josh Beames are just one of the families that have opened their hearts and their homes to children that need them. I hope you'll read their moving story and consider finding out more about how you can become a volunteer foster family.

Last month was National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and you generously answered the call to support the efforts of Casa de Esperanza to end the cycle of child abuse and neglect. Your gifts of more than $8,300 will help ensure that we are able to provide a safe place for children and help for birth parents struggling to improve the lives of their families. Thank you!

We also said a very sad good-bye to Mark Scioneaux, a dear friend to Casa de Esperanza who made many lasting contributions to our neighborhood through his artistry and interactions with our children, interns and staff. We will miss him dearly and have shared a remembrance later in this newsletter.

And finally, our annual Building Hope for Children Gala, held on May 5, was a success, raising $1 million for the work of Casa de Esperanza. It took many hands and the generosity of our community to make this happen and we are truly grateful.

Thank you for the many ways you support the work of Casa de Esperanza and the children and families that look to us for help and hope.

Shelley Starr
Executive Director