October 2022 Issue

 A Note from our CEO
Spirit of Service Nomination Deadline
It's Chili Cook-Off Time!
Hands of Hope House Parent Profile
Job Openings for Caregivers
40 Stories over 40 Years- Sister Mary Patricia
Thank You to Our Group Volunteers
Top Needs & Ways to Help
October is Casa de Esperanza's Birthday Month and, as you know, we are celebrating 40 years of caring for children and families in crisis. As we prepare for our big weekend - including the 40th Birthday celebration and 12th Annual Chili Cook-Off, many of our staff, board and volunteers are reflecting on why we are grateful for Casa de Esperanza and its impact on the community.

I am grateful for Casa's history of flexibility when an unmet need is identified. Our ability to take on unique and complex family situations that other agencies cannot means that families in crisis have a viable option. Recently, we received a request from a social worker at a local hospital. A young mother was there for treatment and could not go home for eight weeks. Without family nearby, her 2-year-old daughter had no one to care for her. Even though Claudia's stay was extremely temporary, we brought her to the neighborhood and saved her the trauma of "going into the system."
We know it is the generosity of the Houston community and beyond that ensures that children and families in crisis have a safe place to turn when they have nowhere else to go. Your support meant the difference for Claudia and her mother, and we are grateful!

As we celebrate our 40th Birthday, I do hope we see you at one of our celebration events. Another 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.

Thank you for all you do to ensure Casa is here for families year after year. I always welcome your emails to me with any questions you have or to schedule a visit.

Melissa L. Simon, MSW, CFRE
Chief Executive Officer
Nov. 15 Deadline for Spirit of Service Award Nominees
Don't Miss Our Family-Friendly Chili Cook-Off!
Join Casa de Esperanza as we bring the Houston community together for another year of tasty chili, friendly competition, and red-hot fun! Bring the entire family- children under 12 are free. We'll have a face painter, balloon artist, and more. Also, our panel of judges will be picking their favorite dog costume so bring your furry friend!

Sunday, October 30th, 2022 | 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Hosted at Powder Keg | 1300 Brittmore Road, Houston, TX 77043
Meet Lily, Houston Native and Hands of Hope House Parent!
What is one thing we can’t tell just by looking at you? 
I love learning other languages! I grew up in a French school, began learning Latin and German as of middle school, studied Spanish during college, and ended up majoring in Russian at UVA! I think that languages and dialects can show us an entire way of looking at the world, which is so fascinating to study. No matter what I do in life, I hope to continue expanding my knowledge of linguistics and languages. 

Why did you decide to come to Casa de Esperanza? 
A couple years ago, I looked up possible internships in Houston that would introduce me to working with foster kids. I discovered this amazing program, and after speaking to a former house parent and doing more research, decided I wanted to give a year of my life to this organization and the incredible children it serves. I hope to work with foster children or at an adoption agency as a family lawyer later on, and I am so grateful for the hands-on experience I will have before I begin studying law. I believe this year will give me a remarkable perspective and understanding few other lawyers have.

Share a favorite memory or story with a child: 
We had a two-year-old who entered Casa only knowing how to say three words: “no," “mommy," and “daddy." He slowly learned how to say more words, such as “shoe” and “yeah” and “more,” all of which were very exciting moments, but the one that is most memorable is when he said “thank you” for the first time. He couldn’t quite wrap his mouth around all the consonants and vowels, but when someone handed him a cup of milk and he said, “ank oo,” all the house parents in the kitchen whipped around and stared at him, and then started cheering and kissing him. Not only was it the first time he pronounced the words, it was the first time he had ever shown verbal gratitude. It was an absolutely incredible moment! 
Openings for Caregivers
We are looking for compassionate, dedicated individuals to join our team and provide temporary care for children. Casa's experienced and compassionate staff provide on-going training and unique 24/7 support to all of our neighborhood caregivers. We are ready to talk to you about the ways you can begin your caregiving journey with Casa de Esperanza. See opportunities below:

Openings include:
  • Direct Care shift caregivers
  • Foster Parents to provide foster care in our neighborhood
  • Foster Parents to provide respite care
  • Hands of Hope House Parents

40 Stories over 40 Years: Sister Mary Patricia
Sister Mary Patricia Miller knew she wanted to care for children in need from a very young age. “I was the oldest girl of 14 children in my family. When I was 10 years old, I remember asking my mom why we couldn’t take in orphans. She told me that was what the nuns did, and from that moment, I knew I wanted to be a Sister.”

From 1986 to 1993, Sister Mary Patricia lived and worked at Casa de Esperanza. “We did it all. I remember one night I had 3 babies crying; I was holding one, patting another and trying to give a bottle to a third. I mowed lawns, went to yard sales for things for the house, got rid of pests, all of it.”

“I was at Commonwealth first for 2 years and then I was at Hyde Park. I moved around wherever they asked me to go. The day I arrived, I walked in the door and I heard babies crying. So the first thing I did when I walked into the house was change diapers. There was a little boy who wouldn’t eat for anyone, but he started eating for me as soon as I met him. He was in his highchair and just responded to me immediately. The staff said, he gets to stay here with you.”

“One year we had to move in December, right before Christmas and I had already set up a tree. So the day we moved, I put our Christmas tree in a wagon and walked blocks to the new home so the kids could have Christmas.”

At 83 years old, Sister Mary Patricia is talkative and full of memories. In addition to caring for children at Casa de Esperanza, she also spent many years serving the elderly at St. Francis Senior Ministries in Ohio. She has many photo albums of her time in Houston and talks about the countless kids that she served while she was here. She recently told us, “I wish I could hug everyone again. I have NEVER forgotten you all and I pray for all the children and staff every night. I still carry the memories of my time with you deep in my heart.” 

Follow along on our social media pages - Facebook and Instagram - each Saturday as we share memorable stories throughout Casa’s history.
Thank You to Our Group Volunteers!
A big THANKS to all of our groups who purchased items from our Amazon Wish List, helped stock the pantry, donated a meal, or provided other support in September!

Friends of Casa 
Malone Bailey 
National Charity League Memorial
Prelude Music Classes 

Group volunteer opportunities have resumed! For more information on group volunteer opportunities, email Chrissy.
Save the Date
Building Hope for Children Gala
Sunday, April 23, 2023
The Revaire

Click here to underwrite the event and receive an invitation to our Kick-Off celebration, scheduled for Nov. 10th!
For more information, please contact Erika DuBose at edubose@casahope.org.
  • Baby wipes
  • More baby wipes...
  • More wipes please!!!
Other Ways to Help