Tommy & Brenda Benson
Houseparents of the Year
From their nomination: Tommy and Brenda Benson have been employed as home parents at Methodist Children’s Home since May 2008. During their nine years of service, the Bensons have embodied the agency’s mission of providing hope to children, youth and families in a nurturing, Christian community. They do this through their natural ability to build connections while teaching responsibility and Christian principles to the youth in their care.
Tommy and Brenda are dynamic home parents in regards to the vast range of experiences that they provide for the youth in their care. Tommy utilizes opportunities to teach the young men in his home about necessary life skills that they need to learn to become independent.
Tommy has taught skills such as car maintenance, independent living readiness and college preparedness. Brenda is a consistent and nurturing presence for many of the young men in their home unit and faithfully supports them at their academic and extracurricular functions. She provides a comforting “home” environment while meeting the needs and ensuring the safety of the youth in their home. The Bensons have had many notable successes including assisting one of their youth with transitioning and moving into the University of Texas. They had built a strong connection with this youth during his five years at Methodist Children’s Home. Tommy and Brenda were a critical part in paving the way for this young man’s success and future.
While the Bensons are highly skilled, deeply compassionate, and possess an in-depth understanding of the attributes and skills needed to be effective home parents; they are incredibly humble and view their position as home parents as an opportunity and not as a job. The Bensons quietly go about their daily duties and allow the success of the youth in their care to be the testimony of their investment. Methodist Children’s Home is impacting and changing lives because of staff like Tommy and Brenda Benson.
Catherine Hershey Award for Alumnus of the Year
From his nomination: Dan Moore is a dedicated alumnus of Methodist Children’s Home. As a child from “hard places,” he overcame many obstacles with resilience and perseverance to achieve success both personally and as a role model of service to others.
Dan flourished at MCH with the nurture, support, discipline and camaraderie of his staff and peers. He developed self-confidence and trusting relationships with others. He went on to graduate from high school in 1991 and attend college at Texas A&M University. Dan admittedly struggled with independence, and took some time off from college and joined the Navy where he served for four years, which was also during the second Gulf War. While in the Navy he earned numerous awards, including the Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medal and the Enlisted Warfare Specialist Pin.
Following his time in the Navy, he returned to Texas A&M to complete his degree in political science. After graduating from A&M, Dan took time off to work and save money before returning to graduate school. In 2005, Dan was accepted into the Baylor University School of Law. He went on to complete his Law Degree and MBA at Baylor University.
While attending Baylor University Dan regularly attended the annual homecoming events for alumni at Methodist Children’s Home. He became interested in serving in the MCH Alumni Association and went on to serve as president of the Alumni Association for more than eight years. During his tenure as president, Dan was able to assist the association in organization and growth through his leadership skills and expertise in the field of law.
Dan is currently a practicing attorney in the Dallas area. Throughout his life he has remained humble and thankful for the opportunities he has been afforded and makes it a priority to be of service to others. He has been active in the Dallas community and as a Methodist Children’s Home Alumni. Dan began a new role of service to MCH, students and alumni in June 2017 when he assumed the position as a member of the Methodist Children’s Home Board of Directors.