Supporting the Franklin Community
Several youth and houseparents from MCH traveled to Franklin, Texas, to deliver toys and diapers collected through a donations drive for children and families in Robertson County affected by tornadoes that severely damaged the community on April 13. The group, along with MCH staff from MCH Family Outreach in Bryan and MCH Vice President for Programs Moe Dozier, delivered the goods to Franklin UMC. They were joined by U.S. Representative Bill Flores, who was there to lend a hand.
MCH Family outreach Offices Get a New Look
Staff from MCH Family Outreach in Houston have settled into their renovated office space after construction was completed at the end of 2018. Their location recently incorporated a new design to accommodate the growth of MCH Family Outreach programs.
The office transitioned from separate offices to collaborative workspaces, a larger conference room and a secure entrance that includes remote locks, keypads and a reinforced door. Case managers, who spend the majority of their time in the field, now have workstations and use “huddle rooms” as needed for private calls or visits with families. The Houston office also features a playroom for foster care visits.
“I think it is a great concept,” said Veronica Whalon-Peters, director of MCH Family Outreach in Houston. “Everyone is getting used to it and it is going well.”
MCH Family Outreach offices in Houston and Albuquerque are the latest locations to incorporate a similar new office design. The Dallas outreach office is scheduled to receive renovations next year.
Traci Wagner, program administrator for the Eastern region of MCH Family Outreach, said developing this new concept took a lot of thoughtful consideration.
“The open office can foster collaboration, promote shared learning, and nurture a strong culture,” Wagner said. “It also allows us to create consistency among our 13 locations.”
Spiritual Development Weekend 2019
Throughout the spring semester, youth at Methodist Children’s Home learned about dreamers from the Bible during Sunday worship services. The theme of pursuing dreams continued during Spiritual Development Weekend in March.
“We’ve been talking about what it looks like to pursue dreams even in the face of adversity,” said Kim Clark, director of spiritual development. “We’ve also talked about how our dreams can be vast and varied, change over time, be seemingly big or small, but God has created us for greatness. He has gifted us in ways that are designed to contribute to the Kingdom and not be self-serving.”
During a focus on dreamers in the Bible, Spiritual Development found a perfect fit to speak to students during a Friday night event at the chapel – the founders of ReFit, a local fitness business that incorporates movement and music for workouts in an encouraging environment. The staff said they felt their guests would offer youth a new way to worship and share an encouraging message due to their efforts to create a community of belonging, acceptance and forgiveness.
Emily Field, one of the ReFit founders, spoke about overcoming fear to pursue her dream, facing obstacles, and her own personal faith. She answered questions and then led the group in exercise.
On Saturday, youth competed as homes during a “dreamers” scavenger hunt to visit local sites and businesses such as the Doris Miller monument and the Waco Hippodrome. Following the scavenger hunt, the Spiritual Development team hosted a senior lunch to spend time with those about to graduate as they reflected on their time at MCH, heard about their plans and also their fears as they approached the end of the school year.
Spiritual Development staff said the event is focused on engaging with the work that God is doing in their community and celebrating as a community the growth that is happening while also pushing youth to continue to be and do more.
Child Abuse Prevention Month
Staff across Methodist Children’s Home joined together to show support for children during Child Abuse Prevention Month in April. In Texas and around the nation, April 5 is designated as “Go Blue Day” to officially kick off the effort as thousands wear blue to raise awareness. MCH Family Outreach offices in Abilene, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Killeen, Lubbock, Tyler, Waco, and Las Cruces, New Mexico, also planted pinwheel gardens during April as part of the Pinwheels for Prevention initiative led by the national organization Prevent Child Abuse America.