MCH Supports New Waco Safehouse
The Waco City Council approved permits for the Reagan House, a home offering refuge for teenage victims of sex trafficking and exploitation. MCH President and CEO Trey Oakley spoke in support of the safehouse at the City Council meeting where the project was approved.
The Reagan House is a project of Unbound Waco, a church-affiliated organization which launched in 2012 to address issues related to human trafficking. The nonprofit has chapters around the United States and in several countries. The goal for the Reagan House is to provide an evidence-based, trauma-informed home where girls who have been trafficked can experience safety and nurturing while accessing resources for recovery.
“MCH is equipped to come alongside and support the Reagan House with resources and expertise,” Oakley said. “This is a great demonstration of community partners rallying together to act on behalf of vulnerable children and youth in need of healing.”
Oakley said MCH has regularly provided training to Unbound staff on trauma-informed therapy and added that youth from the Reagan House will be able to attend school at the MCH charter school.
Day Students Volunteer at Local Nonprofit
A group of school support staff and University of Texas-University Charter School (UT-UCS) day students volunteered throughout the summer at Caritas of Waco. The group helped prepare box fans to be delivered to those in need in the community.
“Caritas was so appreciative of our students and staff volunteering to help,” said Amy Grisham, director of school support. “It was a good bonding time for students and staff and was so rewarding to serve others in our community.”
El Paso Family Outreach Participates in ‘Camp Ability’
The El Paso MCH Family Outreach team participated in the weeklong “Camp Ability,” which serves to empower teens and young adults with disabilities in the El Paso community.
Members of the El Paso team took turns attending each day of the camp, assisting with games, crafts and activities. MCH joined with the Partners Resource Network and other local agencies to provide support for the camp. MCH has served Camp Ability in years past and plans to continue their involvement into the future.
Bonnie Perez Ramirez, project director for the Partners Resource Network, said of the El Paso staff: “How they all interact with the campers and team captains made them feel so much at ease and comfortable being their authentic selves. It is refreshing to see a team so eager to participate in the ice breakers, team building activities and especially our day at the zoo!”
Director of Family Outreach Zahire Gonzalez-Villa served as part of the planning committee for the camp.
“We are always looking for ways to make the camp even better each year,” she said. “It really is a wonderful experience and I am looking forward to next year!”
MCH Promotes Service
The MCH Board of Directors approved a new benefit giving employees eight hours of paid time off annually to volunteer in the community.
“I believe we are better when we serve others,” said MCH President and CEO Trey Oakley. “Service is more than what we do for those in our care at MCH. It is the model we want to be known for as Methodist Children’s Home in our communities.”
Employees will have options to serve at local nonprofit organizations, schools, churches or during a meaningful holiday, Oakley said.