I hope you are enjoying these long, hot days of Summer. We have been busy here at Child Advocates of Fort Bend. We are in the thick of WINGS and have completed all 6 weeks of Lifeskills and Campus Crawl! Youth have traveled all over Houston and around the state. Many thanks to all the volunteers who have helped out and to our partners at OCuSOFT, Pioneer Bank, CarMax, Nalco, Fluor, Access Health, Southern Ice Cream, Fort Bend Animal Hospital, and Urban Chef who hosted information sessions, tours and interactive activities! We have a very full Summer Volunteer Training Class who will be sworn in on August 9. We now turn our attention to our NEST Workshop the first week of August and have a lineup of educational and enrichment outings in store for the children with highlights at the Health Museum, Museum of Natural History, Children’s Discovery Center and Crocodile Encounter. Thank you to all the volunteers who are spending quality time with your CASA children and making children in our CAC feel welcome and loved. We appreciate all you do!
For the Children’s Sake,
CEO, Child Advocates of Fort Bend
Thank You Muslim Women’s Giving Circle!
Special thanks to Farha Ahmed and the Muslim Women’s Giving Circle for visiting us, taking a tour of our building and for presenting us with an extremely generous Ramadan gift!
The Muslim Women’s Circle was formed by a group of Fort Bend faithful women who wanted to make the holy month of Ramadan, which is a month of fasting (from Sunrise to Sunset) more meaningful by giving back to the local community. They decided that since they were not going to have their daily afternoon coffee that it would be a great way to take that savings of about $5 and collect funds from women they knew. These generous ladies recruited 50 women who pledged to give and the group decided to split the funds between 2 organizations – Child Advocates of Fort Bend and LCISD Common Threads.
“The women also thought that visiting the charities and presenting the check was the best way to publicize the good work done by local charities,” stated Ahmed. “Many of the women were raised in immigrant families and know that it is a blessing to live in America. But with this blessing comes and obligation to give back.”
VOICES FOR CHILDREN NEWS
Our name has changed to VOICES FOR CHILDREN CIRCLE (formerly VFC Multi-Year Giving Society) and we have a new logo.
Because of YOU – our loyal VOICES FOR CHILDREN donors – children are having their voices heard, their pain mended and their abuse stopped. Your support is an important piece of the journey our children and families go through as they heal from abuse and neglect. We are grateful for YOU.
Are you interested in volunteering with our VOICES FOR CHILDREN program?
Become a VOICES FOR CHILDREN Ambassador.
Being an Ambassador is one of the most important ways you can serve the mission of Child Advocates of Fort Bend. Ambassadors are people who are passionate about the work we do and believe in spreading the word to the community. Ambassadors invite 10 people to a VOICES FOR CHILDREN tour, host the tour and share their personal connection to our agency. Tours are held on-site so guests can see the services we provide, meet our staff and partners and hear real life stories of the work we do. If it is more convenient, Ambassadors can host a tour in their homes, places of business or worship or service organizations. We call this our VOICES FOR CHILDREN–Tour in a Box. Tour guests will leave with a better understanding about the silent epidemic of child about and learn what they can do to help end this tragedy. Contact Dana Mersiovsky at 281.341.5106 or email@example.com to schedule or learn more.
Planning is in process for our annual VOICES FOR CHILDREN Transforming Lives Breakfast.
Mark your calendar for Thursday, September 27th at 7:00am and stay tuned for more details!
Sasha Soileau has joined the CAFB family as a Multi-Disciplinary Team Coordinator. Sasha, who has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal justice with a minor in Psychology from Sam Houston University, is no stranger to CAFB.
After graduation, Sasha served as a CASA volunteer for two years and then joined staff as a Program Assistant for the CAC. She then worked for CASA as a Volunteer Services Coordinator and Case Supervisor in addition to working with the N.E.S.T program. She resigned in May 2013 to stay at home with her son, Owen.
Sasha’s love for working with children started when she herself was a child. She grew up living overseas in Nigeria and Trinidad, off the coast of Venezuela, where her mother regularly took her and her sister to give back to the community they lived in. They would take toiletries and children’s items to locals.
“It was such an eye opening experience to be 12 and to have a 5 year old begging you to take them home and not to leave, but it was also an amazing feeling to see them the following week run up with a huge hug and smile and to know that you had made some type of difference,” she said. “I believe that gave me the ability to be able to relate to victims and also helps me to understand their circumstances. When we lived in Nigeria we would be out and my mom would always want to stop and give items, money, food, well really anything we had to the children that we saw on the streets begging. I remember my dad would always tell her ‘Helen you can’t save them all.’ I know that it’s impossible to save every child but it’s worth a try.”
We are so excited Sasha has returned to the CAC to continue her work with the children we serve.
We’re looking for. . . ADMINISTRATIVE VOLUNTEERS!
If you’ve ever thought about volunteering, WE NEED YOU!!
Child Advocates of Fort Bend runs a very busy office with 40+ staff members and another 22+ representatives of four of our partner agencies onsite. We are looking for volunteers to help at our Main Lobby Administration/CASA reception desk. Contact Irene Wisner at 281-344-5171 for more information.
Congratulations Volunteers and Welcome to Our Team!
On Wednesday, July 18th Volunteers Nahide Karabag (left) and Dina Patel (right) were sworn in by Judge Eric Andell of the 387th District Court. Both participated in volunteer training earlier this year. We’re glad to have them both as a part of our CAFB family!
WINGS Signing Day
Our WINGS Program for youth ages 14 – 18+ helps children flourish in school, develop individualized education plans tailored to their needs, plan for college or higher education or a sustainable career path, and prepare for successful independent living when they age out of the foster care system. Child Advocates of Fort Bend hosted our first Signing Day event. Nationally, only about 10% of children in foster care graduate from high school and go on to attend college so when one of the youth in our WINGS program was accepted to Texas Southern University recently, we held a Signing Day to celebrate this wonderful achievement!
At fourteen, this young lady was homeless and had been living in a car with her mother and brother for several years before she was taken into CPS custody. The family had no food and she had not been in school since 2nd grade. She was suffering from Kawasaki disease and asthma and had not been receiving treatment for either. When she was finally enrolled in school, she was far behind academically. Luckily, this youth was matched with an Advocate who was not only a former educator but also happened to volunteer in the high school where this youth was enrolled. With the help of her Advocate, this exceptional young woman succeeded in not only overcoming her challenges and catching up academically but she was accepted into the university of her choice. We are extremely proud of her!
CASA Program Director participates in Panel at Texas’s 2nd Annual Foster Care Education Conference
Metoyer Martin, our CASA Program Director, was part of an Early Learning panel that presented insights on the building blocks of early learning during the 2nd Annual Texas Foster Care Education Conference hosted by the Children’s Commission July 9-10. Others on the panel, included Dr. Amy Bryan – Clinical Assistant Professor for Human Development and Family Sciences at University of Texas, Kenneth Gilbert – Chief Executive Officer of Head Start of Greater Dallas, and Jacquie Porter – Statewide Director of Early Childhood for Texas Education Agency. Metoyer and her fellow panelists talked about the importance of an individualized approach, advocacy, family engagement, high quality curriculum, normalcy and support during the transition for formal education.
Did you know that the Christmas Home Tour began 27 years ago as a fundraiser to keep the CASA program going?
A group of volunteers, many of whom are still involved, opened up their homes, decorated them for Christmas, baked some cookies and charged admission. The first tour generated a net income of $23,900. Since its inception it has garnered over $4.4 million in unrestricted funds for the agency. That means our doors have not only stayed open for 27 years, but we have added our Children’s Advocacy Center, increased our programming and are multiplying staff. Thank goodness because the need for our services is greater than ever!
Won’t you join us on Friday, December 7th from 10am-4pm & 6pm-9pm and Saturday, December 8th from 10am-4pm?
The two-day Home Tour hosts visitors from all of Fort Bend County and surrounding areas. Over 3,000 guests will tour the homes, including the 1,000 volunteers who give of their time by participating. This is a spirited community event, but most importantly it is a fundraiser. Please consider joining as a sponsor. It’s a delightful event for a worthy cause. For more information, please contact Lisa at LMoore@cafb.org
Are you a talented wreath maker or do you know someone who is?
We are collecting all-season wreaths for our 5th annual Wreath Raffle! Everyone will have an opportunity to purchase a $10, $25 or $40 raffle ticket and choose the wreath they hope to win. It’s a fun opportunity to get into the holiday spirit and it helps the agency with a little extra fundraising.
The wreath or swag must have a retail value of $150 – $500. We would like to receive/pick up your gorgeous creation by Friday, October 5th.
Mark your calendar!
August 3, 2018 Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) Training hosted by Fort Bend County Behavioral Health Services
9am – 4:00pm
Gus George Academy
1521 Eugene Heimann Circle, Richmond, TX 77469
Hosted by Fort Bend County Behavioral Health Services, this is the same training we held on June 15th. The training will provide you with an introduction and overview into TBRI® and opportunity to put it into practice through role play. Free CEU’s will be provided. The training is open to juvenile probation, child welfare, service providers, attorneys, CASA, court staff, law enforcement and community members.
September 3, 2018 CAFB Offices closed for Labor Day Holiday
September 27, 2018: Voices for Children Breakfast
7am – 8:30am
Sugar Land Marriott Town Square
October 1, 2018: Golf for Greater Houston Golf Tournament
Black Hawk and Shadow Hawk Golf Courses
October 4, 2018 FRIENDS Fall Coffee
Save the date. . . details coming soon!
October 10, 2018 Kendra Scott Give Back Night
Save the date. . . details coming soon!