Newsletter

Ho Ho Ho!

Holiday Greetings to all our wonderful Child Advocates of Fort Bend family!  We are so grateful to all of you for an incredible 2018 and all the hundreds of hours you committed to serving children who have been abused and neglected.  You have given the true gift of the holiday season – your time and caring for these children!   A huge thank you to all the Christmas Home Tour volunteers who hosted our 27th Annual Christmas Home Tour!  It was a great success, the homes were beautifully decorated, our guests enjoyed seeing all the decorations, enjoying the refreshments and appreciated how professional this event is run every year.  Congratulations to all!  To all the many donors who supported us over the past year with financial gifts, toys, blankets, backpacks, clothing, stuffed animals, bicycles, gift cards and so much more – your gifts have comforted children when they were scared, prepared them for school so they achieved, and helped them feel loved and cared for when they were alone.  In the spirit of the holiday season, our deepest appreciation and thank you to all of you for what you do every day to provide a voice, heal the hurt and break the cycle of abuse for children in our community.

Enjoy your holiday season with family and friends.  We will see you in 2019!

For the Children’s Sake,

Ruthanne Mefford
CEO, Child Advocates of Fort Bend


Putting their “Best Foot Forward” for Child Advocates of Fort Bend!

Special thanks to Suzanne Slavin, Chicago Title (and Voices For Children Ambassador), Mary Titel, Hometrust Mortgage and Tammy McCall of Johnson Development who chose Child Advocates of Fort Bend as beneficiary of their first annual Best Foot Forward Holiday Party. Each hand delivered invitation to the event included a pair of crazy holiday socks that invitees were encouraged to wear to the gathering. At the center of the special day was a toy drive for the children served by Child Advocates of Fort Bend.  Approximately 75 realtors and home builders attended the event and their generosity spilled over as they filled Santa’s big red toy sack.  Mrs. Claus (and her helpers) even made an appearance and spent some time chatting with those who signed in on the “Naughty” list.  A great time was had by all and a holiday tradition began!

Santa and His “Angels” Made the Holiday Special for the Children

Angel Medical Supply and Function4 donated 80 bicycles to children served at Child Advocates of Fort Bend.  These “angels” delivered and assembled bikes!  BF Terry Construction and Automotive students and their teacher Mr. Michael Ramon helped out by assembling some of the bikes.  Grissel Baylon, 3rd grade teacher at Goodman Elementary and mountain bike enthusiast, coordinated a group of fellow cyclists who joined in the act by helping to assemble some of the bikes and making sure the gears were working properly. We are so grateful to all of these wonderful “Angels”! Special thanks to Ed Beckham, President of Angel Medical Supply and Stephen Hernandez who coordinated the delivery and assembly team and to Bob Evans and Bill Patsouras of Function4, we are grateful to you for joining in the Christmas spirit and bringing joy to the children we serve.  Santa and his “Angels” will make many, many children happy on Christmas morning!


New Member Joins CASA Team

The CAFB Team welcomes Lindsey Castellanos as our Volunteer Recruiter & Outreach Coordinator.

Lindsey has been with our agency as a Forensic Interviewer in the Children’s Advocacy Center for more than seven years. She is excited about the transition to her new role and will work on recruitment, retention and outreach opportunities for our agency.  Please feel free to stop by and say hello to Lindsey!

 

Mentoring Helps Children Succeed!

The Children’s Advocacy Center Mentor Program was implemented in to provide additional support to the clients served by the CAC.

The program trains and prepares existing volunteers to step into the role of a mentor for clients during the time they are receiving services.  The training helps volunteers understand the impact of abuse. The volunteer’s presence and belief in the client makes a difference in helping the client learn to trust again and realize that they can be successful in the future. Volunteer, Ruby Cabell was assigned as a mentor to one of Carolina Coronel’s therapy clients.

Carolina had the following to say about how the mentor program impacted her client, who has been coming to the CAC for services for more than a year.

“Lately, the mentor has done great things for the family. My client is struggling in school, and his mother is advocating for the 504 program. Our volunteer/mentor helped the parent translate the letter and even went to the school for support. She has been guiding the family and providing resources from the community so that my client could improve. She doesn’t have a lot of free time, but when she has some, she visits my client. The parent has been overwhelmed with how things are going at school and at home, but the mentor has brought light and a new perspective. The family is very pleased. My client talked about his mentor during session, and when I met with his mother, she also commented on the blessing she has been for them. I know it can get difficult at times, but even if we have one child who is benefiting from it, I think it is worth it.”

 

WINGS Youth Accepted to College

Our WINGS youth continue to make strides. One youth who experienced horrific abuse by her uncle has been in CPS custody for over a year. At the age of 16, her life changed forever. An unfortunate situation led her to be removed from her family, friends, and school. This young lady was very active in school activities. When she had to leave her home due to the abuse, she lost everything. Fortunately, she had a wonderful advocate who was supportive and encouraged her and everyone around her to get her involved in her new school. This young lady has succeeded in connecting to new friends, a new support system, and new activities. She is on the swim team, she has a black belt in Taekwondo, and she is currently employed. She recently was accepted to Texas State University where she plans to study social work so she can help others who have experienced similar circumstances. Kudos to her CASA, Beth Camacho, and the Child Advocates of Fort Bend WINGS team for helping this young lady secure a new support network and remain focused during a challenging time in her life. She is breaking the cycle!!!!

 


New N.E.S.T. Volunteer Resource Page

N.E.S.T. volunteers have a new way to keep abreast of upcoming events and new resources that are available. We’ve created a special section on our website! When you visit https://www.cafb.org/about/ click on volunteer, select current volunteers then choose resources.  Here you will find more information regarding our specialized programs, upcoming events and how to get involved as well as a variety of resources on how to engage with the children and families on your case.

Please contact any Court Appointed Special Advocate Supervisor for the password!

 

Volunteer Training Application Deadline

Our next Volunteer Training Class starts February 11, 2019. Please contact us for inquiries regarding becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate or Children’s Advocacy Center volunteer. Applications are due by January 14, 2019. Please contact Lindsey Castallenos at lcastellanos@cafb.org or 281-344-5259.

 

CAC Wish List. . .

Every child who attends a forensic interview at the CAC receives a blanket, a snack, and a water. Many kids color or play games while waiting for their interview. Our stocks are running low . . . we need:

Blankets

Adult coloring books

Colored pencils

Small sharpeners

New games (playroom)

Snacks (goldfish, animal crackers, fruit roll ups)

Small waters

Holiday Giving

Child Advocates of Fort Bend was invited to participate in Shady Oak Christian and Primary School’s annual Week of Giving. It was a magical time walking around all the decorated trees adorned with the children’s beautiful ornaments. We are one of the recipients of their donation drive which will provide snacks to children in our Children’s Advocacy Center and toys that will benefit both programs, Children’s Advocacy Center and CASA for Christmas. We also spent a few minutes speaking with the children in the Primary grades about our cause. It was a wonderful time. We are thankful for this school community joining us in our mission.

 



THANK YOU – THANK YOU – THANK YOU!!! To all the homeowners, committee members, volunteers, hosts, entertainers, cookie bakers, staff and friends. The homes on the tour this year in Historic Richmond, Lakes of Williams Ranch, Alkire Lake, Sienna Plantation and Sienna Point were all AMAZING! I hope you got to see them all because WOW!!!!

The weather put a damper on attendance, but still there were nearly 1,000 guests who toured the houses over the weekend. The spirit of Christmas was alive and well for all involved. We really had so much fun. Take a moment to check out our website and Facebook page for photos and videos.

For more information, please contact Lisa at LMoore@cafb.org

 

 

Bricks

Are you interested in joining our Walk of Heroes by purchasing a brick for our walkway?

For $100 a 4” x 8” brick with whatever you designate it to say will be placed in the walkway to our building. Bricks may contain up to 3 lines of copy, 20 characters per line.

For more information, please contact Lisa at LMoore@cafb.org

 

Mark your calendar!

January 1, 2019  CAFB Offices Closed

 

January 14, 2019  Deadline to Submit Application for the Next Volunteer Training Class

 

January 29, 2019  CAC TX Day at the Capitol
details coming soon. . .

 

February 4-5, 2019  CASA Day at the Capitol
details coming soon. . .