CAFB November News

Happy November!

Fall has finally arrived and we are deep into Fall programming with our volunteers and children.  Thank you to Friends Council for hosting another fabulous Fall Coffee and to Pat Somers for hosting a lovely event in her beautifully-decorated home.  It was a great turnout and we were so pleased to see so many loyal supporters and welcome new faces.  We are in the midst of planning for the Christmas Home Tour.  This will be our 28th tour – hard to believe!   This year, we will feature 4 beautiful homes, each different and so special.  As you know, it takes over 800 volunteers to staff this event over two days.  Thank you in advance for being a Home Tour Volunteer and please let us know if you would like to help out but haven’t signed up yet.  We have been working hard on our Strategic Plan for next year and beyond.  We spend many, many hours discussing, debating, prioritizing and forecasting the programs and services we need to achieve the best outcomes for children.  We review in detail all our current services and evaluate their effectiveness.  We project new innovations and extensions of services that we feel are critical for our children and families.  We then look at the staffing and resourcing that it will take to deliver these and what this will mean for the budget.  Finally, we develop detailed projections of how we plan to fund current and expanded services, staff, and volunteers.  The 2020 Strategic Plan was presented to the Board of Directors at our Annual Retreat on October 30.  We are excited to communicate it to all of you in upcoming months – on our website, in the newsletter and at council meetings.  I share this with you because we believe that it is important for you – our volunteers, staff, partners, donors and friends – to know that the leadership of Child Advocates of Fort Bend is keenly focused on ensuring the sustainability of services so that we can reach all children who need our help.  Through careful planning and budgeting, our leadership team and Board of Directors works to make sure that we never have to turn away a child.

Talking about expansion…..  our building project is moving right along!  The cut outs to enlarge the front windows is in process, the opening of the wall that used to be the back of our building is complete which will connect the new Children’s Advocacy Center with the existing structure, and roofing and interior spaces are taking shape.  We are still on track to move back at the end of January.  Mark your calendars for our Grand Opening of the Davis George Center on March 5 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.   We’ll celebrate a new chapter for Child Advocates of Fort Bend.  Hope to see you there!

We have much to give thanks for at Child Advocates of Fort Bend.  Most of all, we thank all our volunteers, partners, donors and staff whose dedicated service and support makes a difference every day in the lives of children who have been abused.   Happy Thanksgiving!

For the Children’s Sake,

Ruthanne Mefford
CEO, Child Advocates of Fort Bend



Progress Meter: The Campaign For The Children’s Sake

Thank you to the 150+ contributors who have made generous, philanthropic commitments to the For The Children’s Sake Capital Campaign to date. Child Advocates of Fort Bend is deeply grateful for the incredible outpouring of support to help abused children, including extraordinary gifts from many companies and foundations.

It’s an unprecedented time in the agency’s history. Please read more about the campaign vision and need by clicking the link below. In addition, 100% of our volunteer Board of Directors and all CAFB employees have made personal, financial commitments to the campaign. We would like to take a moment to also recognize an incredibly dedicated Capital Campaign Committee whose members have contributed their time, talent and treasures.

Thank you to these dedicated volunteer Capital Campaign Committee leaders: Nancy Olson (Campaign Chair), Sarah Abraham, Tom Abraham, Margie Adolph, Hilary Brawner, Tammy Brown, Tony Clark, Farrah Gandhi, Valerie Golden, John Healey, Dave Johnston, Rhonda Kuykendall, Tommy Kuykendall, Tyler Nelson, Josh Pipes, Bill Rohrbach, Mike Smith, Pat Somers, James Steenbergen and Massey Villarreal.

Through personal outreach, hosting of home and office gatherings, countless calls and letters, the campaign would not be this far long without the help of everyone working as a team, and we are so close to the finish line. Through October, we have raised $6.9 toward our $8 million goal! And there is still time to participate.

Check out the For The Children’s Sake Campaign video! 
Click the link and scroll down our homepage to view the video.
View the video NOW

 

Don’t Miss This Opportunity…


Would you like to be a part of the For The Children’s Sake Campaign?

Make a $500 or $1,000 gift to the For The Children’s Sake Campaign and help pave the way to healing for a child.

Do you have a hard time shopping for someone on your holiday list?
We’ve extended our paver deadline to help you with your holiday shopping and end of the year giving…

Purchase your paver by December 31st and we will install an engraved paver with your name or message on it. Don’t miss the chance to be a part of this important project for our community’s most vulnerable children. If you have already made a $500 or $1,000 gift, we thank you and will be in touch to confirm your paver details. For more information contact Dana Mersiovsky at dmersiovsky@cafb.org.

Learn more about the campaign AND purchase your paver!

 


Voices for Children

This year was a great year for our VOICES FOR CHILDREN Program.  Throughout the year, twenty-five Ambassadors brought 10 or more people to tour our agency or invited us out to talk to their group. Most of those Ambassadors then served as Table Captains, with some hosting more than one table at our VFC Transforming Lives Breakfast. What a heartwarming morning it was! More than 270 guests joined us to hear the inspiring stories of the children and families we serve and learn about the mission and work of Child Advocates of Fort Bend.  Most importantly, we raised over $132,000 and we welcomed 14 new VFC Circle donors, bringing the total raised through our Voices for Children program to over $2.5 million dollars in the last 10 years.

As many of you heard at the breakfast, we have been experiencing exponential growth in the number of children we are serving. The current expansion of our building will give us the space we so desperately need to double the number of children we serve over the next decade.  And while this is very exciting, our daily operations of providing services to children must continue and the basic needs of the agency must still be funded – and because of you, our Voices For Children donors, that is happening.

Children are being heard, they are being healed and they are finding hope. Your generosity SUSTAINS the work we do and YOU are changing children’s lives. And for that we are so very grateful. Thank you.


 

Therapy Update! 
Our therapists have been busy facilitating caregivers groups this month! Bilingual therapist Ana Dlouhy has two Spanish Caregivers Groups for the caregivers of children who are in individual therapy at the CAC. There are 15 caregivers in the groups. Meanwhile, Therapist and Intake Specialist Elena Petre has been facilitating an English Caregivers Group. She has 6 caregivers in her group session.

 

Training Our Staff
Our professional staff are committed to making sure the children receive the best care and they are committed to training to make sure that they are equipped to provide this. Therapist and Intake Specialist Elena Petre recently completed Face to Face TFCBT (Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) training. She will continue to engage in consultation calls to work in the completion of her TFCBT certification. Others receiving training this month include Heather Rashid, Amna Ahmed, Giselle Andujar and Ophelia Mok who attended the Single Session Therapy Training that was hosted by Houston Galveston Institute (HGI). During this training, they learned how to engage clients in one therapeutic session. Shown L to R are: Ophelia Mok, Heather Rashid and Amna Ahmed. Not pictured are: Elena Petre and Giselle Andujar.

 


Donations Needed 
With the cooler weather starting we need blankets (50” x 60”). Children who come for a forensic interview receive a blanket after the interview to take back with them to their homes. For more information or to donate contact Melissa at mjohnson@cafb.org.

 

Hong Kong Delegation Visits To Learn from Us

Our Children’s Advocacy Center was honored to host a delegation of five professionals from the Social Welfare Department of Hong Kong. Dr. Monit Cheung from the University Of Houston Graduate School Of Social Work collaborated with the CAC to arrange the visit. The visitors, including four social workers and one psychologist work in the equivalent of the CPS department and are trainers in the forensic interview process. They spent three days learning about our agency, training with our staff to understand the CAC model and discussing forensic interviewing. They were able to observe a Case Review Team Meeting, attend the CAC Advisory Council meeting and meet with partner agency representatives.

Thank you to all of our partner agencies who took time to meet with our guests and share information about CPS, law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office. We are looking forward to additional collaboration with the Social Welfare Department in the future.

 

Educating Our Community
We were invited out to Christ Church Katy, PCA on October 2nd, 2019 to present to their congregation. We held three separate presentations for elementary children, middle and high school students, and their parents. It was a great evening! We were able to educate the families on abuse and neglect and arm them with age-appropriate language to continue discussions on how to stay safe. We would like to thank Lead Pastor, Fred Greco and Mark Watt for contacting us for this presentation. If your congregation, youth organization, or scout troop would be interested in having us out to give a similar presentation please contact Lindsey Castellanos at lcastellanos@cafb.org.

 


Missouri City Night Out 
We had a great time at Missouri City Night Out on October 5th, 2019. Missouri City had SOS Band and DJ Kapri to perform and there were lots of free activities for the whole family. It was a great time to educate the community on our agency and the services that we offer and to recruit new volunteers! Thank you to volunteers Bob Mayo, Dianne Adams, and Sandra Janak for staffing the booth for Child Advocates of Fort Bend.

 


N.E.S.T. Education Committee Updates
Elementary school is very important for our school-aged children’s competency, social development, and future academic achievements. Sometimes you need additional resources or help in navigating the complexities of the education system. We have many resources to assist you.

To help you engage children who have disabilities or who might benefit from very tactile, hands on interactions, we have N.E.S.T. Sensory Bags ready and available for use. There are 6 bags with a variety of tools to help you. You may check them out and return them when you no longer need them. For more information or to check out the bags, please contact April Shaver at ashaver@cafb.org or Alli Waterwall at awaterwall@cafb.org.

Are you wondering where to find information about receiving grades, school enrollment, requesting an ARD meeting, transportation, tutoring and sports programs?  It’s always a great idea to first browse the school website.  Here are a few of our partners who can help with additional questions.  Cari Schroeder is the CPS Education Specialist, Cari.Schroeder@dfps.state.tx.us.  Latissa Stephens is our CPS Disability Specialist, Latissa.Stephens@dfps.state.tx.us and each school district has an assigned Foster Care Liaison who is available to assist with any needs.

 


Volunteer Information Session   
Our next volunteer training will begin in February 2020. In the meantime, if you know someone that is interested in volunteering with Child Advocates of Fort Bend we are hosting another Volunteer Information Session on November 6, 2019 from 11-12:30 PM in the 3rd floor conference room, Fort Bend Justice Center. RSVP to Lindsey at lcastellanos@cafb.org.

 


Crime Victim’s Response Team Fun Run!
Please join us on November 2nd, 2019 at we participate in the CVRT (Crime Victim’s Response Team) “Back to the DA” fun run! We will have a booth and many other family friendly activities will be provided.

Register NOW


It’s the most wonderful time of the year – Christmas Home Tour!
Save the date for December 13th and 14th and make plans to visit the four gorgeous homes being showcased on this year’s tour. Every one of these amazing homes have been remodeled and/or expanded. Your $30 ticket allows you entry into each home once during the Tour. Featured homes are in Alkire Lake, Sugar Creek, Sweetwater and Sienna Plantation.

Since the tour began, more than $1.8 million has been raised in unrestricted funding for services for children in Fort Bend County. In fact, this event is one of our largest fundraisers – both in terms of money raised and the number of people involved. Over 3,000 guests will tour the homes, including the 800 volunteers that take their time to participate as hosts, entertainers or cookie bakers.

How can you help?

  • Sponsor – There are numerous opportunities left with perks, including an invitation to our Sponsor Party on December 8.
  • Purchase Home Tour Tickets
  • Buy Wreath Raffle Tickets -Choose the wreath you hope to win. Ticket prices are 1 for $10, 3 for $25, and 5 for $40

Sponsor Now Purchase Tour Tickets  Wreath Raffle

 

Volunteers, Entertainers and Cookie Bakers

  • Volunteer – Share your time as a 2-3 hour host in one of the homes. Bring a friend too!
  • Participate as an Entertainer
  • Bake Cookies

Volunteer in a home  Participate as an Entertainer!  Sign up to bake cookies

 

Help us Spread the Word!

Like + Comment + Share information about the tour on your social media accounts to help us spread the word

YES – I can help!  I’LL LIKE + SHARE + COMMENT ON THE DIGITAL FLYER from my accounts right now!

 

Have questions?
Visit our website or contact Lisa at lmoore@cafb.org.

 

Mark your calendar!

November 2, 2019 Crime Victim’s Response Team Fun Run
7am – 10:00am
Fort Bend County Justice Center, 3rd Floor
1422 Eugene Heimann Circle, Richmond, TX 77469

Register NOW

 

November 6, 2019 Volunteer Information Session
11am – 12:30pm
Fort Bend County Justice Center, 3rd Floor
1422 Eugene Heimann Circle, Richmond, TX 77469
RSVP to Lindsey at lcastellanos@cafb.org.

 

November 22, 2019 National Adoption Day
8am – noon
Fort Bend County Justice Center, 3rd Floor
1422 Eugene Heimann Circle, Richmond, TX 77469
RSVP to Metoyer at mellis@cafb.org

 

December 13 + 14, 2019 Christmas Home Tour
Friday 10am – 4pm and 6pm – 9pm; Saturday 10am – 4pm
Mark your calendar and watch for details. . .