Friday, January 23, 2015

Coach Matt Rodgers selected for FCA Super Centex Victory Bowl

MCH Bulldogs head coach Matt Rodgers will join the area’s best coaches and players for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Super Centex Victory Bowl this summer. The Heart of Texas FCA announced the 2015 coaching staffs during a press conference on Saturday, Jan. 10.

Rodgers will join the coaching staff for the Blue Football Team, led by Joey McQueen from Florence. The Blue Team will face off against the Red Team led by Whitney coach Kenneth Gilchrist during the Victory Bowl at the Waco ISD Stadium on Saturday, June 13.  

“This is a great honor for Coach Matt Rodgers,” said Kevin Henry, athletic director for MCH. “I am excited for him to have the opportunity to coach in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Victory Bowl this summer.  When Ben Johnson, executive director of the Heart of Texas FCA, called and asked if I thought Matt would do a good job, I told him ‘absolutely!’”

Throughout the week, players and coaches will participate in community service projects as well as team building events and practices as part of the event. Former MCH player Ty Kinnard participated in the Victory Bowl last year.

Congratulations Coach Rodgers!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Core Value Award for Hope - Ahmad Washington

Each year Methodist Children’s Home recognizes staff members who exemplify the Core Values of the organization. Staff are nominated by their peers and are recognized at an all-staff meeting during which the Core Awards are given.

The Core Awards for MCH are:
Christian Principles

Ahmad Washington, spiritual development minister, received the Core Award for Hope. The recipient of the Core Award for Hope is defined as someone who believes in the possibilities of the future.

According to Washington’s nomination, “Ahmad consistently pursues relationships and strives to build community with every person at MCH. Ahmad’s strong commitment to the Lord serves as the foundation for all relationships he builds with youth and staff. Ahmad serves the MCH community with passion, delivering truth and expressing the love of Christ relentlessly. Ahmad invests in our youth and never gives up on them; he grieves over their pain; and he boldly shares the truth found in the Word of God to help them find freedom. His witness is an encouragement, and a reminder that in building relationships, we can fulfill our mission to offer hope by being a loving Christian community. Ahmad is a leader in helping MCH gain perspective and see that we are all empowered to connect, and through those connections, we can share truth and love and begin to offer the hope found in Christ alone.”

Washington has worked for MCH for 10 years. “When I learned I would be receiving the Core Award for Hope, I was both humbled and grateful to God for this honor,” he said.

Kim Clark, director of spiritual development, and Washington’s supervisor had this to share, “Ahmad is an important part of the ministry at MCH. He is truly invested in the lives of the students and staff. Ahmad is able to offer the hope of Christ to those around him through amazing preaching, music production and genuine relationships. The youth migrate towards him because he is honest and real, always pointing then toward who God created them to be. He shows them daily how they can live for Christ through the ups and downs of life.”

Friday, January 16, 2015

New Beginnings in Corpus Christi

Making the decision to ask for help in times of need is never easy, but for Amy Lutz it was a necessary step in the right direction for her family. Recently divorced, Lutz realized that if she was going to provide a better life for herself and her son, Robby (9), she would need the support of a Christ-centered organization. Lutz reached out to the local MCH Family Outreach office in Corpus Christi for more information on their programs and found the support she so desperately needed.

Lutz and her son were connected with Michelle Gunter, who became their case manager. Over the course of four months, Gunter helped guide Lutz through the Family Solutions program. This program helps families enhance their quality of life by providing weekly meetings with a case manager who works with the family to identify problems and develop goals to improve their situation. The Corpus Christi office is among a network of 12 MCH Family Outreach offices carrying on a 125-year tradition of providing help and hope to children and families in Texas and New Mexico.

Lutz faced many challenges at the beginning of the program, but Gunter helped her see these challenges as opportunities for growth. While learning to parent on her own, Lutz also discovered that Robby is autistic and was subsequently diagnosed with ADHD. Lutz acknowledged she needed a deeper level of support that encompassed more than learning new parenting skills. With Gunter’s assistance, Lutz outlined goals in key areas of her life and began taking steps to make those goals a reality for her and Robby.

“Those goals laid a foundation for a new life,” Lutz said.

In addition to connecting Lutz to local resources for parents with autistic children, Gunter helped Lutz set financial goals. Lutz wanted to feel a new sense of independence in her life and be able to empower herself. Gunter also assisted Lutz in the process of returning to school for massage therapy, an industry that Lutz is passionate about.

“Where I am now is completely different than where I was,” Lutz said as she spoke about the benefits of the Family Solutions program. “I couldn’t have made it where I am now without the help I received.”

Working with Gunter on a regular basis helped Lutz focus on the things she needed to accomplish for her family but didn’t have the strength to do alone. Looking back, Lutz admitted the timing could not have been more perfect. MCH Family Outreach in Corpus Christi was there when she needed them most, preparing her to embark on a new beginning.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bright Futures in Lufkin

Narasha Adams found herself at a crossroads. As a single mother with two young children living in Lufkin, she consistently struggled to connect with her children. Her older daughter, Brooklyn (5) has developmental issues and Octarien (4) was having trouble in school. Adams knew that in order to be the best parent possible to both her children, she would need help.

Adams found that help and has benefitted greatly from the Family Solutions program offered through MCH Family Outreach in Lufkin, which is a part of a 125-year tradition of providing help and hope to children, individuals and families in Texas and New Mexico.

The purpose of MCH Family Outreach offices is to empower families in their communities and support them during trying times. Over the past few months with weekly support from LaKiesha Chatman, her case manager, Adams said she has been able to work toward goals that will help her family reach new levels of stability.

“Going back to school is important to me,” she said. “I want to provide a better future for my family.”

MCH Family Outreach connected Adams with local resources to help develop her reading comprehension and computer skills. In addition to supporting Adams’ goal of going back to school, Chatman also provided the Adams family with resources on how to get more involved in the Lufkin community. Through the Family Solutions program, Chatman has also provided information on both Asperger’s and autism, as these might be conditions Brooklyn deals with.

“Narasha is a great mom,” Chatman said, as Brooklyn and Octarien played in the living room. “She is protective of her children and only wants the best for them.”

Adams said she is grateful for the support she has felt from Chatman.

“LaKiesha will call me just to ask how I am doing, and that means a lot,” Adams explained.

Though these interactions may seem small, they have meant the world to Adams and her family. She said knowing Chatman cares about her family has helped her cope over the months.

Every day families like Adams’ in Texas and New Mexico reach out for support and our MCH Family Outreach offices willingly offer a helping hand. Looking forward, Adams hopes to begin taking cosmetology classes, as well as learn more about Asperger’s and autism so she can continue to advocate on Brooklyn’s behalf. Adams knows that if she hadn’t had the strength to ask for help, her family would not have had the opportunity to grow as it has.

“I would refer them to anyone,” Adams claimed when talking about MCH Family Outreach. “I feel blessed to have their help.”

Friday, January 2, 2015

Year of Celebration

Happy New Year from Methodist Children’s Home! This year marks a special time for our ministry as we celebrate 125 years of offering hope to children, youth and families. Founded in 1890 as the Northwest Texas Conference Orphans Home, our ministry continues to thrive by adapting to the continually changing needs of society in order to give thousands of children a chance at a better life.

Our ministry has been led by 10 presidents who have provided us with strong leadership and guidance throughout the years. The name of the ministry has changed four times, starting as the Northwest Texas Orphans Home in 1890, followed by Methodist Orphanage in 1898, Methodist Home in 1942 and finally, Methodist Children’s Home in 1996. Our services have undergone transitions as we have grown from an orphanage to a multi-service childcare agency.

With 125 years of service, Methodist Children’s Home has been blessed with longevity and continues to explore ways to give our families a brighter future. Throughout 2015 to honor our 125th anniversary, we will share stories and host events to commemorate the past, celebrate the present and create the future of Methodist Children’s Home. MCH has a special weekend planned Oct. 9-11, 2015 where we will host special guests, recreate events of the past, and share exhibitions and tours of our historic campuses.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter in order to get the latest information on our year of celebration. Thank you for supporting Methodist Children’s Home!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

MCH Family Outreach Christmas 2014

MCH Family Outreach offices celebrated the Christmas season with families they serve during special parties organized by their office. Staff enjoyed surprising the children with visits from Santa, gifts under the tree as well as games and crafts. Below is how a few of our offices celebrated:

“The Corpus Christi Outreach office hosted their Christmas party for foster families on Dec. 4 at a local restaurant. Foster families and staff were able to enjoy fellowship and celebrate over a nice meal. The Corpus Christi office joined forces with Area Agency on Aging on Dec. 9 to celebrate Christmas with grandparents raising grandchildren. Some of the attendees were former and current GAPP parents of MCH. The celebration took place during the regularly scheduled support group time at a local senior citizen center. Grandparents sang Christmas carols to senior citizens at the center as well as participated in a game of ‘white elephant.’  Grandparents enjoy this support group as they can speak with others who may be struggling with the same issues and learn from each other how to obtain some support.” – Marisol Gomez, Corpus Christi Outreach director

“The Houston Outreach office had our annual Christmas Party again this year at Deer Park United Methodist Church. The church members provided gifts for foster children as well as biological children of the foster parents. Deer Park UMC also provided gifts for children in the other MCH programs (GAPP and Family Solutions). The church provided food and drinks for the party as well as Santa Claus. MCH staff and foster parents enjoyed entertainment by several MCH children. We also enjoyed Christmas music and great fellowship with each other.” - Veronica Whalon-Peters, Houston Outreach director

“The outreach office in Lufkin hosted their Foster Home Christmas Party on Dec. 13. Foster parents and staffed enjoyed lunch together, and Mrs. Amanda Jeffcoat, foster parent, said she ‘enjoyed being together with everyone and it felt like a family gathering.’ The children danced to Christmas music and played hide-and-seek while the foster parents finished desserts and enjoyed fellowship with each other. After presents, the children, foster parents, and staff attended The Nutcracker- Mejia Ballet International hosted by the Angelina Arts Alliance. All of the children were in awe of the amazing performance, and it was a delightful experience for everyone.”  – Amanda Grimmett, Lufkin Outreach director

San Antonio:
“The San Antonio Outreach office celebrated their annual Foster Family Christmas Party on Dec. 6 at University United Methodist Church. The families enjoyed refreshments from Jason’s Deli and fellowship with each other. The children relished in activities such as face painting, cookie decorating, a coloring station, and Pin the Nose on Olaf game. There were opportunities for silly pictures with the centerpiece props and candy cane crafts. Santa came and joined the festivities and gave his gifts to the children. Overall, we had a good turnout of friends old and new. We feel so blessed to have such wonderful families share in the mission and vision of MCH.” – Jessica Butters, San Antonio Outreach director. 

“On Saturday, Dec. 13, the Missions Team of Marvin UMC hosted the annual Christmas Party for the foster children of the Tyler outreach office.  More than 150 people including foster children, foster families, MCH staff, and volunteers attended the event. There were many activities and crafts available for the children to enjoy; from bounce houses and face painting to making thumbprint snowflake ornaments, there was never a dull moment. The children also got to sit on Santa’s knee and tell him what they wanted for Christmas. The highlight of the party was when each child opened up their gifts that was given to them by the members and volunteers of the Missions Team. Not only did the Missions Team bless the foster children this year, they also made a donation to the children in our Family Solutions program. Words cannot express how truly grateful and moved the Tyler Outreach staff is by the kindness and generosity that the Missions Team at Marvin UMC shows toward the children that we serve.”   – LaTasha Hickman, Tyler Outreach director

“On Saturday, Dec. 16 we hosted all of our families who are impacted by outreach programs in Waco. Foster parents, grandparents, parents, staff, volunteers and children gathered around the tree. This year we were blessed by Baylor Electronic Marketing department who helped create a wonderful celebration. As a team they planned a variety of crafts, prepared delicious snack foods, had story book time and topped off the day with a visit from Santa! All of our families were incredibly blessed by the thoughtfulness in the gifts as well as the time to fellowship. Children and parents alike laughed, created fun crafts and decorated cookies. Our Christmas party was a beautiful celebration of community, coming together to anticipate the coming of our Savior. The Waco Outreach sends our warmest gratitude to Baylor Electronic Marketing Department and all of our families who helped make this day truly special! It is our honor and privilege to walk alongside and celebrate life with you all!” – Brooke Davilla, Waco Outreach director

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Spanish class visits Hewitt Elementary

Methodist Children’s Home School (MCHS) students visited classrooms of Hewitt Elementary to share Christmas stories from Spanish books. The students were from Ms. Rojas’ Spanish 1 and 2 classes.

On Dec. 16 and 17, the MCHS students read to children in pre-K through second grade from the classrooms of Ms. Faith Foster (pre-K), Ms. Jessica Lopez (Kindergarten), Mr. Frederick Herrera (first grade) and Ms. Irene Martinez (second grade). Ms. Foster’s class created an alphabet book in English that they also shared with their visitors. MCHS student Beyonce accompanied her book, La Pinata, by singing “Feliz Navidad” to the class. 

As part of the project, MCHS provided the four classes with a set of English books from Scholastic for their classroom libraries.

“The purpose of this partnership was for our students to practice reading in Spanish through Christmas themed books,” Ms. Rojas said. “The partnership was beneficial for both groups because the Pre-K students were also able to practice speaking English through their alphabet books.”

The schools plan to carry on the partnership through next semester.