Each month we will highlight a few of the faith-based Houston nonprofits who are serving our community. Learn more here about the recent activities of Casa de Esperanza, Christian Community Service Center, San Francisco Nativity Academy, and Small Steps Nurturing Center. If you feel called to assist them, please visit their websites below.
Casa de Esperanza
These are extraordinary times, but Casa de Esperanza has been meeting the needs of children and families in crisis for over 38 years. These families know that Casa de Esperanza will always be there for them. For the families of Casa de Esperanza, the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic ramifications are devastating, and help from Casa de Esperanza may be the only assistance they receive. To date, 105 families have been provided with emergency food and supplies, assistance purchasing needed medications, help negotiating rent and utility payment plans, and referrals for other available community resources.
Christian Community Service Center (CCSC)
CCSC is seeing triple its regular number of clients needing food and other basic needs. We’re focused on feeding vulnerable families, keeping them in their homes, and working with the unemployed to help them through this crisis. CCSC has consistently been one of the top 10 referral sources for families calling 211 Texas for help, so our volume is high. The support of the philanthropic community is meaningful, and it allows us to have the privilege of serving people who are suffering right now.
San Francisco Nativity Academy
San Francisco Nativity Academy has a weekly distribution on Mondays for our students and families. The weekly distribution consists of a week’s worth of food provided by the Houston Food Bank and weekly work packets for continued at home learning. The school has provided school supplies, flashcards, playdough and chalk for at home activities. In addition, each student receives age appropriate books to build up their home library. Books Between Kids also contributed to our efforts to provide at home reading, including many bilingual editions. Virtual teaching is a challenge for our students due to lack of technology in their homes. To address this, SFNA teachers are working hard to reach as many students as possible through the use of mobile phone apps that allow video teaching and activities on classroom apps that correspond to the learning packets. The students watch the videos and respond back to their teacher. Our 1st grade teacher, with the enrichment teacher, has been holding 2 zoom classes with her students each week.
Small Steps Nurturing Center
While Small Steps has been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our team has remained in close communication with our families to assess their needs and connect them with the appropriate resources to sustain them through this challenging season. Each week, around ninety families attend our distribution event to receive a week’s worth of food generously donated by community members and received through our partnership with Kids’ Meals. We also distribute gift cards and other necessities to support our families while many have lost their jobs or seen their hours cut. Our teachers are providing educational opportunities for students to continue to learn through online platforms and paper packets for students with limited technology access. We look forward to reopening in the fall to provide our exemplary early childhood program to new and returning students.