Texas churches embrace the opportunity for meaningful connectionJulie Smith
In the fall of 2021, a grandmother in Harris County, TX who was providing kinship care for four children passed away due to complications with COVID-19. In the midst of grieving the loss of their caregiver, the oldest child, a 19-year-old young woman, decided to take on the responsibility of caring for the other children and was given guardianship of her 9-year-old sister and two 12-year-old cousins.
To support this family’s wellbeing and help them stay together, their caseworker used CarePortal to request help with the rent payment and Christmas gifts for the holidays. Multiple churches quickly responded that they would help with this need, and working together, they were able to provide money for half a month’s rent, three months of car payments and insurance, and Christmas gifts for all the girls.
“It was amazing to see so many people jump in so quickly to support this family. Our church was blessed and humbled to be able to support this young woman doing her best to help keep her family together. We pray she never feels alone in her journey.” -Redeemer Church Tomball
“We enjoy partnering with Christians at other churches to serve our neighbors, and we are so glad that we had a part in helping these family members stay together. In Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 3, he writes about the importance of Christians working together: ‘I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.’ We each do our bit for the building of God’s kingdom and caring for the people of this world.” -Holy Family Episcopal Church
Vertical Life Church also assisted in meeting this need and delivering the resources to the family. “When we brought the presents to her, the young woman teared up when we told her about the money and our admiration for her taking on the care of these three young girls.” During that visit, the young woman also shared her desire to find a better job and connect with a local church community. Through some inquiries, a church within CarePortal’s network was found just a few blocks away from her home.
CT Church Pasadena was able to connect with the young woman and provide support, even blessing the girls with more gifts and filling up their car with a full tank of gas.
“The initial need that was shared with us was just the tip of the iceberg. We were under no compulsion to go any further than meeting the initial need. However, we began to ask questions around other ways to serve this family. Because of CarePortal and the requesting agency Fostering Family, we were able to connect this young lady with a team of people from our church who are willing to resource her family with groceries, hygiene needs, and clothing, as well as encouragement and support for raising a family with three tween girls. Through connecting with this family, we learned that one of the young girls had a birthday coming up, so a few of our Serve team members were able to supply a birthday party for her. Through our community partners, we were also able to connect the young woman with a staffing agency to help with long-term sustainability, and we are continuing to take next steps to bring the family into counseling. Our church family is so grateful to partner with CarePortal and organizations like Fostering Family. Each new opportunity to serve our community is the fulfillment of what the Bible calls in James 1:27: ‘Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.’”
Is your church ready to provide vital resources and meaningful connection to vulnerable children and families in your community? Visit CarePortal.org to enroll your church and respond to open requests today! Or you can support the CarePortal platform by joining Care Circle to ensure kids and families in crisis are connected to local churches and community members that can help.