Genesis is sponsoring two members of the Whitehouse High School Student Council (STUCO) who will be attending the TASC State Convention later in the year. Whitehouse High School is running to serve as a State Office School for the Texas Association of Student Councils with Jarret Carnes as the state representative. Their platform is a program called “Adopt Together” and is dedicated to both helping families fund adoption and advocating for adoption. If they win, Whitehouse will be elected to the state board of directors and be able to spread their agenda to youth leaders across the State of Texas.
Genesis is partnered with Pure Religion and their Grace EmBEDded ministry, which builds and delivers beds for foster homes. Nearly 1 in 3 foster care situations in our area of Smith County, Texas are impacted by the absence of a bed. Grace EmBEDded needed 100 new beds to provide to foster homes in East Texas for the holidays. At a gathering at the Green Acres Baptist Church parking garage last evening, this lofty goal was easily met, thanks to a massive turnout of around 400 volunteers. We also thank Green Acres Baptist Church, Smith County Sheriff’s Office, CBS Rental and Supply, Chick-Fil-A, and Coca-Cola for donating their time, goods, and resources as well.
Last week, we asked our community to help gather supplies needed to help first responders in the Houston area recovering from Hurricane Harvey. Our #GenesisGivesBack team, along with Pure Religion, sent a loaded trailer to Houston full of the requested supplies. To everyone who answered the call to help us help those who put their lives on the line each and every day, we sincerely appreciate your support.
Texas NENA — The Texas Chapter of the National Emergency Number (9-1-1) Association — has reached out to Genesis with very specific requests for hard goods they desperately need. They have three distribution centers set up for Public Safety personnel in the Texas Hurricane Harvey Disaster zone that need our help now. They have specifically requested we help them only with the items that they need and nothing else. As a result, Genesis will not be able to accept or deliver anything that isn’t specifically on their list. At this time, they are not equipped to manage or distribute secondhand items, so donations need to be new items in easily distributable packaging. They asked that we not send “travel sized” containers of supplies (for example: tiny bottles of hand sanitizer or hotel shampoos).
Everyone needs a hero, especially children who are abused or neglected. Thank goodness, there are superheroes among us in the world. These heroes do not wear capes or leap tall buildings in a single bound. They are just regular people with huge hearts. CASA® for Kids of East Texas is a non-profit organization that provides trained community volunteers to advocate for the abused and neglected children of Smith, Wood and Van Zandt Counties. One night a year, these non-caped crusaders gather their forces for “Justice is Served”. This annual gala event, which features food, entertainment, as well as live and silent auctions, benefits CASA of East Texas so they may continue the vital work they do for the children of our community. Many of our civic leaders showed up — some of whom donned aprons in lieu of capes — and sprang into action, opening their hearts and checkbooks.
Whitehouse High School Business Professionals of America members gain real world experience through competitions. This is the fourth consecutive year Whitehouse students have advanced to compete at the national level. They will represent their school at the National Leadership Conference in Boston, MA this May. Genesis President Jim Nipp presented the Whitehouse Business Professionals with a donation on behalf of The Genesis Group. Investing in student endeavors is a big part of how Genesis gives back to our community, and we are proud to support these future leaders.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA) of East Texas held its annual auction event at the Green Acres Baptist Church Crosswalk last evening. This also marks CASA’s 25th anniversary, and this year’s theme: Justice is Served. For the CASA for Kids of East Texas 2016 Justice is Served event, Genesis provided manpower and technology at the auction payment tables. In typical Genesis fashion, we worked hard and had a lot of fun. The event raised funds to further the work of CASA and its volunteers.
What started as a Summer trial run with Meals on Wheels in 2014 has turned into an ongoing weekly institution at Genesis. Meals on Wheels ensures that seniors have access to adequate nutrition even when family support, mobility and resources are lacking. It gives us another opportunity to give back to our community, and we enjoy the friendly visits every week.
Our 3rd Annual Chili Cook Off went well and relatively injury free! Why have a chili cook off? We did it to raise money as well as collect canned goods for the East Texas Food Bank.
To date, there are over 456,000 East Texans who are at risk of hunger — many of whom are children and the elderly. In 2014, the Food Bank provided 20,200,000 meals to people right in our own backyard.