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Support your Stars

dwtws-final-logoWe are sold out of tickets for this year’s Dancing with the Waco Stars. All tickets will be held at will call. Please note, if you did not personally purchase your tickets, they maybe listed under the name of the person/entity who purchased them. The doors will open at 6:00 pm. Dinner will be served promptly at 7:00 pm and the dancing will start at 7:30 pm.  Should you have any questions, please contact Whitney Thomas as 254-772-8999.

Dancing With the Waco Stars: Update!

Dancing with the Stars Tickets are on still on sale until Sept 27th 8am. Tickets are $100, $250, or $500. You can purchase tickets and designate your tickets to support one of the dancers or you can just simply buy tickets. Tickets include a seat, dinner and at least 1 drink ticket. Seats are assigned first come first served. You will pick up all tickets at Will Call on the night of the event. (No tickets will be mailed ahead of time.) As of today we are sold out of the $100 tickets and have a very limited number of $500 tickets left. Also don’t forget to vote online as well, see below!! See you all there!

You may also start voting online to support one of the dancers.

Washing Dishes — “These are a few of my favorite things”

Last week, I again had the opportunity to help fill here at Family Abuse Center working in the kitchen helping our Resident Advocate out.  One of our staff had a family emergency and several of us pitched in to help.  Working in the kitchen is certainly one of the most challenging jobs we have at the shelter and perhaps is least valued.  It is a lot of like my home.  No one seems to notice when the dishes and the kitchen are clean, but leave the pans crusty and smelly in the sink — everyone notices.  When there are more than 45 women and children living in the shelter, the cooking and cleaning is a big job.  Last year, Family Abuse Center served more than 23,000 meals.  This year we will top 25,000.  That is three meals a day for each client living here.

The good news is that the kids are in school so that is fewer people at lunch time. Even so I walked into the kitchen to see  the mound of disgusting plates piled high.  Yes, we have a wonderful dishwasher, but each plate must be scrapped and rinsed.  Then it is loaded into the dishwasher.  We have procedures that the Health Department approves.

So I spent several hours just cleaning up.  The menu had been sausage and the overnight RA had baked several cakes for dinner that night.  So in addition to the utensils and the plates, there were those pots and pans. I was often interrupted by clients asking for something, which proved to be a happy distraction.

I found myself singing while I washed and I began to realize that I basically love washing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen.   My husband accuses me of being a “neat freak”, but that comment comes from someone who would actually be happy living in a college dorm.  Perhaps I do enjoy looking around the kitchen seeing everything in the right place and all the dishes stacked and sanitized.  But I get enough of that feeling at home.

That is not why I enjoy washing the dishes at the shelter.  I know I love washing the dishes because often it is the only concrete definitive thing that I can name at the end of the day that I have done for someone else.  Too often, I can’t solve the client’s custody battle with their abuser.  I can’t change the judge’s ruling.  Too many times, I can’t make the healing speed up.  I can’t make the bad memories go away for a client.  All too often, I can’t change the stress of living in close quarters in an emergency shelter.  All too often I feel overwhelmed by the grief and sorrow that we see in the faces of the women and children living at the shelter.  And I just want to do something – something helpful, tangible, and useful.

Many years ago I challenged myself in an Ala Non meeting to try to do at least five good deeds a day unnoticed by anyone.  It is easy to do things that you get rewarded or praised for.  I try to do five nice things for someone each day and if they notice that I’ve done something for them, then it doesn’t count.  I love helping someone  when they don’t even notice that I’m there.  I don’t want to do things for others just because the act itself is reward enough.  Often I don’t see the end result of the action I’ve taken.  I just hope that my deed has made a little brighter, a little easier, — for maybe just that day. For all of those reasons, I love washing the dishes at the shelter.  It is my small way of making life a little easier for the staff and the clients.  I think I’ll try my best to add washing the dishes to my “Executive Director” calendar.  I will sleep easier at night, knowing I’ve done something tangible for someone — especially if they haven’t even noticed that I helped. I’ll be happy if I can take a turn at washing the dishes and that will encourage me in the more challenging parts of my job that can’t be so easily solved and are much more difficult to define and see.

 

Kathy Reid, Executive Director

Family Abuse Center

KaBoom Playground

Family Abuse Center is so fortunate to be selected for a new playground on our property.  KaBoom is a national recognized organization whose goal is to promote play with playgrounds in partnership with high need communities across North America.  They have partnered with Blue Cross / Blue Shield to put in a beautiful new playground at our shelter. Our current playground was a gift from the Junior League many years ago and originally was located at previous Family Abuse Center site.  It was transplanted to our current location.  Some of the playground has been removed because it has fallen into disrepair.  Most of the playground doesn’t meet new safety standards.

So the first step in getting the new playground was in designing the playground.  More than 25 kids and their parents and staff joined together to think about what makes a great playground.  The kids then drew a playground that respresented what they really wanted: swings, slides, zip lines, animal habitats (yes, some of our kids wanted real live animals living on the playground) and much more.  Parents reflected on what play meant in their lives and what they remember about a great playground.  All their thoughts and feelings were recorded so that three custom playgrounds could be designed for our space.

Just this week the kids looked at the three designs and with the help of Ms. Brittany, our Children’s Coordinator, they selected the one they liked best.  And they recommended the colors for the new playground (purple and blue).

How can you help?  There are several ways to support this effort.  First of all, Family Abuse Center has to raise the matching funds to the generous support by Blue Cross/ Blue Shield.  We also need cash donations to help us with the side projects and the expenses of preparation that are required with the project.

Secondly, we need volunteers.  We need volunteers on the prep-days to get everything ready for the build-day. Build Day will be on December 14.  We need about 100 volunteers to help build, provide food for the volunteers and generally make it all happen.  The best way to volunteer is to contact Amy Reagan our volunteer coordinator: amy.reagan@famiyabusecenter.org.

Keep looking at our website for more information, as well as pictures of this wonderful event.  Just in case you are wondering, we are donating all useable playground equipment back to the Junior League to give to another Waco charity.