BEARing Gifts is BEAR’s annual holiday gift giving program that provides holiday gifts to children under the care of Child Protective Services (CPS) who otherwise would have no holiday at all. Caseworkers submit the holiday wishes of children on their caseloads. With the help of generous supporters, those wishes become a reality. Last year BEAR was able secure gifts for nearly 12,000 CPS children in Harris County. This year BEAR has already received wishes from about 12,000 children and over 7,000 children still need to be sponsored. Sadly, more children will enter the CPS system before the holiday season is over so we expect the number to rise.
We are inviting the community to assist us in ensuring that thousands of abused and neglected children have a joyous and memorable holiday. On Saturday, December 2nd, BEAR volunteers will sort through an assortment of donated gifts and toys to match the wishes of abused and neglected children. For more information on sponsoring a child, volunteer opportunities or other ways to help contact BEAR at or go to www.bearesourcehouston.org
DOWNLOAD THE PRESS ...
While everyone was waiting in line for the best Black Friday deal or glued to their computer to take advantage of Cyber Monday deals, the Harris County Guardianship Program has been asking the community to assist in collecting the ultimate fossil – an AM/FM radio! The Guardianship Program serves as the legal guardian for more than 1,200 indigent seniors and adults with mental, physical and developmental challenges who may often be alone and forgotten during the holidays. Many of these clients are seniors who raised families or veterans who served our country, but now find themselves alone.
Studies show that music has many healing benefits. It has the power to completely change someone’s mood, assist with memory recall, and even help restore and improve overall health. This holiday season the Harris County program aims to supply every senior and vulnerable adult under their care with a new portable radio to help restore their gleeful holiday spirit. So far we have received 700 radios from generous donors but we are still in need of 500 more donations. Portable radios ...
During and after Hurricane Harvey, we saw great acts of heroism in the Houston area. The Houston community came together to help each other, to help neighbors and complete strangers. However, a natural disaster and can also have a significant impact on the behavioral and mental well-being of a community. Research shows that most people will recover, but others may suffer from the trauma of such a disaster and experience depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders.
In addition to Harvey, the children involved with Harris County Protective Services (HCPS) have experienced multiple traumatic events in their lives, such as bullying, teen suicide, homelessness, and abuse and neglect, to name a few. Art therapy has been found to have the potential to help adults and children heal from very traumatic circumstances. It’s even more effective in children because their mind and body continue developing throughout their adolescence. Since words aren’t necessary in art therapy, children can express through art what they aren’t able to express verbally.
Art, paintings, and poetry created by children involved with HCPS will ...
Free one-day parenting classes are now available through the HCPS JP Court Liaisons program.
The second round of “Teen Awareness” classes begins this fall, in addition to parenting classes offered through the TRIAD Prevention Program. The classes are open to the general public, as well as those required by court.
“We wanted to offer an additional service for those individuals who are due back to court, and there are no PLL (Parenting with Love and Limits) and PTS (Parent/Teen Survival) classes available or scheduled,” said Shenetha Toliver, JP Court program specialist.
Teenagers and their parents will attend two separate group sessions during the class. Parents will discuss tips regarding their child’s grades and attendance and building relationships with school officials. Students will learn about goal setting and decision-making, proper ways to show respect, social media etiquette and the dangers of running away and human trafficking.
The Teen Awareness class was piloted last school year with three one-day classes. More than 150 parents and teenagers attended the classes.
“The class is one day, but the skills our participants learn are far more long-lasting,” said ...
Evelyn Emdin, HCPS Kinder Emergency Shelter program manager, and the 14 youth under her watch worked together to devise a plan for additional food items on Sunday.
They had been sheltered-in-place throughout Hurricane Harvey and remained optimistic.
“It was so exciting and amazing to know the strength of these children,” Emdin said Tuesday.
Emdin was one of several HCPS staff members who remained at the Youth Services Center throughout the record-breaking Houston disaster, and many more staff who remained committed to the community and their clients from the first day.
“Judge Ed Emmett has encouraged staff to volunteer this week, while our buildings are closed. But what’s amazing about our HCPS staff is they didn’t need that encouragement,” said Joel Levine, HCPS executive director. “They were already in the community, helping the public and each other.”
Community Youth Services (CYS) staff have volunteered at major shelters, such as those at the George R. Brown Convention Center and NRG Stadium, as well as those in their own communities. Kristen Ballard, a CYS program manager, said one of her staff members arranged the setup for a shelter.