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May 2019
A Letter From Our Executive Director

Greetings! It's been a busy couple of months at Casa de Esperanza! Like many of you, spring means change and growth, and it's no different here!
As always happens at this time of year, we prepare to say farewell to the Hands of Hope interns who have become like family to us over the last 12 months and welcome 21 new interns in June! It's always bittersweet to say good-bye, but we know from past experience that we will see many of them again and that they leave here having grown in ways too numerous to count.

Hands of Hope interns do the essential work in our neighborhood, caring for and loving the children that come to Casa de Esperanza in need of a safe place to live while their family situation is worked on. Our volunteer foster care families do the same work in our community. Shanna and Josh Beames are just one of the families that have opened their hearts and their homes to children that need them. I hope you'll read their moving story, and consider finding out more about how you can become a volunteer community foster family.

We also said a very sad good-bye to Mark Scioneaux, a dear friend to Casa de Esperanza who made many lasting contributions to our neighborhood through his artistry and interactions with our children, interns and staff. We will miss him dearly.

Last month was National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and you generously answered the call to support the efforts of Casa de Esperanza to end the cycle of child abuse and neglect. Your gifts of more than $8,300 will help ensure that we are able to provide a safe place for children and help for birth parents struggling to improve the lives of their families. Thank you!

And finally, our annual Building Hope for Children Gala, held on May 5, was a success, raising $1 million for the work of Casa de Esperanza. You can find out more about the event later in this newsletter.

Thank you for the many ways you support the work of Casa de Esperanza and the children and families that look to us for help and hope.

Shelley Starr
Executive Director

Building Hope for Children Gala Raises $1 Million!

The Casa de Esperanza Building Hope for Children Gala raised $1 million to break the cycle of child abuse and neglect for at-risk infants, children and their families. Over 600 festive guests gathered May 5 at The Hobby Center dressed in their fun "fiesta casual" attire and enjoyed music with a Latin flair by Moodafuruka, a brightly themed photo booth, and a fun silent and live auction. The DeShon Family and Churrascos Restaurants continued their tradition of hosting the event to benefit the children of Casa de Esperanza. Thank you to all of the committee members, underwriters, volunteers and attendees who made this event a success! See photos from the evening and read the full press release here!
Mission Moment
When Emily was born - weighing only 3 pounds - to a drug-addicted mother, Casa de Esperanza was called to the hospital. Emily's heart stopped four times and she was resuscitated. When it stopped the fifth time, the doctors asked if they should resuscitate again.
Emily, now 30 years old, shared her incredible journey with the 600 guests at the Building Hope for Children gala. She received a standing ovation, and there was no shortage of tears and cheers in the room. 

In Memorial
Mark Scioneaux
It is with heavy hearts that we said goodbye to Mark Scioneaux, a long-time, dear friend of Casa de Esperanza. For many years, Mark touched our lives with his smiles, patience and creativity. He was a landscape architect and above all, an artist with nature!
His love for nature and for the mission of Casa de Esperanza were evident in the many contributions he made, starting during the early design phase of our residential neighborhood. He continued to select flowers for each season at Casa de Esperanza and then placed the flowers to be ready for planting by our volunteer groups. He occasionally sent staff to carefully groom the neighborhood. He loved watching the children enjoying their time on the playground and in the meadow. Mark encouraged others in the landscape community to assist us with projects on a pro bono basis.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Mark’s husband, Stanton Welch and the Scioneaux family. We sincerely appreciate that memorial gifts were directed to Casa de Esperanza. The outpouring of love and generosity in Mark’s memory was truly heartwarming. Mark will remain in our hearts.