Archive for the ‘Krause Children’s Center’ Category

The Golden Age of Paris Revisited

February 28, 2013

HHgreetersMais oui! On Saturday, February 23rd, the Eiffel Tower sparkled, the artwork by the Krause kids impressed, and our friends and supporters raised more than $155,000 for the Krause Children’s Center. It was the second annual Healing Hearts Gala, “An Evening in Paris,” held at the Julia Ideson Building in downtown Houston. True to the Paris-in-the-20s theme, participants dressed the part, with flappers and beret-wearing bon vivants enjoying a night dedicated to raising funds to support the severely troubled residents of the Krause Center in Katy.

LSS CEO Dr. Kurt Senske lead a successful appeal to fund summer school at Krause, and with this “Gift of Education” the Krause kids will be able to get the educational boost of year-round school– helping them to regain credits needed for graduation.

To the live and silent auction winners, our generous sponsors, and the committee and staff responsible for coordinating this dazzling event, we can only say merci beaucoup!

Click here to view photos from “An Evening in Paris.”

beret coupleweb HH hat ladyweb zieschangsweb

The Measure of a Year: What LSS Accomplished in 2012

February 27, 2013

2012 blockThis past year, as with every year of the last 13 decades, LSS served the most vulnerable members of society. Of those we served, 96 percent are low income or impoverished. Through providing innovative, quality Christian care, and adapting to the needs of our clients, we strive to strengthen lives, families, and communities.

To help convey the scope of our services, and who they touch, we compile a list of what our agency has achieved in the past year and post it on our website. The numbers tell quite a story!  What they don’t tell is the sheer volume of hard work and loyal support of our volunteers, donors, and a statewide staff of more than 800 individuals who make all of it possible.

In addition to adoption and foster care, our vital programs and services also include residential children’s centers, charter schools, disaster response, emergency assistance, senior retirement communities, and spiritual care.

Following is our 2012 accomplishment list. We’re grateful that we have been given the opportunity to serve so many in need—over 25,000 to be exact.

Children’s Services

  • 1,913 children were provided foster care in 15 communities across Texas—Amarillo, Austin, Conroe/The Woodlands, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Harlingen, Laredo, Lubbock, McAllen, Mesquite, Robstown, San Antonio, Tyler, and Victoria, Texas.
  • 445 formerly abused children, ages 6-17, were served at two residential treatment centers: Krause Children’s Center in Katy, and New Life Children’s Center in Canyon Lake, Texas.
  • 557 child refugees were served at Bokenkamp Emergency Shelter, Corpus Christi, Texas.
  • 228 child refugees were provided transitional foster care in El Paso, Texas.
  • 107 Texas children were adopted through LSS domestic adoption program.
  • 69 children from countries such as China, Korea, Ethiopia, Colombia, India, Russia, Uganda, Ukraine, The Philippines, Kazakhstan, Thailand, and Taiwan were adopted through the LSS international adoption program in partnership with other international adoption agencies.
  • 4,545 volunteers served at New Life, Krause, Bokenkamp, and fundraising events.
  • 145 New Orleans foster youth were served by BeREAL, a mentoring program for teens “aging out” of the Louisiana foster care system.
  • 1,084 students were served at Trinity Charter Schools.

Senior Services

  • More than 989 older adult residents of LSS senior living options, ranging from independent living to skilled nursing and memory care, in Houston, Brenham, Victoria, Round Rock, and Lubbock, Texas.
  • 19 individual patients (1,904 hrs) were served through Care-Connect care management at The Village in Spring, Texas.

Services for Families in Crisis

  • 10,294 individuals were provided emergency assistance with rent, utilities, prescriptions, and other basic needs at Neighborhood House in Lubbock, Texas. More than 127,000 lbs. of food and hygiene products were distributed.
  • 1,668 individual patients were served during 8,121 patient visits through Health For Friends Clinic in Lubbock, Texas.

Disaster Response

  • Approx. 150 families were helped with emergency disaster assistance in TX and LA (wildfires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes).
  • Rebuild/unmet needs funding went to more than 30 families in Bastrop and Spicewood.
  • Aid was given to more than 300 farm families suffering drought/wildfires through Haylift to Texas efforts.
  • Repair/rebuild work was done on 60+ homes in Bastrop.
  • Coordinated approx. 1,900 volunteers for nearly 53,000 volunteer hours.
  • Total clients served by LSSDR = 540 families; 1,458 individuals

We’ll Always Have Paris – at the Healing Hearts Gala

January 18, 2013

Eiffel Tower[photo by Larry Bugen]

Escape to the Golden Age of France in the ’20s, and join us for “An Evening in Paris” on Saturday, February 23rd. The 2nd Annual Healing Hearts Gala benefits the children in residential treatment at Krause Children’s Center in Katy. The venue for the event is the beautifully restored Julia Ideson Building in downtown Houston. If Gatsby lived in present-day Houston, this is where he would throw his parties; the lost generation of writers and Left Bank artists would feel right at home here. If you saw Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, you get the picture!

At this sizzling soiree you can dine on haute cuisine, peruse the art gallery, and enjoy cocktails while bidding on over 80 dazzling auction items. We’ll have live music and if you feel like breaking into a Charleston,* well that’s okay too.

But the night is really about the children who reside at Krause, our long-term residential treatment center for abused and troubled boys and girls, ages 11 to 17. The kids are referred or placed at Krause by Child Protective Services and the Department of Juvenile Justice, and stay with us an average of six to nine months. At Krause, these troubled young lives begin to heal, through intensive clinical therapy, academics, personal development activities, and spiritual care. Hand-painted artwork by the Krause kids is included in the silent auction at the gala.

Please plan to join us – especially if you live in or near Houston – for “An Evening in Paris,” and support the deserving children who call Krause home. Click here to reserve your spot today. The price of an individual admission is $50.  If you cannot attend but still wish to donate, click here.

February 23rd will be a night to remember. ‘Til then, adieu and au revoir!

* The basic Charleston goes something like this: toes-in, heels-out, pivot one foot and kick the other, then reverse it.

Budding Artist at Krause Children’s Center

January 3, 2013

krause artist webWe got a chance to show off the Krause Children’s Center’s new school expansion at an Open House and Dedication held at the Center in Katy last November. The residents who earned the privilege of being “student ambassadors” gave guests tours and demonstrations in their classrooms.

An art gallery showcased student work and many guests were especially drawn to one student’s artwork. When this particular resident – we’ll call him Justin – first came to Krause he was a bit shy and initially kept very much to himself. And then he discovered ART, an entirely new talent. He’d never picked up a paint brush before and now you can’t get him to put one down. His gift is a natural one, and his delight and confidence from this new passion is a wonder to see. Once he found his new identity as an artist, he began gaining respect and admiration from his peers. He’s become a leader, helping others with their art projects, and his healing process has progressed significantly in a short time.  Two of Justin’s paintings are pictured above and below. We are so proud of him!

Krause artist web2

Sondra’s Story – From Krause Residential Treatment Center

October 10, 2012

Sondra (not her real name) left the Krause Children’s Center in Katy on September 21, 2012. She is an awesome girl who has progressed and changed tremendously. She recently participated in Krause’s fashion show at Coldwater Creek, “Beautiful Inside & Out.” She wrote her story for us below. We are so proud of her!

137305958I arrived on May 14, 2012. I came in shackles and cuffs in a Juvenile Detention van. I came here because on March 21, 2012, I aggravatedly assaulted my mother with a butcher knife. I was a cocaine fiend, a pot-head, and an alcoholic, going through withdrawal. I can remember when the cops came to pick me up, I thought everything was funny, so I continuously smart-talked the cops. Then the radio said “46” and they handcuffed me and took me in. When I got to JDC [Juvenile Detention Center] for weeks I bragged about what I had done. I also bragged about my drug habits, gang relations, and alcoholic habits. I thought I was cool and everything was funny.

Time went by and reality sunk in. My freedom was gone. I had no say in what I could or couldn’t do. I couldn’t see my family or friends. A lot of the other juveniles started to realize this as well, and they turned to God for forgiveness. I was a nonbeliever, so I didn’t.

On April 24, 2012, I was sentenced to Krause Children’s Center. My first thoughts were, “What will it be like?” When I arrived at Krause, everything was foreign and unfamiliar. I came with absolutely nothing, except the clothes on my back. Krause staff immediately got me the things I needed to make me comfortable. I started to meet new kids, but I didn’t talk much, I just isolated myself. When I started therapy, they made a plan to help me with anger management, family therapy, and substance abuse.

As weeks went by and I got to know the children here, we started to grow bonds. I always resented my parents and the people in my life for putting me through physical, mental, and emotional abuse. When I heard the stories of others here, I realized that compared to them, I had been through nothing. I was ungrateful and selfish. During that time was when I realized it was time for a change. I started really working my treatment. There was a lot of rough patches where I wanted to fight and get upset, but I had to stop and think about everything I would and could lose for a little mistake, that I would most likely regret the next day. I had to do my coping skills.

Since being in Krause, I learned to control my anger in positive ways. I also learned to have better respect and attitude towards my parents and peers. I also learned that just because you have problems in life, you don’t have to turn to drugs, because eventually drugs would be the problem you would have to get rid of. In Krause there was always something for me to do that kept me out of trouble. I attended spiritual and therapeutic groups that helped me reconnect to God and myself. They also had recreational activities and events that kept us busy and having fun.

As the time went by, I gained responsibility and trust, which enabled me to be able to do more things. I got to help out at Krause, and volunteered in the kitchen. On probation, I was supposed to be here six to nine months, but on good behavior, I was able to leave after four months and seven days, to reunite with my family.

Going to jail, then Krause, were the best things that ever happened to me. It was life-changing, and changed me inside and out, and helped open my eyes to better opportunities. I appreciate everything I was taught and everything I learned. I now know that I will never take anything else for granted again.

Sondra

On departure day, Sondra slipped a  note (shown below) under my office door. This is why we do what we do here at Krause!

note to tawana

Happiness is Project Linus at Krause

September 27, 2012

Krause blanketsJust ask Linus Van Pelt of Peanuts fame about the importance of having your very own cuddly blanket. Linus simply falls apart when his blanket is in the dryer … because there’s nothing to hold on to!

The kids at Krause Children’s Center in Katy know what it feels like to have nothing to hold on to. Most of them arrive pretty empty handed, with just the clothes on their back and any other worldly possessions in a grocery bag.

Almost a year ago, the young women at Krause began working with the mother/daughter teams of the Lady Bird Chapter of the National Charity League (NCL) on “Project Linus.” Project Linus is a national non-profit organization that makes and gives handmade fleece security blankets to children who are critically ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need.   Lovingly created by “blanketeers,” the blankets are distributed locally to children in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies, or anywhere that a child might be in need of comfort or a big hug.

This experience – of giving something to others – allows the girls of Krause an opportunity to give back to the community. To date, the Krause/NCL teams have made and donated over 100 fleece blankets to children in need in our community.  Good grief!

The benefits of this project are boundless, from helping young children in need to the positive peer interaction between the Krause kids and the NCL girls.  We plan to continue making Linus blankets at least one Saturday per month throughout the year. We love this warm and fuzzy project at Krause!

New Clothes for Children in Foster Care and Residential Centers Thanks to the Beaumont Foundation

July 26, 2012

Beaumont prez

[Frank Newton, Chief Executive Officer of the Beaumont Foundation of America, presents a check to Dr. Kurt Senske, CEO, Betsy Guthrie, President and COO, and other LSS staff members.]

The Beaumont Foundation of America (BFA) recently presented a $248,250 grant check to Lutheran Social Services (LSS) to provide school clothing for the approximately 1,650 children LSS serves in foster care and its residential treatment centers in Texas. This is the second of the two checks, and half the amount, the Foundation has gifted to LSS this year.

A provision of the grant is that the children are allowed to select their own clothing, twice a year. “Many children arrive at our foster homes and residential centers with everything they own stuffed into a trash bag,” explained Betsy Guthrie, President and Chief Operating Officer of LSS. “Selecting their own new clothing is an important step as they begin their new lives and start to heal from pasts of trauma and abuse.”

The Beaumont Foundation provides grants and scholarships to a broad range of nonprofit organizations across the United States, enriching the lives and enhancing the futures of less fortunate children and youth, families, and the elderly.

“The Beaumont Foundation’s ongoing support of our ministries – and most importantly, of our children – is such a blessing,” said Dr. Kurt Senske, Chief Executive Officer of LSS. “This is the sixth year BFA has generously funded clothing and put smiles on the faces of the children we serve.”

TaeKwonDo Board Break-A-Thon Raises $2,000 for Krause

July 18, 2012

clip_image001I accompanied a group of Krause kids to the Katy Taekwondo Academy’s “Board Break-A-Thon” on Saturday, May 5th.  It was a “smashing” event, and a fun fundraiser for Krause Children’s Center. Kids from ages 5 to 50, preschoolers to black belts, competed in the Break-A-Thon.

We all watched in amazement as the splinters flew and the boards grew in a mound in the middle of the floor. It was quite a pile! The Krause kids were so amazed at how disciplined the little kids were and how they were able to break the boards with their hands and feet. All broken boards are donated to the Boy Scouts.

The funds raised from this event totaled $4,000, and $2,000 went to the Krause Children’s Center to restart our library. The other $2,000 will sponsor scholarships for other children to attend Academy classes.

One of the Krause kids was familiar with TaeKwonDo and impressed us when he broke a board with one punch. Hiiieeeyahh!

Oh What a Night – at the Krause Prom

June 26, 2012

krause prom groupall The annual Krause Children’s Center prom just keeps outdoing itself year after year, and Prom 2012 kicked it up yet another notch! More than 80 volunteers collaborated to make it a magical night for the Krause kids, and turned the Krause gym into a “Masquerade Ball,” New Orleans Mardi Gras-style.

Decorators worked diligently for two days, and when the Krause kids arrived, the gym had been transformed into a sparkly ballroom filled with balloons, silk chair covers, and table cloths.

A special reward for those kids whose behavior earned them a “high level” was a LIMO ride to a New Orleans restaurant called Babin’s Seafood House in Katy, all donated by generous supporters.  All of the Krause staff stood outside, sending the festive group off as the limo driver opened the door to welcome each of the kids.

Not only did volunteers decorate the gym and donate the food and the tuxedos, but we had a seamstress, make-up artist, and hair stylist on board who all converged on the Krause Center to change the lives of the Krause kids for just one special night!

Once the party started, the Krause kids danced, they laughed, they danced some more … and prom night 2012 created some amazing memories they’ll never forget.

Chicktime Comes to Krause

April 20, 2012

Chicktime katy “Chicktime” has a new chapter in Houston/Katy that will hold monthly events for the girls at Krause Children’s Center. Lori Rhodes, who started the first Chicktime group at New Life Children’s Center in Canyon Lake, has launched 15 Chicktime groups throughout Texas, including one in Corpus Christi that organizes events at our Bokenkamp Children’s Shelter. (That’s Lori third from the right in the photo.)

Chicktime partners with local nonprofits to support girls of all ages, exposing the girls to a wide array of creative and fun opportunities, gifts, and talents, so that they can look inside themselves and identify their own. Chicktime leaders help these young women develop their passions and use their gifts to make the world a better place for the next generation.


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