The Texas Baptist Home and Presbyterian Children’s Home received a welcomed donation Wednesday as the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office dropped by with boxes of meat donated through the recent Ellis County Youth Expo and Sale.

Each organization received more than 700 pounds of beef and pork processed into hamburger, roasts, sausage and bacon.

“The timing is just perfect,” said Kim Koch, administrative assistant at Presbyterian Children’s Home. “The kids and the families will really appreciate this. It’ll be put to great use.” 

This is the third year for the initiative, which was launched by Sheriff Johnny Brown at the 2009 Ellis County Youth Expo and Sale.

Brown had approached Stan Harper of the Harper Cattle Company if he would consider participating with an effort to donate meat to the two children’s homes.

“He said, ‘Whatever you need,’” Brown said. “I think he bought four hogs and a steer. Last year, Shawn Byrum of Byrum Ranch joined in and he and Stan each bought a steer and donated it and several others bought some hogs.”

This year, the donation list includes Byrum with two steers, Harper with six hogs and an additional hog donated each by Mark Hill of Circle H Construction, H-E-B of Ennis and Brookshire’s. Brown said several other buyers also donated a hog before the sale was over.

“I was working the sale (as a bid taker) and I don’t know their names because those didn’t get taken down, but I certainly want to thank them for helping out,” Brown said. “I also want to thank Stan for donating the cost of the processing and Rendon Meats for doing the processing at cost. Without all of the people who donated, this would not be possible.

“As you can see, this helps the homes a lot. This is money they can now spend elsewhere,” he said.

In all, two steers and about a dozen hogs were donated to the effort, with Brown estimating the value of the donation in excess of $10,000 when taking into consideration the sales prices and the donation toward the processing.

“We’ll be able to use this for our foster children here on campus and for our foster families in the community. It’ll be available for them,” said Randy Odom, executive vice president for Texas Baptist Home. “We’re like everybody else, grocery prices have gone up so it’ll be a big help.

“We’re very thankful for people’s donations. We’ve been here since 1910 and that’s been possible because of donations. We’re thankful for people to help us like that,” he said.

Brown said his agency will soon stop by the two children’s homes with fresh vegetables grown on the county farm with inmate labor. While the primary purpose of the garden is to supply the county jail, he’s expecting an excess of produce.

“We’ll be bringing them garden items,” he told the Daily Light. “We’re going to try and help as much as we can.”

Contact JoAnn at or 469-517-1452.