The hearts of foster children have been the central focus of Kim Holman's life. That love is was what brought her to Waxahachie.

Holman has now refocused her servant's heart to impact a larger community in need.

The leadership of Waxahachie CARE has rested in the hands of Linda Naizer for the past 12 years. Naizer utilized the last month to prepare the new executive director, Holman, upon her retirement.

Holman and her husband, Wade, moved to Waxahachie four years ago to work for Texas Baptist Home as house parents. In spans of 10 days, the couple would alleviate other foster parents and reside in different homes to take care of anywhere between eight to 12 children.

After a new law passed in 2014, their positions with TBH were eliminated and, instead, were offered a permanent home to foster children. The Holmans have nurtured upward of 100 kids over their service and currently foster.

Kim agreed that foster care can be difficult for most people to fathom and explained it comes with its own challenges. The reason they continue to help is simple: “Children.”

“I knew I was going to be a mother and that’s a miracle itself,” Holman said. “We were just drawn to it as youth ministers. We worked in the church and have been around kids most of our married lives. We wanted to give back and do for others.”

Holman had never heard of the Waxahachie CARE before her pastor mentioned the position.

Within her first two weeks of training under Naizer Holman said, “I love it. There’s a lot to it. There’s a lot for me to learn. It’s different than fostering. It’s very rewarding.”

“People come in, and they are humbled, and, sometimes it’s hard to come in and ask for help. I give them empathy,” she elaborated.

Waxahachie CARE board president Randy Ahlfinger said Holman’s resume and interview were positive first impressions of her skills in organization and accounting, and most importantly, he said she has a heart for others.

“You really have to have a heart for this job and Kim’s background, especially working with foster kids. […] That’s a very challenging thing to do. You have to love that,” Ahlfinger emphasized.

Holman has seven years of accounting, human resources, budgets, office management experience and another seven years in foster care.

Holman explained that her compassion toward others is her strength. From the time a client walks through the door to the food pantry and back to their cars, Holman assists the person and creates a relationship with each person as she can.

Holman noted that she was impressed with how the volunteers provide that positive interaction with clients in the food pantry and with other aid.

When Holman is not walking groceries to cars or helping volunteers empty box trucks of goods, she is working toward her goal to assist the growth of clientele.

“The first thing I wanted to do was to build and establish relationships with the churches, which was how Waxahachie CARE was founded,” Holman explained. “The churches really had a major role. And, churches have grown; Waxahachie has grown.”

Ahlfinger noted Waxahachie CARE wouldn’t be the nonprofit it is today without the efforts of Naizer.

Naizer announced her retirement to the board in December of 2017 and officially departed Monday. She expressed the fulfillment of her job came from the relationships created throughout the community.

“I just loved helping people,” Naizer stressed. “I made a lot of really close friends, and I got to see how people were living and I just had a lot of compassion for the elderly. I made so many wonderful friends with the elderly and a lot of the people who I felt that I related to in a lot of ways.”

Naizer is proud that the organization is able to care for the growing clientele, and credited the “grace of God” and the many volunteers and personnel behind the operation.

“I just feel that the work everyone did there made people realize we were doing a wonderful thing for the community,” Naizer said.

Longtime board member Debbie Higginbotham detailed that Naizer was instrumental in the operation of the pantry. Naizer made sure it functioned as a grocery store with rows of food and reach-in refrigerators. Naizer also had the Ellis County Master Gardeners install a garden in the back and to provide fresh produce to clients.

“If anyone has a passion for people in need, it’s Linda,” Higginbotham said. “I’ve never seen someone with a giving spirit with her time and resources.”

Ahlfinger elaborated that the leadership of Naizer “[…] took Waxahachie CARE from a very small operation and building it to what it is now. It was now a major operation in how much food we handle. It requires a high-level of organization ability.”

“We appreciate everything that she has done,” Ahlfinger added. “She has given so much to the community through Waxahachie CARE, she has taken this operation from a very small, like garage shop to what it is now. I think her diligence and her heart is what it has taken to get us here.”

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Ashley Ford | @aford_news _ 469-517-1450