Presbyterian Children's Homes and Services to hold fundraising luncheon in May

Kenya Menjivar
Waxahachie Daily Light

A virtual benefit luncheon will be held by the local organization Presbyterian Children's Homes and Services (PCHAS) on May 5, with more than 800 people invited.

PCHAS manages voluntary adoptions, foster care placements, an early-intervention program to help families in crisis, and a program for youth aging out of foster care in North Texas, including Waxahachie.

This will be the second year PCHAS will hold a virtual luncheon. They made the decision two months ago to make this year’s event virtual to protect the elderly and youth who attend. 

Kathy Dodson, a Senior Development Officer, is in charge and manages the Fort Worth and Northwest Texas for PCHAS. 

“The virtual happened. We had to cancel our spring luncheon last year in March. This year we struggled with if we were going to do it or not, and of course we didn’t,” Dodson said.

The virtual event will begin at noon and last for about 30 minutes. It will begin with a welcome and an update from President David Thompson, who will share with attendees what is going on with PCHAS. Afterward, a couple will share their experience with fostering and adopting. 

“Then we have this incredible family from Vernon, Texas,” Dodson said. “Our client story this year is a family headed by Bryce and Tisha Moore. They are foster care parents in Vernon, Texas. They were newlyweds. She had been a single mom and raised three extraordinary young people who are all graduated from college and out on their own. And then she got married to this wonderful man named Bryce Moore, and she wasn’t quite ready to have an empty nest, and he never had children. So they thought about adopting. So they get two little boys, they’re siblings, and then there’s another one that was another one that was in foster care, so they bring him in. Eventually, within a year they adopted them and still foster other kiddos in the meantime. They are incredible advocates for foster care parenting and mentor a lot or new foster care parents in Vernon and the Wichita Falls area. They’ll be doing their story.”

Dodson covers the area from Fort Worth and Arlington all the way to Gainsville, down to Clifton, Texas, and west all the way to the Panhandle in Amarillo, Lubbock, Abilene, Wichita Falls and up to West, Texas, development.

 “We have 11 programs and services in residential facilities in my territory. I invite everybody who has been a donor or who has been interested in our database to that (event) by mail and then an email if we have an email for them,” Dodson shared. “I have more programs in my area than any other area spread out. We have the Wichita Falls foster care, and we also have the most adoptions. We had like 60 adoptions last year of people who fostered kiddos.”

PCHAS does training for their foster care parents and provides them with techniques that were developed at TCU called trust-base relational intervention, and it teaches parents how to deal with children with trauma.

In Waxahachie, PCHAS partners with a single-parent family campus. There are 40 kids who live with their moms in the facility. 

“They get to live there. Usually they’re homeless and on the verge of having their children going into the foster care system because they’re having to carry too big of a loan, maybe too many jobs and not enough child care,"  Dodson shared. “So they get to come be with us, and they’re usually there 18 to 24 months. We have 16 duplexes there with two or three bedrooms and one or two bathrooms. In that duplex they share the kitchen and laundry facility."

According to a news release, Texas has more than 30,000 children in foster care waiting to re-unite with their birth families or find an adoptive family.

PCHAS fundraises for everything they do, because they only get about 30 percent in federal and state funding for any of their programs, according to Dodson. 

The organization will share how much funds they have raised; about 75 percent goes back into funding the area served. 

The recording of the virtual event will be available on a YouTube recording, available through Dodson. 

To attend the free event, contact Kathy.Dodson@pchas.org or call 254-230-4517 for additional information.