Many thanks to everyone who contributes to our center and makes our work possible!
- Exxon Mobil January 14, 2019
McCraw Oil President Bill Wilson (center) presents a check for $2,000 from ExxonMobil for the Children’s Center to Board President Brenda Magness (right) and Executive Director Sandy Barber (left). “We are honored to benefit from ExxonMobil’s generosity again this year,” said Barber. “This gift will provide counseling, advocacy, forensic interviews and many other support services to help children recover from the trauma of abuse and neglect.” The Children’s Center’s programs include CASA, Children’s Advocacy Center and child abuse prevention programs.
- Texoma Health Foundation January 10, 2019
Texoma Health Foundation recently awarded a grant of $25,000 to the Fannin County Children’s Center to address the medical and mental health needs of abused and neglected children in Fannin County and support child abuse prevention efforts as well.
“We are honored and grateful that the Texoma Health Foundation has chosen to invest in our center, in our community and in our children for the fifth year in a row” said Children’s Center Executive Director Sandy Barber.
This year’s grant brings the five year total to $175,000 for the Children’s Center. The grant to the Children’s Center was one of many awarded by the Foundation to nonprofits in Grayson, Fannin, Bryan and Marshall Counties to further the foundation’s mission to support the health and well-being of people.
“While we certainly appreciate the financial support from the foundation, we are also grateful for how the foundation’s board and staff are always looking for ways to share their connections, leadership, information, enthusiasm and passion to making our community healthier,” said Barber. “They have been the one of the driving forces behind several efforts related to mental health, including a partnership with UTSW Center for Depression and Research and Bonham ISD to increase resilience and reduce suicide thoughts and attempts in youth and the Texoma Behavioral Health Leadership Team which is working on expanding to Fannin County.”
The Children’s Center will use the funds to ensure that each child in foster care has a trained CASA volunteer to advocate for their medical and mental health needs. In addition, the grant will support the Children’s Advocacy Center’s efforts to provide child abuse victims with access to the specialized medical and mental health treatment they need to heal. The center will also use grant funds to train children, youth and adults in how to prevent, recognize and report child abuse.
For more information about the Children’s Center, go to www.fanninccc.org and for the Texoma Health Foundation, go to www.texomahealth.org
- Christmas All Wrapped Up! December 20, 2018
In all, 261 children served by the Fannin County Children’s Center had presents of clothes, shoes, coats, toys and other items to open on Christmas morning, thanks to many generous donors.
“The number of children given presents was only 1 child less than last year,” said Sandy Barber, Executive Director of the Children’s Center. “However, this still is about 100 kids more than we had been giving presents to for many years prior to 2017. Fortunately, the Fannin County community turned out in force to make sure our kids were taken care of. So many individuals, families, businesses, churches and other organizations gave what they could and it all added up to meet the needs.”
First National Bank of Trenton, Legend Bank, Tax Assessor Collector Office, Tractor Supply, Blessings and Butterflies, Cato’s, Warrior Tire, Bonham Smiles, Cole Title Company and WalMart put up teddy bear trees to help the center collect presents. “Many of these locations have been doing this for as long as we can remember. A few places were new this year too,” said Barber. “We are so blessed by their generous and faithful support of our Christmas Drive.”
Presents of clothes, shoes, coats, toys and other items were given to the children and youth who are being served by CASA and the Children’s Advocacy Center. Some of the children are living in foster homes, away from family and friends. Other children have gone to live with grandparents or other relatives as a result of abuse or neglect. Many of these families struggle financially when one or more children suddenly come to live with them. In other families, the discovery of sexual abuse in the home has meant the loss of family income when the offender leaves.
In January, there will be a new training class for individuals interested in becoming CASA volunteers. There will also be free classes for adults to learn how to prevent, recognize and respond to child abuse.
- Miller Foundation December 18, 2018
Trustees with the M.W. and Fair Miller Foundation have been personally delivering generous grants to many local non-profit organizations in Fannin County in the recent weeks. One generous gift was for $20,000 to the Fannin County Children’s Center.
“We are honored to be awarded such a generous grant again,” said Sandy Barber, Executive Director of the Children’s Center. “This gift will help provide advocacy, counseling, forensic interviews and many other support services to help children find safety and begin healing from abuse and neglect.”
The M.W. and Fair Miller Foundation was incorporated in 1988 and organized for the betterment and care of the children in Fannin County. Currently serving on the Board of Trustees are Tyler Todd, Dr. Dana Sisk and Dr. Jerry Hopson.
The Fannin County Children’s Center is a nonprofit agency that has been serving abused and neglected children for more than 25 years. Programs include CASA, Children’s Advocacy Center and child abuse prevention. The number of children served by CASA has doubled in the past two years. In the fiscal year ending August 31, 2018, CASA served 131 children. The Children’s Advocacy Center received 266 referrals in that same reporting period, which was more than double the number of referrals in the previous year. The next CASA volunteer training class, as well as the next prevention classes are scheduled for January.
- 4H Kids Helping Kids December 3, 2018
Kate Kinkade recently organized a drive to collect blankets and bears as a 4H project. The items collected were donated to the Fannin County Children’s Center. “We appreciate all gifts given to us, but there is always something extra special about donations that involve kids helping kids,” said Sandy Barber with the Children’s Center. “These teddy bears and blankets will provide warmth and comfort to children from hard places.” For more about 4H in Fannin County, go to https://agrilife.org/fannin4h/
- Toyo Tire and Warrior Tire Building the Dream December 3, 2018
Fannin County Children’s Center Vice-President and owner of Warrior Tire Steve Collida (right) and Children’s Center Executive Director Sandy Barber (Center) enjoyed a recent visit with Jerry Granito with Toyo Tires (left.) Toyo Tires and Warrior Tire teamed up to provide gifts of $1,500 each to make a grand total of $3,000 in matching funds for the Children’s Center for North Texas Giving Day. In all, the Children’s Center raised nearly $10,000 for their future building fund in this one-day fundraising effort. These funds will be used to purchase land and/or build a newer, larger facility.
More about Building the Dream of a new facility.
- Great Gatsby! Great Night! November 14, 2018
Justice Is Served – Honorable servers who served up dinner for guests at the Justice Is Served fundraiser for the Fannin County Children’s Center included (front row, from left) Fannin County Clerk Tammy Biggars, Adult Probation Chief Debra Roberts, 336th District Judge Lauri Blake, Fannin County District Clerk Nancy Young, Whitewright ISD Police Chief Judy Sims, (back row, from left) Juvenile Probation Chief Brandon Caffee, Fannin County Judge Spanky Carter, Justice of the Peace, Pct 2 Bob Clemons, Texas State Senator Bob Hall, Trenton Police Chief William Robertson, Honey Grove Police Chief Leigh Dixon, Justice of the Peace, Pct 3 Kenneth Karl, County Court at Law Judge Charles Butler, Fannin County Criminal District Attorney Richard Glaser and Fannin County Sheriff Mark Johnson.
Early estimates are that the 14th Annual “Justice Is Served” fundraiser raised at least $65,000 for the Fannin County Children’s Center. This amount tops the previous best of $55,000 from last year. In addition, attendance was the largest ever, with nearly 500 in attendance at the dinner and auction at the Complex in Bonham.
This year’s theme was The Great Gatsby. Many guests were wearing flapper dresses, pearl necklaces, feathered headbands, fedora hats and bow ties. State Senator Bob Hall, District Judge Lauri Blake, Fannin County Judge Spanky Carter, Fannin County Sheriff Mark Johnson and several local officials of the justice system served up dinner guests. The James Dering band played jazz music while guests bid on around 200 items in the silent auction.
Fannin County Game Warden Randolph McGee was the auctioneer for the evening. Judge Lauri Blake’s turtle brownies were the first item up for bid in the live auction and brought in $1050. A custom built entry way gate from Jason Garner Welding tied for the top bid in the live auction, bringing in $2,600 for the nonprofit. A one-of-a-kind bar with headlights that worked that was created by Tracey Lackey, Shawn Fulton, Jim McDonald and Brenda Magness also brought in $2,600.
“This year’s event was amazing!” said Sandy Barber, Executive Director of the Children’s Center. “Once again, the Fannin County community turned out in force this year. It is always inspiring and encouraging to see so much wonderful support for the children we serve. We are so grateful to everyone who played a part in making this event so successful, including our sponsors, auction donors, board, volunteers and staff. The money raised will help us keep up with the growing demand for our services.”
All proceeds from the event will sustain all of the support services provided by the Children’s Center for abused and neglected children, including CASA and the Children’s Advocacy Center.
- TMC Volunteers Donate October 3, 2018
Texoma Medical Center Volunteers recently donated $23,500 to the Fannin County Children’s Center. This generous gift, combined with a generous gift from the TMC Bonham Hospital Volunteers will allow the Children’s Center to purchase a very special camera and computer system that can be used in cases of physical and sexual abuse, as well as domestic violence.
Initially, this camera will be used by investigators with CPS and law enforcement in Fannin County to document bruises and other physical injuries. In the future, the Children’s Center plans to build a new facility and include a medical exam room for non-emergency sexual assault exams. The special camera and system can be used in those exams too. The donations will also cover the costs for training for investigators and on-going technical support.
Currently, victims in Fannin County must travel to neighboring counties for specialized medical exams for physical and sexual assaults. “This wonderful gift will help us take a huge step forward in helping victims get this needed service closer to home,” said Sandy Barber with the Children’s Center. “It will also help our investigators be more efficient in their investigations. We are very grateful to the volunteers at both TMC in Denison and Bonham for joining forces to make this happen.”
- Children’s Center Volunteers Honored September 28, 2018
The Fannin County Children’s Center recently held a banquet at First Baptist in Bonham to honor all the volunteers who contribute their time and talents to the local nonprofit organization who serves abused and neglected children.
Michelle Hoops and Phyllis Kinnaird took home the top honors for the CASA program as they were named CASA Volunteers of the Year. Each woman has devoted many hours and driven many miles to visit children in foster care and speak up for them in court and other settings. Both have worked cases that were not easy. Their perseverance has made a difference for their CASA kids.
Tony Winkler earned the honor for the Children’s Center Volunteer of the Year for all his efforts helping around the center. Volunteer Coordinator Andrea Lappin sang his praises for all the ways he helps around the center, including organizing the Rainbow Room, giving away school supplies and many other tasks around the office.
Marta Schreiber was given the CASA Super Star Award for her 19 years of dedicated service as a CASA advocate for children in foster care. Mike Nejtek was awarded the Team Player award for his efforts to pull together all the parties involved in the life of his CASA child to make things start happening for his child. Ray McGovern and Jarrett Tucker both won the CASA Rookie of the Year awards because they have both done excellent work in their first year of becoming CASA advocates.
Kimberly Coffey won the Rainbow Room Volunteer of the Year award for her faithful efforts to come each week to organize and straighten up the clothing, shoes, diapers and other items in the Rainbow Room. Cassidy Barber was given the School Supply Drive Volunteer of the Year award for the many hours she cheerfully gives each year to shopping, organizing and preparing bags for the annual school supply drive. Richard Mattison was honored with the “Get the Job Done” award for all the tasks he completes around the center on a regular basis, including lawn care, changing light bulbs and air filters, cooking meals and more.
All volunteers and board members were recognized and thanked for their service after enjoying a meal catered by The Breakfast Stop. Newly elected board president Brenda Magness welcomed everyone and thanked the volunteers for their service. 336th District Judge Lauri Blake expressed her appreciation for all that CASA volunteers do for the children in foster care. For more information about volunteer opportunities at the Children’s Center, click here
For more photos, check out our Facebook page photo album.
- North Texas Giving Day a Huge Success in Fannin County! September 24, 2018
Nearly $25,000 was raised in one day for nine nonprofits in Fannin County on North Texas Giving Day. This year marked the tenth year of this community wide fundraising event hosted by Communities Foundation of Texas. It was the first year for the event to include Fannin County, Grayson County and a few other counties surrounding Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
In all, nearly 2,700 nonprofits participated in North Texas Giving Day on September 20, 2018. A grand total of more than $48 million was raised, which was $9 million more than last year. In Fannin County alone, 144 donations to 9 organizations totaled up to $24,414.
The nine nonprofits in Fannin County who participated included Bonham Education Foundation, Bonham High School Band Boosters, Chi Lambda, Fannin County Children’s Center, Fannin Health Clinic, Fannin Pregnancy Care Center, Morning Star Academy, SMAS Patient Assistance and The Isaiah’s Closet.
The Children’s Center raised an amazing $9,366. These funds will be designated to go to a future building fund. As the demands for the services provided at the center have increased dramatically, the number of people working and volunteering at the center have increased. A new, larger space is needed to have room for all of the services and programs offered by the center, as well as space for partner representatives from CPS, law enforcement, prosecution and medical professionals.
North Texas Giving Day is powered by Communities Foundation of Texas, a 65-year-old community foundation that has presented North Texas Giving Day since 2009. The foundation professionally manages more than 1,000 charitable funds for families, companies, foundations and nonprofits and has awarded more than $1.8 billion in grants since its founding in 1953.
North Texas Giving Day is a community-wide celebration and an event that lifts up giving by engaging the entire community to support local nonprofits, celebrating their important role in strengthening the region. It is also an efficient way for charitable organizations to raise funding for critical services to support North Texans. For more about North Texas Giving Day, go to www.northtexasgivingday.org.