24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline 409-832-7575 or 1-800-621-8882

Celebrate Families with Family Services of Southeast Texas Feb. 23, 2016 at the MCM Elegante Hotel for its annual luncheon.

Family Services of Southeast Texas strives “to strengthen and empower families, individuals and communities through accessible counseling services, shelter services, education and advocacy.” Each year the private nonprofit organization honors those in the community who are like minded, focus on families and improve the quality of life for families in our area. This year is no different. The honorees have been announced.

Drum roll, please!

Peachtree Baptist Church, Jasper, TX

Peachtree Baptist Church, Jasper, TX

In addition to celebrating families, Family Services can also celebrate 84 years serving Southeast Texas all the while expanding services. The agency was founded by local leaders in 1931 to assist families suffering during the Great Depression. In the 1950s, Family Services began providing high-quality professional counseling services at Family Services Counseling Center to serve families in crisis stemming from grief, stress, parenting challenges, marital difficulties and substance abuse.

Through the decades of serving Jefferson, Orange, Hardin, Tyler, Jasper and Newton counties, the organization added other programs including group support and school-based services. They’ve taken on the difficult task of helping victims of family violence, setting up shelter where victims feel protected at the same time fulfilling a need for group counseling for batterers. Family Services Women and Children’s Shelter is a refuge for victims of domestic violence which is free to those in need. Another way the agency has expanded during the past few years is the addition of a 17-unit transitional housing facility for survivors of domestic violence where they can stay up to two years while they become self-sufficient.

Funding of Family Services includes United Way, government grants, private donations and fundraising efforts like the luncheon. Individuals can also contribute by shopping at the organization’s resale shop, located at 501 West Bluff in Woodville, and by volunteering.

Family Services offers several volunteer opportunities. Caring volunteers are needed to accompany and support clients in the courtroom when cases involve family violence. Shelter volunteers also provide activities for children and adults that help the healing process.  Additional volunteers are needed to help with clerical, data entry and other administrative duties at the counseling center. Volunteers also go into the schools to teach children healthy choices and how to have self-esteem, and other volunteers beautify and maintain Family Services facilities. Volunteer are always essential and always needed.

If you would like to attend the Family Services Celebrate Families Luncheon, learn more about its services or become a volunteer, call 409.833.2668. Tickets are $40; tables of 8 are $300, and sponsorships are available up to $5,000. Executive Director Janet Walker invites everyone to attend the luncheon to recognize individuals who represent the best about Southeast Texas.

This article was originally published in the January 2016 Events Book. Article by Pablo Hernandez