Thank you for standing with us
Below, we share stories about how our innovative work – made possible by your support – changed lives for the better.
As our name implies, Upbring is a direct-action organization dedicated to providing families with the resources, education and support they need to bring up children with faith, love, joy and hope.
This commitment comes in the face of a daunting reality: last year, there were more than 67,000 confirmed cases of child abuse and neglect in Texas.
Your generosity continues to help children and families across the state of Texas heal from the trauma of abuse and neglect. Our work is far from finished, but with you by our side, we will break the cycle of child abuse.
Creating long-term change
With children and families on our hearts and minds, we think long-term. We’re striving to create generational innovation and change, not only for the people in our care, but for the entire child welfare and social services sector. Upbring takes direct action by tending to the current and future families of Texas.
A dream of self-sufficiency
Aging out of foster care as a single mom left Leticia with very few options. Lacking financial and family support, she dropped out of high school to become a caretaker to her son. She remained hopeful that one day, she and her son could have a place of their own.
After learning about Upbring’s Supervised Independent Living program, BeREAL, Leticia promptly applied and was accepted.
On a crisp October morning, volunteers from a nearby church and Upbring employees met to help Leticia and her baby boy move into their very own apartment.
Together, the group transformed her new space complete with a sofa, dining table, entertainment table, a brand-new mattress and box spring set and helped assemble her son’s crib.
It finally felt like home to Leticia and her son. Now, one of Leticia’s favorite parts about having her own place is being able to cook her favorite traditional Mexican recipes, like fideo.
Leticia was also paired with a mentor through BeREAL to guide her through the transition and toward achieving her dream of becoming a labor and delivery nurse. At 19 years old, Leticia is at the beginning of her adult life. Because of your gifts, BeREAL created an opportunity for a young single mother, making it possible for Leticia to break the cycle of child abuse by giving her son a safe, stable home to learn and grow.
Now she has a fresh start and is on a path to creating a better life for her and her son. To support friends like Leticia, please visit Upbring.org/Give.
Committed to care in challenging times
Shortly before the coronavirus pandemic reached the United States, Gina* met with Upbring’s Foster In Texas (FIT) team to discuss the possibility of opening her home to a child in foster care. This was not Gina’s first time fostering through Upbring.
The mother of two adopted both of her sons with Upbring’s help a few years ago. After Gina and the boys cultivated their family dynamic, they knew it was time to share their hearts and home with another child.
What Gina didn’t know then was that their new family member would arrive days before shelter-in-place orders were issued. As the pandemic changed daily life across Texas, Gina’s hours at work were cut back right as her washing machine broke and schools were shut down. Still, her commitment stood firm, even when times grew difficult.
While she remained able to provide for her children, Gina needed extra assistance to fix her washing machine and cover unexpected expenses related to providing school at home.
Gina knew about the resources available to Upbring foster families, so she turned to the FIT team for help.
Because of generous friends like you, the FIT team was able to provide Gina and her family with the aid they needed a new washing machine and a gift card to help with the unexpected expenses.
This loving family is just one of many families Upbring has been able to assist during this challenging season. As we continue to provide wraparound services to the children and families in our care, we are grateful that we can count on you for support.
Now more than ever, your gifts are crucial. To make a generous donation and learn more about Upbring’s response to the global pandemic, please visit Upbring.org/COVID19Relief.
Hope rising after tragedy
Danielle*, a bright-eyed, creative child enrolled in Upbring’s Cleburne’s Head Start preschool program, looked forward to coming to school each day. It gave her an inclusive place to learn and play, while her single mother worked a full-time job
Not only did Danielle thrive at our preschool program, her mother also expressed how supportive Upbring’s family services staff was to her as she balanced employment and motherhood.
On one seemingly typical school morning, Danielle kissed and hugged her loving mother just as she always did before starting the school day. But little did she know, it would be their very last goodbye. Her mother died in a tragic car accident on her way to work. The news would change Danielle’s life forever.
During the family’s greatest time of need, our staff responded quickly to deliver the necessary support and resources. They stepped up to provide wraparound services like counseling, warm meals delivered to their doorstep, grocery assistance and aid with fees associated with funeral costs.
With a trauma-informed approach to child well-being, our teachers understood how an agonizing loss of a parent could disrupt focus and negatively impact learning. That’s why as long as Danielle was enrolled in Upbring’s Head Start preschool, she received patient educational instruction designed to meet her right where she was in her moment of grief. While the pain of losing a parent can never be erased, Danielle remains a hopeful, inquisitive and caring little girl who loves learning. Her resilience inspires us and everyone who knows her.
At Upbring, we have the unique opportunity to walk alongside children and families throughout each season of life. Our desire to serve as a source of comfort and stability stands firm through triumph and tragedy. No matter the day it is our privilege to give each child a head start.In our continued efforts to provide life-changing services, we have rapidly expanded our reach to over 1,800 Head Start preschool students annually more than doubling the number of children served in the last fiscal year.
Your generous gifts have provided integral support to many children in our care including Danielle. To continue to transform lives, make a gift at Upbring.org/Give.
Creating, competing teaches coping
Green, brown, blue, and yellow. Those are the colors Octavia used to draw a picture of the forest. Pressing colored pencils to paper, each stroke she sketched helped ease the flashbacks that sometimes surfaced because of her painful past.
At Krause Children’s Center, our staff and therapists specialize in supporting girls like Octavia using trauma-informed care. Through individual and group therapy sessions, Octavia learned coping skills that helped her express her feelings using creative outlets like drawing and songwriting. “Being creative calms me down and helps me get my feelings out in a positive way,” she said.
Volleyball and basketball – two of the sports Krause offers as therapeutic activities – also helped Octavia learn to cope with past trauma. With each practice she attended and game she played, her self-confidence grew and she found joy in being a source of strength and support for her teammates. We believe that positive change happens when our girls take an active role in their healing process.
Because of your gifts, Upbring can take an innovative approach to healing by offering sports teams, community outings and other therapeutic activities through which our girls reclaim their lives. These experiences help them grow, teach them the power of their voices and show them they have the strength to take hold of a brighter future. Empower the children in our care by making a gift at Upbring.org/Give.