Tell Us Your Story
How has a SECC-participating agency made a difference in your life or the lives of those around you?
We would like to share the stories of Texas Tech employees and the impact that agencies within the State Employee Charitable Campaign (SECC) have had to make a difference.
Children's Advocacy Center
Last year, Children's Advocacy Center performed 1,081 interviews relating to individual cases of child abuse. An example of one of these types of cases is a girl who was abused by her father from the ages of 5 to 10-years-old. The abuse happened in the Lubbock area and in Kansas. After three trial attempts that ended in mistrials or a hung jury, the District Attorney asked the girl if she wanted to try again. She said yes. On the fourth try, the perpetrator was found guilty. One staff member said, "To see the look on her face that justice had been served was amazing."
There was a little girl who was part of a 10-12 member brownie troupe; the troupe leader noticed that she often had tattered clothes and poor hygiene. At one point, the troupe planned a weekend trip and this little girl wasn't going to be able to make it. At the last minute, the mom dropped the girl off. But, the little girl had nothing with her, no clothes or toiletries, nothing to take on a weekend trip. The troupe leader had the foresight to bring a kit with the necessities and the other girls rallied around her and lent clothes. For that weekend, she got to feel like a little girl.
Jennifer thought she couldn't learn to read. She began classes at South Plains College, but struggled with the reading assignments. Unable to keep up with the required reading, she dropped her classes. One day, she made her way to Literacy Lubbock. After speaking with her, a staff member suspected she was dyslexic. The staff member told Jennifer about the signs of dyslexia, after hearing these, Jennifer burst into tears. For her, they were tears of joy. She now knew what the problem was. Jennifer was matched with a tutor and is back in school, majoring in Computer Information Systems.
Family Counseling Services
A woman, here in the Lubbock area, was placed on a 60-day waiting period before she could receive her medications. At that point, she hadn't had her medications in four months. She had begun to hallucinate and had to go to the emergency room. Through Family Counseling Services, she was able to be seen by a psychiatrist and receive a prescription. The hallucinations stopped. She told one of the staff members of Family Counseling Services, "Because ya'll are here, I feel hope."
Big Brothers/Big Sisters
A 4th grade girl that was living between her grandmother and mother was mature beyond her age. She knew when the bills were due and how much they were. She had trouble relating to other 10-year olds and often ate lunch alone. Through Big Brothers/Big Sisters, she was matched with a Tech soccer player. Through this relationship, the little girl was transformed. She became visibly more confident to her teachers and others. The very next year, that little girl had her first sleep-over. She learned how to be a friend and receive friendship.
Communities in Schools of the South Plains
There was a 6th grade boy here who was failing all of his classes. He had no passion or drive. His teacher referred him to a Communities In Schools case worker. They found out that his mom was a single parent and had cancer. The case worker was able to get this student the supplies, and the homework help he needed to get back on track. At the end of the next 6-weeks, he was recognized as Teen of the Month and was passing all of his classes. He continues to do amazing in school.
Women's Protective Services
A 23-year old woman with five children spent eight years in an abusive relationship. One night at 3 am, she endured a vicious attack from her husband. He shaved her head, beat her head to toe, cut and pricked her with a hunting knife and more. She sustained a concussion among the other injuries, but still managed to have all five children up, dressed and fed by 6:30 am. She also had herself ready for work. She left this abusive relationship and found help through Women's Protective Services. Recently, she graduated from nursing school and four of her five children are honor-roll students.
Boy Scouts - South Plains Council
Jordan Unfred is a 10-year old cub scout. Through the Boy Scouts he has learned many things, one of these was how to perform the Heimlich maneuver. One day, while he was at his grandmother's house, she began to choke on her medication. Jordan jumped into action, recalling what he learned, he performed the Heimlich maneuver and saved his grandmother's life. For his act of heroism, he was awarded the Medal of Merit.
Boys and Girls Club
As a little boy, Joseph Rosendo went to the Optimist Branch of the Boys and Girls Clubs every day. At the club, he got into boxing and discovered that he had a natural talent for the sport. He spent many summer days at the club practicing. He grew up and now serves his community as a Lubbock Police officer. He also makes time to share his passion for boxing by coaching the sport at the Boys and Girls Clubs.
A 13-year old boy was dropped off at Children's Protective Services by his parents. His parents no longer wanted custody of him; they chose drugs instead. Once in the foster-care system, he was labeled unadoptable. A hearing was set to put him into permanent foster care, he told one of the CASA advocates, "That's not right, I didn't do anything wrong. I want a mom and a dad." CASA advocates stood by his side and 2 months and 10 days short of his 17th birthday, he was adopted. He will always have a family to go home to.
On average, childcare starts at $800 per month. For many parents on the South Plains, the YWCA makes child care and after-school care possible. Among other services that the YWCA provides, parents look to the Y to be okay.
A local mother unknowingly adopted a baby with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. At first, she felt like she was failing and not able to care for her child. Through the Parenting Cottage, she was able to become educated about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. She also found resources that allowed her to better meet the needs of her child. Later, she said that the Parenting Cottage was a ‘lifeline' for her.
Lubbock Rape Crisis Center
According to Lubbock District Attorney, Matt Powell, "It is the worst crime you'll ever live through." A female Texas Tech student was assaulted by someone she thought was a friend. On her own accord, she went to a local hospital. After being treated, the hospital staff sent her to Lubbock Rape Crisis Center. A year and a half after the assault, she continues to visit Rape Crisis Center once a week. She was able to find healing there and learn how to be empowered.
Catholic Family Service
An elderly woman with a broken pair of borrowed glasses went into Catholic Family Service to see if she might be able to get the glasses fixed. The glasses were not her prescription and they were taped together on the bridge and arms. Being on a fixed income, she was unable to afford her own pair. But, Catholic Family Service was able to get her a new pair of glasses; according to the staff and volunteers there, she was so grateful.
Major Branscum served as the Commanding Officer of the Salvation Army's Lubbock division. He has a unique insight on the Salvation Army. Branscum's father died when he was 7, and his mother raised him and his three siblings. He said in an interview in 2004 that the family was sometimes homeless and found temporary shelter in jails and homeless shelters. Toys he received at Christmas were from the Salvation Army and a lot of food his family received was also from the Salvation Army. Major Branscum is now leaving Lubbock to head the Garland office.
Legal Aid Society
A local woman who suffered severe abuse at the hands of her husband sought out legal help at Legal Aid Society. The staff at Legal Aid Society were able to provide a voice for her and her children in the legal system. They were able to get her a protective order; get him removed from the home; help her file for divorce and child support, plus set the father up under supervised visitations with the children. Also, the staff there, referred her to Christian Women's Job Corps to get a job and Women's Protective Services for counseling. The family is now protected and stable.
Lubbock Children's Health Clinic
Recently, a woman in the Lubbock area obtained legal custody of a relative's daughter. The child was born with Spina Bifida and had several areas of need. The woman, unsure of where to turn, went to Lubbock Children's Health Clinic. The staff there began accessing all of the areas needed to help the child. Within a matter of days, the staff had connected the woman and child with all of the necessary doctors and specialists. This child now has a real chance.
Lubbock Children's Home
In 1965, a 5 year old girl came to live with us as a foster child. This precious child had lived through a situation of want, abandonment, and pain, finally coming to live at the Lubbock Children's Home. She came to stay with us a year later and became my little sister. Without a place where children can be safe, where their needs can be met, and where children develop in an nurturing spirit, this would not have been possible. Without the Lubbock Children's Home, I would not have had my wonderful, younger sister for these last 44 years.
Children's Miracle Network
The Children's Miracle Network and The Children's Hospital at UMC have a special place in my family's heart. All three of my children have congenital glaucoma. In order for the ophthalmologist to obtain an accurate eye pressure reading, my kids went to UMC for an eye exam under anesthesia (EUA), which was considered an outpatient surgical procedure. At least once every two months from 2000 to 2006, one of my kids was at UMC for an EUA. We were there so frequently that the admitting staff, nurses and residents knew the kids by name, and would even "fight" over who handled our cases. Our physician needed a specialized digital camera to take pictures of the kid's retinas and optic nerves. Donations to the Children's Miracle Network provided the funds for The Children's Hospital at UMC to purchase the camera and supporting equipment. This camera allowed our physician to diagnosis and treat problems as they arose and to provide the care necessary to maintain the kid's eye pressure at acceptable levels. Without this technology, we would have had to drive to Dallas to see a physician who could provide the same care. In 2003, my kids were poster children for the UMC Children's Miracle Network Telethon. They have given us so much, that it was the least we could do to give back.
Lutheran Social Services
A young woman who was experiencing severe headaches went to a surrounding area's ER. After a CT scan was done, she was sent away with pain medications. Her mom was still concerned about her condition and brought her to the Health for Friends clinic run by Lutheran Social Services. They checked her blood pressure and blood sugar and found that they were both at dangerously high levels. The pain medications could have masked symptoms and if her high blood pressure and blood sugar had gone untreated, she would have very likely had a stroke.
American Red Cross
I was returning home one evening about two years ago after dropping a friend off at his apartment. As I pulled up to a stop sign, I heard a woman yelling for help. I jumped out of my car and ran to where she and her husband stood over their young son. He was unconscious and not breathing. My mind was in a fog. But I knew I had to try something, even if it were not exactly right. I first tried mouth to mouth resuscitation. Nothing happened. Then I turned his head to the side. Reaching my fingers between his clenched teeth, I pulled out a wad of thick white goo. It must have been formula or milk that had been blocking his lungs. He immediately began to cry and that sound was one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard. I don't know if I saved this child's life that evening. But I do know that without my training, I might not have been prepared.
Susan G Komen Foundation
My grandmother died of breast cancer in the 1970's, as a result, my mother was considered at high risk. A few years ago, she found a lump in her breast. She went to her doctor and he recommended a mammogram. My mother is low income and has no medical insurance. She was not going to be able to afford the charges to have the mammogram done. Her doctor contacted the Susan G Komen Foundation and they were not only able to get the first mammogram taken care of, but when it was discovered the lump was a fibroid cyst and my mother would have to have bi-annual exams, the Komen Foundation made arrangements for her to have them done. Without the assistance of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, my mother never would have been able to get the medical help she needed.
Volunteer Center of Lubbock
Amit is a young man going to school at the University of Pennsylvania. While here in Lubbock, he was a student at Lubbock High School and served as the Vice-President of the United Way Youth Division overseen by the Volunteer Center. Amit worked hard spending his spare time volunteering and helping others. Even though he is still a young man, he got an early start working to make a difference. In 5th grade, Amit started a campaign to stop smoking in Lubbock restaurants. Like many others who serve through the Volunteer Center, he wants to make a difference.
Guadalupe Parkway Sommerville Centers
A six-year old boy who is a member of the Parkway Neighborhood Center, had never had a jacket. He had lopsided shoes, no socks and a broken back pack. But, he didn't know what he didn't have. His mother was working at a new job and hadn't been paid yet. The staff at the neighborhood centers bought him some shirts and socks, a new backpack and a coat. When he was given these things, he put on his new, white socks and didn't want to stand in them because he didn't want to get them dirty.
A dear friend from my high school days lost his way in Dallas, TX in the late 1980's for a variety of reasons including alcoholism. He was homeless on the Dallas streets for almost 20 years. When my friend hit rock bottom for the last time of several last times about five years ago, he reached out for help to get off the streets offered by The Salvation Army. Through The Salvation Army's many programs, my friend was able to get off the streets into a transitional housing facility (The 24 Hour Club), conquer his addictions, and eventually maintain gainful employment with the continuing support of The Salvation Army. Throughout his time on the streets, The Salvation Army provided hot food in the winter, shelter when it was cold, and always the offer of assistance when he was ready to battle his addictions. His proudest moment was when he became a Salvationist, a member of The Salvation Army. He wore the jacket with pride. The Salvation Army gave him a reason to get up in the morning. They helped him restore his relationship with his mother before she passed away. The services provided by The Salvation Army are supported by your donations. They are a non-denominational Christian organization, in existence since 1865 and serving worldwide. This year I will make a donation to The Salvation Army in his memory. His life on the streets was hard and he passed away not long ago from kidney failure, but he was at home, sober, with his sister and loved by friends.
Additional Success Stories
- United Way - Stories of Hope