Since 2004, The Barnabas Connection has been a community organization helping people connect with available resources in Wimberley and Hays County. We responded during the very early morning hours of the catastrophic Memorial Day flood and have continued to be an integral partner responding to the needs of flood survivors from the May 2015 Memorial Day and October 2015 All Saints floods.
We have been blessed with tremendous contributions that were donated specifically to helping Wimberley flood survivors. The Barnabas Connection is committed to continuing our work with Wimberley flood survivors until all who were affected are back in their homes. At the same time, The Barnabas Connection continues our traditional programs serving local families and individuals lacking basic needs. Our programs and services that provide access to health & human services, client advocacy, and community education depend on donor support. READ our Fall newsletter!
Our traditional services include a variety of programs serving families struggling to meet their most basic needs. Barnabas hosts a telephone-based resource referral program staffed by volunteers who connect families who need food, medical care, utility/rent assistance, and transportation to local resources. Each August, since 2006, we have hosted The Back to School Fiesta, which provides Wimberley students with new school supplies, shoes, and backpacks to ensure these students can begin the school year on the right foot. Since 2009, we have advocated on behalf of those residents with low incomes, some who are also elderly or with disabilities, to ensure that their homes have heat and air conditioning. Our work with Pedernales Electric Cooperative has made a huge difference in the quality of life especially during cold winters and extremely hot summers. Since 2014, we have hosted The Christmas Store, an alternative form of Christmas assistance that restores dignity and provides choice for families in need. The Barnabas Connection requests your help in continuing and expanding these community efforts to help more families in crisis find a path toward sustainable living. Please join us by contributing to the “Step Up for Sustainable Living” campaign.
Through this campaign, we hope to expand the effectiveness of our programs that provide families a way out of crisis and onto a path toward sustainable living. As an organization, The Barnabas Connection continues to expand as an independent, growing, effective, community 501(c)3 organization. In the last year, we have been able to utilize a larger, accessible office space. With this new space, we experienced the value of implementing case management for our clients. For families who have been stuck in the cycle of poverty—who live one crisis away from homelessness every day—the support and relationship from a case manager can be life changing.
Currently, our programs serve more families each year, and we continue to diversify our programs to meet community needs as much as our capacity and funding allow. The Barnabas Connection provides direct assistance, sustainable resources, and preventive care for low-income families through three program areas: resource & referral, education, and advocacy.
Resource & Referral: The Barnabas Connection provides a telephone resource referral service staffed by our dedicated volunteers. Our volunteers provide information and assistance to 80-100 callers a month who have a variety of needs—utility bills, rent, medical needs, counseling, and addiction. Phone volunteers connect clients with resources available in Hays County. The Barnabas Connection has been the administrator of the Wimberley Ministerial Alliance (WMA) Shepherd fund since 2008, allowing us to provide direct financial assistance for utilities, rent, medical, and transportation needs. We have coordinated the Back to School Fiesta since 2006, helping 500 local children annually with free school supplies, backpacks, and new shoes. Expanding these services, which often serve many of the same families, with case management will provide a foundation for clients seeking sustainable living.
Education: Our programs aim to expand opportunities for our clients as well as engage the community in the issues of poverty. Our volunteers see the struggles of families in our community through the Back to School Fiesta and volunteering with Best BUDS, a new mentoring program through Scudder Primary. We actively seek ways to make helpful information available to all who need it: by using social media – on Facebook “Wimberley Employment Opportunities” and “Wimberley Valley Rentals”; in print through our Community Resource Directory; providing a Mental Health in-service training for WISD and Katherine Anne Porter staff in 2015, and hosting the Senior Expo for 55+ with the Wimberley Senior Activity Center in 2015 and coming again in 2017!
Advocacy: The Barnabas Connection works with service providers and community leaders to advocate for the needs of people with low incomes and disabilities when necessary. The Barnabas Connection not only seeks to meet immediate needs, but to also address potential systemic or policy issues that impact the quality of life or opportunities for our clients. Our advocacy work with Pedernales Electric Coop resulted in important policy changes in 2011 that have improved the quality of life and expanded opportunities for many low income individuals and families.
With your help, the funds raised from this campaign, we can continue to offer and expand services to our community. Your donation will help establish a case management program that provides personal and professional care that is publicly accessible in our local Wimberley office. With their intimate knowledge and regular client contact, case managers can recognize and respond to the growing needs of our community.
At this time, we respectfully request your support so that we can increase our effectiveness in addressing the needs of local families and individuals. Please consider giving at one of our designated levels:
Sustainer—$ 1,000 and above: Sustain the work to be done, providing an important foundation. Sustainers will receive a quarterly e-newsletter, and be a named Stepping Up Sustainer member on our web-site and in other publications.
Champion—$500: As a Champion you will receive a quarterly e-newsletter and be a named Stepping Up Champion on our web-site and in other publications.
Advocate—$250: Advocates will receive a quarterly e-newsletter and be a named Stepping Up Advocate on our web-site and in other publications.
Good Neighbor—$150: Good Neighbors will receive a quarterly e-newsletter and be a named Stepping Up Good Neighbor on our web-site and in other publications.
Your gift to the Step Up for Sustainable Living campaign will provide support for our organizational development and help build programs that provide opportunities for sustainable living. Your gift is greatly appreciated and moves us toward our goal of helping more families in our community become independent and free from the crises of poverty. Please mail your tax-deductible donation to The Barnabas Connection, PO box 737, Wimberley, TX 78676. Online and credit card donations can be made at the following link: barnabasconnects.org.
We welcome the opportunity to meet with you personally, and to tell you more about our exciting progress. Please contact us at 512-842-7148 if you have any questions. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration.
2016 Barnabas Connection Board of Directors
Vicki McCuistion, Executive Director
Frank Walker, Board Chair
Rev. Ellen Debenport
Jeanette Kinard, Board Secretary
Betty Jo Slider, Board Vice Chair
Karen Sosby, Board Treasurer
Rev. Richard Young