Foster’s Home cleanup nears completion

Volunteers are giving their Thursday to help with cleanup at the Foster's Home For Children following the Tuesday morning tornado. || TheFlashToday.com photo by BRAD KEITH

Nonprofit grateful for supporters, ongoing contributions

By AMANDA KIMBLE

TheFlashToday.com

STEPHENVILLE (March 29, 2016) – When disaster strikes, community members look out for their own. And there’s no doubt Sherwood & Myrtie Foster’s Home for Children is at the heart of Stephenville, a deep-rooted part of the community.

Mr. and Mrs. Foster welcomed the first children into the now sprawling campus’s first home in 1960 with a mission that’s still being fulfilled today – healing the wounds of troubled children and giving them a place to call home.

On March 5, community members and supporters from outside the area attended the organizations 13th annual fundraising auction. Just three days later, the Foster’s Home was hit by an EF1 tornado.

In no time, telephones began ringing – callers were eager to learn how they could lend a hand. And just as fast, volunteers flocked to the property on Graham Street, where the storm left trail of damage.

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Foster's Home Cleanup 11

Today, the campus is home to more than 50 foster children, family homes, administrative offices and other various buildings. Following the March 8 tornado, administrators counted their blessings – nobody was hurt and none of the children’s possessions were lost.

There was a list of damages, but nothing a little time and community support couldn’t overcome. Less than a month after roofs were ripped from buildings, staff vehicles and transport vans were damaged and groceries, paper goods and other supplies were lost to the storm, cleanup is almost complete. 

“We are about 95 percent done with the cleanup effort,” Lacy Barton, vice president of development said Monday. “They’re working on our roof today – we’re getting the office building put back together.”

The largest part of the cleanup was done less than two weeks after the damage occurred.

“We had a long list of people to thank,” Barton said, referring to volunteers who showed up to help. “The turnout was amazing. The community has been an amazing contributor in everything we’ve done.”

The refrigerators have been stocked. The supply closet is packed with an impressive stack of paper goods. Windows, windshields and air conditioning units have been replaced.

People are still calling, ready to roll up their sleeves and go to work, but current needs are of a different sort.

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Foster's Home Cleanup 01

“At this point, our greatest need is financial assistance,” Barton said. “That support will help us meet insurance deductibles.”

Sure, Barton said there is a disaster fund – just like the paper towels and spoiled milk, it will have to be replenished.

The nonprofit organization relies solely on individual donations and support of Churches of Christ from across the state.

Barton said Foster’s Home has already paid “out of pocket” for a number of repairs, and the organization is still waiting to receive insurance payouts.

While disaster sometimes leaves victims feeling uncertain and vulnerable, Foster’s Home was built and will continue to thrive on two things – faith and generosity.

All donations to the Foster’s Home are tax deductible. Credit and debit card contributions can be made online at  or by telephone by calling (254) 968-2143 ext. 225. Checks can also be mailed to P.O. Box 978 Stephenville, TX 76401.

Call Barton at 968-2143 ext. 245 or President Glenn Newberry at ext. 235 for more information.

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