The coos and laughter of the 10-month-old babies warmed Tania’s heart as she held the tiny bundles close and rocked them gently. Meanwhile, toddlers giggled as Tania’s fellow team members played games with them and colored the silly cartoon snakes in their coloring books. The carefree moments were a gift to the volunteers. They were happy to see children in our community, who once faced homelessness, getting encouragement, love and support at San Antonio Metropolitan Ministries (SAMMinistries).
Engineering Associate Tania Hernandez and five other members of NextGen, a peer networking group that focuses on developing the next generation of leaders at CPS Energy, spent last Thursday evening making a difference at SAMMinistries. The interfaith ministry helps homeless families, and those at risk of becoming homeless, attain self-sufficiency by offering shelter, housing, and additional services. The group took care of kids to give parents time to attend an important monthly meeting for residents of the Transitional Living and Learning Center.
The center houses 40 homeless families, approximately 150 people. Of those living at the facility, 70 percent are children. Without stable housing, these kids would be more prone to failing grades, hunger, health challenges, poor cognitive development, and abuse and neglect. Instead, these kids attend school, play, do homework and have access to onsite health and wellness resources.
Tania said the experience made her grateful for the support she’s had in her life along the way. She also thought about her two nephews – 3-year-old Jacob and 6-year-old Maximus. While her nephew’s circumstances are different from the babies she held on that day, she’s glad to see each getting the love and attention they desperately need to become successful adults someday.
In May, we kicked off our United Way campaign by raising $132,000 for SAMMinistries with proceeds from the 20th Annual United Way Golf Tournament. Every year, employees dedicate personal time and money to benefit our community. Along with providing reliable, affordable energy to our community, giving to United Way is another way we put People First!