2017 FRESH 15 Road Race Raises $163,000 for Charity

Brookshire Grocery Co. today announced plans to present $163,000 to local and national charities from proceeds raised during the company’s 4th annual FRESH 15 Road Race that took place March 4 at the FRESH by Brookshire’s store in Tyler.

The race’s charity program, Every Runner Counts, relays the message that 100 percent of registration proceeds from participants are given back to non-profit organizations. Every Runner Counts supports non-profit groups that provide strength, stability and safety for families in East Texas and surrounding areas.

“We are proud to award FRESH 15 funding to groups that exemplify the strength it takes to support every sense of the term ‘family’ – passion, hope, dignity, belonging and protection – all of which are vital to building lives that truly make a difference,” said Trent Brookshire, executive sponsor for the event. “We are proud to have raised over $500,000 in the past four years for deserving charity partners, and we take great pride in the fact that every single penny from registration goes directly back into our community.”

Funds were presented to charity partners on April 28 at FRESH by Brookshire’s.

Race proceeds of $163,000 are being dispersed to the following non-profit partners:

Bethesda Health Clinic: A Christ-centered clinic that provides affordable health and dental care to low-income working adults who are uninsured or underinsured.

FitSteps for Life: Renewing hope, improving quality of life, and prolonging survival for cancer patients through the restorative power of exercise.
Breckenridge Village: A caring residential community for adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities.

Alzheimer’s Alliance of Smith County: Supports and connects families dealing with all forms of dementia with direct services and resources they need to care for loved ones diagnosed with these debilitating diseases. The Alliance emphasizes a variety of brain-healthy initiatives for everyone in order to slow down and reduce the incidence of Alzheimer’s and dementias.

Soles4Souls: Everyone deserves a good pair of shoes. Shoes provide health, hope and happiness. This organization provides short-term relief and long-term solutions locally and around the globe. In 10 years, they have distributed 30 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries.

Christian Women’s Job Corps: Equips women with job skills and life skills in a Christ-centered environment to find better employment and build a future for their families.

Literacy Council of Tyler: Sees generational impact when they give adults the opportunity to achieve literacy through instruction in basic reading, ESL programs, GED prep, and Career Pathways. This sets them up for success that may not have otherwise been accessible to their families.

Public Safety: Funding from our race goes to providing lifesaving equipment for the men and women who serve as police officers, firefighters, and in our local county agencies. We also hope to equip them with tools for to care for their own health so they can continue to keep our families safe.

Children’s Advocacy Center of Smith County: A love for children, passion for justice, and vision for a restored childhood. CACs exist to minimize the trauma children face when they have been victimized by abuse and to provide the resources needed for children and families to begin the healing process.

Children’s Village: A children’s home that strengthens the community by providing healing and hope for neglected and abuse boys and girls in Northeast Texas.

The 2018 race is set for March 3 and registration will open this summer. To learn more about the event, please visit bgcracing.com.

About BGC: Brookshire Grocery Co. operates 177 stores in three states —
Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas — with three distribution centers.
Known for friendly service, clean stores and strong community support,
BGC has been in operation since 1928.
Our Mission: Making our communities better through our people,
our products, our stores and our service.
www.brookshires.com | www.super1foods.com
www.freshbybrookshires.com | www.spring-market.com

A Day in the Life of a Family Advocate

The following is an excerpt from the March/April 2017 issue of Children’s Advocacy Center of Texas THE VICTIM’S ADVOCATE. Sonya, Lead Family Advocate at Children’s Advocacy Center of Smith County, is featured in the article, A Day in the Life. 

Sonya Shares from Her Heart

No two days in the life of a Family Advocate are the same. We work with many families whose lives have been forever changed by the abuse their child has endured; each family and each family member processes this differently, reacts differently and has different needs. But, for all, they are forever changed. It is my job as a family advocate to walk with them, to be a resource for them and to be strong for them through the process of their child’s and their family’s healing.

There are no words that appropriately describe what a family goes through when their child has been sexually or physically abused. Often the primary financial supporter of a family is the perpetrator, which results in an immediate loss of income, insurance, transportation, and perhaps even the family home. There are cases where a sibling is the perpetrator, causing the family to be dismantled and the children to be separated.

When families are referred to our advocacy center, it is our job to assess their needs with emergency resources including counseling services, medical care, housing, employment, clothing, and other basic living needs. Depending on the family’s situation, I provide referrals and coordination of additional family and social services.

Most often, when a child is scheduled for a forensic interview, I am notified of the appointment and briefed on the family’s history and the child’s disclosure. However, there are times that I meet with the family or protective caregiver and do not know anything about the case. The caregiver often comes in filled with uncertainty having been referred to the CAC by a law enforcement agency or CPS. It is my responsibility to provide neutral ground for the family. The emotional state of those involved in the cases we work range from one extreme to another, and it is my responsibility to calm them so they will better understand what I am explaining to them regarding the next step for their child.

Prior to the forensic interview, the protective caregiver completes paperwork allowing us to conduct the interview and providing information about the family dynamics and history. This guides me in understanding what resources I am able to help them with and allows me to assist the interviewer, law enforcement and CPS with their fact finding in the case. After the child finishes the interview, I conduct a follow-up meeting with the caregiver while law enforcement and CPS explain what the next step will be for their family. Once that meeting is complete, I strongly encourage the family to accept our offer for free counseling. If the case becomes a criminal case, I continue to work with the family when the court date is near and act as a liaison between the family and law enforcement agencies and/or CPS.

The family may become frustrated when they feel their case isn’t moving fast enough or not getting enough attention. At this juncture, I spend time with the family to restore them to a point of calmness and understanding. I gather information from the partnering agencies and relay it to the family to keep them updated with the progress of their case. Some days are spent helping prepare clients for court through our “Kids in Court” program that allows me to educate the child on the expectations of the courtroom so they are fully prepared to face their perpetrator. In addition to my assistance, Smith County has a court appointed dog, Petra, who is allowed to go into the court room with the child while they testify.

I am often asked how I mentally handle doing this job every day. My response is that when a family walks through our door, I know they are taking their first steps towards healing. Being a part of the team that guides the family from their child’s outcry of abuse to the child’s graduation from therapy and hopefully, to justice in the legal system, fuels my soul to give all that I have to support and advocate for these children and their families.

My favorite part of being an advocate is when a child specifically asks for me during their therapy sessions or graduation and depends on me in court. If the protective caregiver is unable to be with them during the trial, I provide strength and encouragement. What has happened to them does not define who they are or who they will become, and I am blessed to assist them on their journey of healing.

I believe I provide a sense of security and comfort to caregivers as they desperately try to find their way through their darkest days. I provide a clear mind to help them make the right decisions and encourage them when they feel like all hope is lost. Sometimes it is a phone call, an unexpected visit, an email or simply a hug or pat on their back.

I know I am serving my purpose when I am with my families and advocating for their child. There is nowhere else I would rather be.