Giving Thanks by Serving Others

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45

Our donors and volunteers do so much for Boys and Girls Country.  What happens here because of the support we receive isn’t something we can always easily capture in a photograph.  Because of those who give to us from their time, talents and treasure, our teaching parents are able to give constant love and support to our kids.  They are able to take the time and effort to create traditions, help our children make happy memories, and encourage our kids to enjoy themselves. Our annual Thanks n’ Giving Dinner is one of the many wonderful traditions you make possible.

The Thanks n’ Giving Dinner is a campus-wide dinner, one of the rare occasions all of our kids are able to gather together. Many community members contribute to make the evening a success, including Cypress Belles National Charity League, Goode Co. BBQ and Cotillion Connection. Everyone wears their Sunday best, and we treat our children to a traditional Thanksgiving meal complete with smoked turkeys and homemade pies. It’s a fun night for our families to spend time together.

In addition to the incredible meal, we take time to recognize each cottage family for their service to the community over the past year. It’s an awe-inspiring moment as kids talk about serving others when they themselves have come from such difficult situations. The BGC kids were very busy this year with mission trips, church service projects to feed and clothe the homeless, visits to nursing homes, and more. Many of our cottages helped with Harvey clean up and relief efforts. Not only do our children feel good when they help others, they take pride in being able to serve our Houston neighbors.

Creating traditions is especially important for children who have come from chaotic family backgrounds. Program Manager Malcolm Guerra explains, “When you think about your favorite childhood smells or the feeling you had when you sat down to pray over the Thanksgiving meal, you have good, happy feelings related to those memories. It’s important to help our kids by creating traditions for them so that when they have their own families, they can do the same for their children.”

We encourage the kids to make a list of what they are thankful for, and we share their responses in a video during the dinner. View the slideshow below to see what our kids are thankful for this year.