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Boerne Community Coalition

LOVE Boerne Neighborhoods - LOVE Boerne Kids

Article by Connie McFall Clark

Photography by Kate Cooley, Cooley Portraits

Originally published in Boerne Lifestyle

In 2015 Boerne Community Coalition formed and launched the LOVE Boerne Kids program to provide summer lunches to children in eight poverty pockets in Boerne. At the end of the summer volunteers and residents of Walnut Hills participated in a LOVE Boerne Neighborhoods workday and celebrated with a “special and sweet shared meal”, explained Executive Director Jessica Buffington. Three homes were freshened up with paint, yard work and garage cleanout. Mily and Salvador Martinez, pastors of Iglesia Bautista Emanuel off Sisterdale Road coordinated with the Coalition to provide names of families in need.

In 2016 the Coalition provided summer camp scholarships, lunch and weekend food for children and another workday. Four families received assistance to make their homes more liveable. Various issues were fixed: floors, holes in the roof, plumbing fixtures, water leaks and rotting walls and floors.

During the years the Coalition maintained their vision and goals to provide lunches and weekend food bags, scholarships and workdays.

In 2019 the Coalition was blessed with multiple donations, including a large one by the Spring Creek United Methodist Church. Volunteers and residents fixed up fifteen homes and a church at their largest LOVE Boerne Neighborhoods workday. They partner with Golfers FORE Others who make major repairs on Mondays all year long. With funds remaining, the Coalition ended the year with 22 homes repaired and a special cleanup day at Shady Rest -  a major feat with three dumpsters filled and piles for brush, tires and scrap metals. Board Member George Klein explained that some of the homes and mobile homes are fifty to sixty years old; however, the residents are proud of owning their homes and welcome the assistance to make their living conditions better. “One older couple with a disabled child was without working hot water or a heater or air conditioner in six years. Those are the kinds of conditions we find in our work.”

Volunteer Randall Browning said, “My experience working with LOVE Boerne Neighborhoods, Golfers FORE Others, and other volunteer groups has been outstanding. Not only are we able to help people who really need it, but it is a great opportunity to meet other like-minded people. There is always good camaraderie on the jobs. So much so, it doesn't feel like work.”

In 2020, due to COVID-19, the Coalition did not host a LOVE Boerne Neighborhoods workday. It did provide food over the summer break via a special LOVE Boerne Kids drive-thru, where children received a week’s worth of breakfast and lunch items, snacks, and fresh fruit. The Golfers FORE Others continue to make outside repairs. In partnership with Golfer's FORE Others, the Coalition is planning another LOVE Boerne Neighborhoods cleanup day on May 1 and a workday in October 30 if the cases of COVID decrease significantly.

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