Volunteers in effort to build home for children awaiting foster care placement honored after reaching milestone

Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 7:03 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A Central Texas nonprofit working to build a house for kids awaiting foster care placement is marking its one-year anniversary of spreading awareness by recognizing volunteers who have contributed a combined 750 service hours.

Isaiah 117 House is a national nonprofit which provides physical and emotional support in safe and loving homes for children awaiting foster care placement around the United States.

They announced one year ago at a kickoff event in Waco that they were looking to expand into McLennan County.

To mark the milestone, the nonprofit decided to select not one person for their “Volunteer of the Month” award in September, but the entire expansion team of 150 plus people.

Jennifer Villalpando, Program Coordinator for McLennan County, said the volunteers are the ones who have made the first year a huge success.

“In September we are celebrating the one-year anniversary of our kickoff,” she said. “We asked the community to rally with us and make this a reality. We have been blown away by the response.”

The expansion team has been a part of over 70 speaking engagements and events and sold nearly 600 t-shirts.

She said their combined effort made them an easy choice for them to celebrate this month.

“We have so many caring and loving volunteers that have joined us,” Villalpando said. “We have so many businesses and individuals that are giving their time, their talent and their resources to help make this a reality.”

Villalpando said the volunteer groups are growing from adults and kids to businesses and churches.

“We have seen over 150 people join us for our expansion meetings over the past year,” she said. “We’ve seen over 750 volunteer hours given from that group and again we are just so appreciative. We’ve been humbled. We’ve been grateful. We’ve cried tears of gratitude for this group, and we just cannot wait to see what we can continue to do as this effort is moving toward the next phase.”

Isaiah 117 House of McLennan County is still actively looking for land to build the home.

After that land is secured, they plan to hold a contractor’s breakfast to try and secure additional donations.

They are hopeful to break ground soon.