Volunteers with Northrock Church in San Antonio helped beautify the Children Matter Family Life Center on Saturday, July 18. The center is located at 659 W. Goodwin in Pleasanton.
They worked from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., performing chores such as painting the posts for the new sign in front of the building, raking leaves and fixing parts of the roof.
Cyrae Mereigh serves as the Director of Operations at Children Matter Family Life Center.
“They helped fix some doors that were inside of the house. We have a frame that only fits custom-sized doors and so they helped size those down for that. They helped us organize and clean toys,” said Mereigh. “We had a bunch of books that were graciously donated by one of the libraries and we needed help organizing those, so we did that as well.”
The project was part of Northrock Church’s big work day, which they call serve day. They help nonprofit organizations which the church supports and Children Matter is one of those non-profits.
“They reached out to us to ask if we would be interested in doing something with them and we said yes. So that’s how this came about,” said Mereigh.
While most of the volunteers were from the church, there were also some of the staff members and friends and family assisting as well.
Children Matter Family Life Center is dedicated to helping reunify families. It is a visitation center that hosts visits here for families currently in the system. The program protects children by rebuilding their families, empowering foster, adoptive, court appointed caregivers and the entire family in crisis by providing services through a faith-based supportive network.
The local office opened in November 2019.
“We have it set up as a house because we want them to be able to create great memories and bonding moments while they are here, as opposed to feeling more institutionalized like an office,” Mereigh said. “We really want it to feel homey and cozy, so we have activities here that are organized by age that we get out for each visit.”
At Children Matter, they also teach parenting skills. Rather than just being supervised, clients are assigned a coach who goes through the parenting skills with them. Goals are given for each visit.
“We really do hope that we can teach them some skills so that, if and when they are reunified with their child, they can take those with them after they are out of the program,” Mereigh said.
While the Pleasanton office has some restrictions and precautions due to COVID-19, the office is currently open. A grand opening ceremony had been planned for March, but was postponed. Mereigh hopes they can hold one in 2021.
How you can help
Children Matter Family Life Center has partnered with Amazon Smile. When people shop, they choose Children Matter as their charity of choice. With certain purchases, Amazon Smile will give a small percentage to Children Matter as a donation.
“It’s been really nice. It’s an easy way to give because you are just shopping as you normally do,” Mereigh said.
People can also donate through Charity Lists. Just go to the link to see the different categories of donations that Children Matter currently needs. Then, select the item you would be interested in donating.
Said Mereigh, “Everything is already set up. It will send it to us directly and it’s just a nice little way for people to be able to give if they would like to.”
You can find the link by visiting the Children Matter Family Life Center Facebook page and scrolling down to the post on Amazon Smile.
Those with questions may call Children Matter Family Life Center at 210-712-6481.