Monday 11 May, 2020
Over the years, fundraising events have grown to raise critical funds supporting Saint Louise House families and introduce new community members to the life-changing power of stable housing and wraparound services. As our event strategy has evolved, we have been thankful every day for Board Member Berenice Craig. In her third year of chairing special events at Saint Louise House, she is also Chair of the Development Committee. Her tireless dedication to thinking outside the box, advocating with heart, and creating spectacular events comes from a dedication to the mission and families we serve at Saint Louise House. The Weekend of Giving may have been postponed, but Berenice continues to be a tremendous and effective advocate for Saint Louise House families. Learn more about Berenice below:
How did you become involved with Saint Louise House?
“I became familiar with Saint Louise House through the Travis County Medical Alliance and Foundation. In my early role as the VP of Community Service, we began giving medical grants to Saint Louise House to help cover gaps in Medicaid/Insurance funding. My love for this organization blossomed as our group became more involved in offering hands-on volunteering through making meals for the Saint Louise House moms’ monthly meetings or taking on apartment set-ups. “
What message would you give to others about becoming Saint Louise House supporters?
“Because of the fact that the program participants are getting BOTH housing AND customized case-management services (to help with educational goals, financial literacy, parenting, etc.), in addition to the fact the Saint Louise House partners with so many of the other organizations I love in Austin, I feel that a donation to Saint Louise House is a very smart way to invest my dollars into our community.”
In one sentence, what stands out to you about Saint Louise House?
“Saint Louise House is an organization that everyone can get behind because of the comprehensive approach of first, solving the housing issue for a mother and her children, and then, second, meeting her and her family where they are and dedicating personalized case management that then offers the whole family (two-generation impact) the opportunity to gain the skills they need to become self-sufficient.”
How has volunteering at Saint Louise House impacted you?
“You know, there are those moments in one’s life that really stick with you. For me, more than a few of those now have involved being part of a Saint Louise House apartment set-up. Nothing drives home what Saint Louise House does more than when you walk into an empty two-bedroom apartment with your team of friends/colleagues, and after a few hours of fun and working together to organize, furnish and “detail” the apartment for the family moving in, you walk out knowing you’ve personally created a new home for someone that has suffered and struggled for so long. It’s overwhelming. It’s beautiful in a way that offers a satisfaction and joy that is truly priceless.”
What is your favorite Saint Louise House memory?
“Ha! It probably should be related to one of the last two Mother & Me Teas that I had the honor of chairing (which were wonderful memories), but it is actually of me scrubbing a dirty kitchen floor for an apartment set-up. I remember thinking that it really mattered to me that the mama and her babies moving in should have the kind of clean floor I like in my house. So, there I was on my hand and knees scrubbing the floor and laughing to myself that I pay for someone to help clean my own floors, but it brought me so much happiness to do that knowing the mom moving in later that day would be able to set her toddler down on a fresh floor. :-)”