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Back to Benevolence

A cottage full of boys on the Texas Baptist Children’s Home campus can be a handful and hard to entertain, which made them the perfect recipients of support from the Adult Bible Fellowship Class at the Church at Canyon Creek in Northwest Austin.

Cottage 7 is made up of boys ranging in age from 6 to 13. Linda Bebee and her Adult Bible Fellowship group from the Church at Canyon Creek saw an opportunity.

“Last summer we were looking for a way to give back to the community and I really wanted our group to take a tour of TBCH,” Linda said. “That was all it took.”

After a behind-the-scenes look at TBCH, where the group visited the on-site Gym, Chapel, Family Care Cottage and Cottage 7, the group was energized and ready to get involved.

“We had helped out through our ladies bible study in other less hands-on ways before through detergent and cereal drives, but this time we wanted to get to know the kids on a personal level,” Linda said.

Linda, who is also chair of the Children At Heart Ministries Board of Trustees, knew the 40+ members in the class could make a difference in the lives of TBCH children. Plus, they wanted a ministry that was year-round, not just focused on holidays and special occasions.

Their first order of business last summer was to assist the kids with back to school items. Since then, the class has celebrated birthdays with trips for pizza and video games and held backyard cookouts at the cottage.

“Our class helped the boys pack boxes before Christmas for Samaritan’s Purse, sending fun gifts to less privileged kids around the world,” Linda said. “They enjoyed helping other children they didn’t even know.”

The class even had the cottage visit their church one Sunday for Adult Bible Fellowship and church services, then they all went out for barbecue.

"At every occasion, the boys were very talkative,” said Linda, “and the class was very eager to get to know each of them. The house parents were just fabulous and we really enjoyed building a friendship with all of them.”

"A lot of people don’t understand how much little things like this mean to us and to the kids,” said Lenell Dunn, the House Mom, who recently retired. “Just by taking the time out to provide dinner or a visit shows the boys that someone cares. They appreciate it.”

The Church at Canyon Creek group tries to make monthly visits to the cottage. “I told our class before we began, ‘Y’all are going to get as many blessings out of this as you give,’” Linda said.

For the boys at Cottage 7, visits from outsiders means a lot more than just free pizza or gift cards for shopping.

“It’s wonderful that people take time out of their schedules to do something like this for the kids,” Lenell said. “That makes the kids feel special because they are special. And they need love just like anybody.”

To find out how you can be involved in a ministry to the children at Texas Baptist Children’s Home, email Volunteer Coordinator Brenda Gilbert or call (512) 246-4244.