The Garth House and Mickey Mehaffy Children’s Advocacy program opened an endowed fund with the Foundation for Southeast Texas in 2007 to build financial security for the future of the organization. The mission of the Garth House is to lessen the trauma to child victims of severe physical and sexual abuse during the investigative, prosecutorial and healing process. The professional staff at Garth House works closely with Child Protective Services, law enforcement agencies, the District Attorney’s Office, mental health and medical professionals. Interviews at the Garth House are held in an environment which reflects the physical and emotional atmosphere of a home rather than that of a clinic or institution. Interviews with victims are video taped for criminal prosecution. Counseling services are offered at no charge for the children and non-offending family members. Education and prevention programs are also offered.
The Garth House began operations in 1991 under the auspices of Catholic Charities, but chartered a new non-profit corporation in 2001. Operations are funded by grants, local fund-raising events, the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas, Inc., and National Children’s Alliance.
The Board of the Garth House has a goal of securing future funding for operations of the Garth House. They hope to continue to build the fund with donations from their supporters, with fundraisers and with bequests. Garth House executive director, Marion Tanner says, “So many social agencies have to intervene for the crisis at hand and deal with daily situations that not much time is left for seeing what the future holds. As large donations are being made to the Garth House, you do not want them to dwindle away on utilities, office supplies, etc. Therefore, the future of Garth House had to be considered. We strongly feel now is the time to prepare for future crises for the children of Southeast Texas. The Garth House Endowment Fund is a major step for the future in order to take care of the smallest of victims in our communities and to help them become survivors.”
Not only do nonprofit agencies have the problem of “crisis spending,” but also government grants have decreased each year and may soon be a funding source of the past. The Garth House Fund at the Foundation for Southeast Texas will provide a yearly payout for the organization (if they wish) to use for operations with the corpus of the fund continuing to grow. With additions to the fund from donors interested in a permanent fund, it is possible that some day “fund raisers” may not be needed. The fund will also provide a vehicle for planned giving for Garth House donors. It could also provide an opportunity for corporate givers who often prefer giving endowed gifts.
The Foundation for Southeast Texas is proud to have this endowed fund from an organization that is here to assist the children of our community who have been abused.