By: Alexis Harborth Photos By: Rachel Benavides
It was a leap of faith. Brianna Davis had been working in forensic mental health, but she felt pulled in another direction.
“I had this overwhelming feeling every day,” Davis explains. “I had a feeling that I could be doing more. I decided it’s now or never – and it was the now. So I went in to work and gave my two weeks’ notice.”
She spent the next month planning her passion project, a nonprofit that launched in January 2020. Esperanza de Tejas – Hope of Texas – strives to provide help wherever it’s needed. Whereas some organizations exist with a focused purpose or to serve a certain group, Esperanza de Tejas is fluid – providing different types of support to anyone in need.
The 501c3 organization is dedicated to enhancing access to health care, hygiene products and supplies, education and skills, healthy food, and more. Within weeks of their launch, the COVID-19 pandemic hit – but the group was not deterred. True to their mission, they pivoted to provide assistance where people needed it, even if it meant coming to their doorsteps. Recently, Esperanza de Tejas aided a homebound elderly couple by delivering necessities right to their home.
Esperanza de Tejas lives out its goals through several programs and initiatives. Its food pantry is called Mercadito Esperanza. As Davis says, “Everyone deserves proper nutrition and nourishment for their bodies.”
Davis explains the Helping Hands outreach, which is all about providing basics and necessities. “We host pop-ups to provide needed items. We just did several where we handed out hygiene bags, containing masks and hand sanitizer, all free of charge.”
The group also provides emergency aid and items after crises, such as fires and hurricanes, to ensure people have food and clothing.
Its mentoring initiative is lived out in several ways, including a podcast called Cafe con Esperanza that covers important subjects and emerging topics.
Education is a crucial focus area. Esperanza de Tejas is in area schools to supply items the school counselors have identified as necessary so students can focus on their education. Soon, they will be launching an after-school program and virtual ACT prep classes.
Also, there is Operation HOPE, which addresses community needs and brings people together. “We get together for clean-ups, holiday drives, and more.”
Esperanza de Tejas is a groundbreaking organization that seeks to fill gaps in the community, doing everything it can for anyone in need. Such a herculean task is accomplished thanks to a strong, pioneering spirit and dedicated individuals. “We have a ‘do whatever it takes’ attitude doing everything we can to help,” says Davis. “And if we can’t help, we will direct them to someone who can.”
The group currently services Nueces and Harris counties – but just like its name, its focus is much bigger. “Our long-term goal is to provide hope all around Texas,” Davis says. “We want to make sure everyone, all around, no matter your race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual identity, whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you need, we just want to help.”
How You Can Help:
Volunteers and donations are vital to ensure that Esperanza de Tejas can continue helping our community. To learn more or get involved, contact (361) 445-4697 or HOPE@esperanzadetejas.org.
esperanzadetejas.org | 361.445.4697