Dedicated to enhancing communities’ access to fresh food, healthcare and supplies and skills needed for education, Esperanza de Tejas aims to uplift underserved individuals in the Coastal Bend. With a motto of “Amor y Esperanza,” the nonprofit strives to build hope through community engagement, comprehensive programs and social service initiatives.
Esperanza de Tejas was established in the middle of a pandemic and has continued to thrive. As the nonprofit embarks upon its fourth year, its fearless leader, Brianna Davis, has been prepping for her busiest year yet. “During the pandemic, it was so difficult for people to get items they needed, which made us really recognize the need for self-sustainability around the community,” she said. With continual growth and increasing support, the nonprofit has been able to launch three new initiatives to serve the Coastal Bend.
In wanting to provide individuals with the ability to incorporate healthier options into the meals they love, Davis put together the Garden of Hope, a new initiative she hopes will increase access to fresh foods, bridge the food insecurity gap and increase overall wellness.
With a background in psychology, Davis uses Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to be aware that some people must focus on survival needs, such as buying food items with the longest shelf life rather than satisfying nutritional needs with fresh fruits and vegetables. Through Garden of Hope, the nonprofit plans to teach families how to grow food in backyard or community gardens. Her vision for this initiative is to eventually get the program incorporated into schools and create partnerships throughout the Coastal Bend to expand upon it.
Also launching this year is the Children’s Free Store. With this initiative, Esperanza de Tejas seeks not just to fight food insecurities but provide necessities to families on the verge of homelessness. With funding provided by the Driscoll Health Plan, the nonprofit created a diaper bank as part of the Free Store, giving parents in need the opportunity to pick up formula, diapers, wipes, hygiene items and clothing for free. Davis’ vision is to procure an actual storefront that will let parents “shop” for items.
Esperanza de Tejas is also passionate about creating leadership and scholarship opportunities for our youth. Through the new scholarship fund Amor y Esperanza, the nonprofit aims to empower future leaders in the community by increasing the number of students completing high school, attending secondary educational institutions and applying for FAFSA. The scholarship fund hosts a yearly workshop for middle and high school students to provide resume and college application resources, ultimately boosting confidence for students in pursuit of higher education.
As is evident by these new initiatives, Esperanza de Tejas is working to seek out and care for those in our community with specific needs in varying walks of life. It’s a big undertaking, but with a visionary like Brianna Davis at the helm, more people in our community can benefit from the help these initiatives provide.
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