Giving Guide: Child Advocacy Nonprofits in the Coastal Bend

Spotlighting over 35 nonprofits in the Coastal Bend area

By: Kylie Cooper & Jacqueline Gonzalez   Photo by Rachel Benavides (featuring West Side Helping Hands)
The Coastal Bend is filled with incredible nonprofits and grassroots initiatives. While there are too many worthy organizations to list in one feature, we’re hoping the ones highlighted here provide you with a place to start.To view the other nonprofits published in our December issue, check out the full feature!

MENTORSHIPS 
  • Big Brothers, Big Sisters Coastal Bend – Big Brothers Big Sisters – Coastal Bend aims to make meaningful, monitored matches between adult volunteers, “bigs,” and children, “littles,” ages 6-18. By matching at-risk youth with mentors, the organization’s goal is to take care of the children’s developmental needs at an early age, while empowering them to succeed in all of life’s endeavors. 

FOSTER CARE 

  • CASA of the Coastal Bend – CASA volunteers work diligently to advocate for the best interests of the children in area foster care. Many of these children come from hard places of abuse and neglect, and have suffered trauma and behavioral issues. By gathering information and evaluating needs, the volunteers are able to ensure the children they serve have a consistent presence in their life and that the child’s voice is always heard throughout the court process.  

YOUTH PROGRAMS

  • West Side Helping Hands – This nonprofit provides an educational and recreational youth center offering free after-school and summer programs for students in 1st-6th grade who are from low-income families on the west side of Corpus Christi. WSHH strives to guide students by focusing on academics, character development, sports, individual attention, and parental engagement. Daily homework help, organized sports, and education on healthy eating habits are just a few of the services WSHH programs for its kids.

FOSTER CARE RESOURCES 

  • Agape Ranch – Many children in foster care feel unlovable because of the abuse they’ve experienced. Agape Ranch aims to break that cycle through forward-thinking and community-based solutions, by providing a variety of programs and a sanctuary with homes, playgrounds, rec areas, and on-site respite care providers to love and support foster children. The neighborhood built on the ranch allows for sibling groups to stay together, enables quick response respite care, and provides housing for kids who have aged out of foster care. 

EDUCATION 

  • Communities in Schools of the Coastal Bend – Communities in Schools of the Coastal Bend was created out of a concern over area school’s dropout rates. It provides campus-based social services to potential dropout students in 42 different schools. CISCB operates on a set of basics it believes every child needs and deserves. Supportive guidance and counseling, health services, dedicated site coordinators who deliver school necessities to students, and college and career readiness are just a few of the services it provides to students to aid in their success. 

CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES

  • Miracle League of Corpus Christi – Acting as the only organization south of San Antonio to offer year-round sport programs for children with mental and/or physical disabilities, The Miracle League focuses on providing safe and enjoyable activities for kids ages 5-17. Through summer camps and a range of activities including kickball, basketball, and baseball, the children are provided with a safe space to reach their full potential. Miracle League’s Buddy Program pairs an able-bodied friend to assist each player on and off the field.   

CHILD ABUSE 

  • Children’s Advocacy Center of the Coastal Bend – The CACCB works to minimize the trauma to abused children and their families by uniting the efforts of public agencies and enlisting the support of the community. It works to protect, restore, and transform the lives and futures of these children and their families through specialized forensic interviews, family advocacy, case management via the Kids in Court program, and outreach, education, and prevention services. CACCB also offers teen support groups for those who have experienced sexual abuse and on-site therapy for all child victims.  

EDUCATION 

Many of the organizations that give back to the community are able to do so due to monetary donations, but volunteering your time is just as important and greatly appreciated.

    • The Rise School – The Rise School, which operates as a nonprofit organization, is the city’s first and only school dedicated to providing the highest quality early childhood education for all children—gifted, traditional, and developmentally delayed—in an inclusive setting, where individualized learning techniques enable every child to achieve their maximum potential.​​ Without receiving funds from the government, its nationally recognized program is centered around a comprehensive curriculum and a variety of therapy services. 

    How to Get Involved:

    • Do you have time and dedication to lend a hand to a child in need of a mentor? Big Brothers Big Sisters – Coastal Bend could use your help! Volunteer to be a Big and make a difference in a child’s life.
    • Miracle League is looking for volunteers to be a buddy during baseball games.
    • Agape Ranch holds its annual Leave a Legacy 5K and 10K running events in February, and its Foster Care Awareness Month Brunch in March. Both events raise awareness and provide education on foster care. 
    • Show support for the Children’s Advocacy Center of the Coastal Bend by participating in its annual fundraisers and Pinwheel Family Fun Day to not only raise funds, but also raise awareness and educate the community. 
    • Communities in Schools of the Coastal Bend is in need of many items for students ranging from hygiene and cleaning products to school supplies and clothing. 
    • Attend one of CASA’s 45-minute virtual information sessions held every Wednesday at noon. You’ll learn the requirements for volunteering and the application process for becoming a Court Appointed Special Advocate.
    • The Rise School welcomes community projects, volunteers, and interns to assist in its programs. Contact the school’s executive director for specific availability via the website. 

    To view the other nonprofits published in our December issue, check out the full feature!