Modern musings by Trishna Buch
Most of us have been blessed with happy lives. We have food to eat, a place to call home and warm beds at night, but many people are not as lucky, losing their home, often through little or no fault of their own. When that happens, they need help to return to living a happy, healthy and successful life.
There is no shame in needing extra help and that is exactly what nonprofit organization Family Promise Of Clear Creek hopes to provide such people.
The League City charity is part of a national network that seeks to help homeless families achieve independence. According to its website, ccfamilypromise.org, there are 181 Family Promise organizations across America, all aiming to help families in need.
The Clear Creek branch’s executive director, Emmanuel Favor, takes charge of assessing whether families who apply for its services are a good fit for the organization. Such is the demand that successful applicants are put on a waiting list with a promise of help when their time arrives.
The reason for the wait is that the Clear Creek branch is only able to help four families or 14 people – applicants must have children of school age – at one time. When a family has received what it needs from the organization, it leaves the program and makes space for the next family.
Once a family is accepted into the program they are sent either to the organization’s day center on South Egret Bay Boulevard or to one of its partner churches, depending on the time of day. Each evening the people in the program eat dinner and sleep at the church and the following morning they are transported to the day center, which provides them with amenities to shower, do their laundry and search for jobs if needed.
The center also provides a playroom for young children, plus tutoring and college application assistance for older children. Along with teaching them to become independent, the organization also provides classes in life skills, including the management of money and time, and sets assignments that must be complete by a set date.
The work that Family Promise is doing is impressive. Did you know that, according to nokidhungry.org, in our country about 13 million children are at risk of going to bed hungry every night? How can that be?
In a world where we have plenty of food, I find it shocking that food is thrown away daily and so many children go to bed hungry. No person, especially children, should feel the struggle of being too cold or too hungry. We need to protect our children and it’s a blessing that Family Promise has taken up the fight in our county.
Favor made it clear he hopes to help as many families as he can. He told me that rejected applicants are invited to reapply at a later date. As long as the families accept they need help and do not have an extensive criminal background or take drugs or alcohol, they have a decent chance of being accepted into the program.
How nice it would be if Family Promise can grow to include branches outside America. There are struggling families and suffering children all over the world. If we can spend time and money on wars, to send a man to the moon and to create a contraption that allows people to talk to someone across the world, surely we can spare some of that time and money and help the people who need it the most, the world over?
For more information on Family Promise Of Clear Creek, go online to ccfamilypromise.org. If you know someone in need of its services, they can apply by calling the center at 832-932-3963.
Even home taxes are bigger in Texas
How many of you hate doing your taxes? Don’t deny it, I know you do. I hate it and, to this day, I have not found anyone who enjoys the chore.
With tax season in full swing and people around the country gathering their income information and other relevant details to make sure their taxes are done and dusted before the April 18 deadline, analysts at financial-advice website WalletHub have been studying the 50 states and the District Of Columbia to determine whose residents pay the most property and vehicle taxes.
Its analysts say that, according to the US census bureau, the average American household is charged $2,149 in property taxes annually. Residents who live in one of the 27 states with vehicle property taxes are charged an extra $402, causing National Tax Lien Association to observe that’s it’s little wonder there are about $11.8 billion in unpaid property taxes each year.
To analyze the property tax rate, WalletHub divided each state’s median real-estate tax rate by its median home price. Then, they determined the average amount paid “as real-estate tax on a house worth $178,600” which was the median value of a house in America in 2015, the latest year for which figures are available.
To analyze vehicle property tax rates, data from cities and counties making up at least 50 per cent of a state’s population was examined and the information was used to draw conclusions to the state level by using “weighted averages based on population size”.
How did Texas fare? In terms of property, our state’s residents pay the sixth highest real-estate taxes in the country, with just the jurisdictions in Wisconsin, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Illinois and New Jersey charging more than ours.
The median Texas rate is $2,578 and the national median is $3,386.
The good news is that, with Texas not one of the 27 states that require their residents to pay vehicle taxes, its zero rate tied for the lowest amount with the other 23 states and DC.
What a big effect you’ve had, Grandma!
After witnessing her grandmother suffer a heart attack, College Of The Mainland alumna Jael Rivera knew she needed to be better prepared to deal with emergencies.
And so the event became the catalyst for her entrance into COM’s licensed vocational nursing program, from which she graduated last year.
What a wonderful way to use her personal struggles to better herself so she can help other people in their hour of need. As someone who has lost both grandmothers, one of them only two years ago, I know firsthand how difficult it is to see a loved one suffering and so I have a deep appreciation for her tenacity.
Rivera and her classmates were part of a program that recently won COM 14th place out of 77 similar community-college programs in Texas in an assessment conducted by practicalnursing.org.
The website, which serves future healthcare professionals, studied the exam pass rates for state licensed vocational nursing programs in the past five years.
The mid-county community college’s rate was an impressive 90.14 per cent – way to go, COM students!
Cool app with vital purpose
When someone is in urgent need of hospital services, speed is usually key in ensuring care and, in dire cases, survival.
Which is why the James Crowder funeral home is inviting county residents to download a mobile-phone application called Vital ICE – for “in case of emergency” – and enter the code 2401.
After entering the code, you’ll be asked to fill
in your personal medical information so that first responders can quickly find your vital information in an emergency.
The app, through which the information can be sent directly to a hospital, is free and can be found in the app stores on both iPhones and Androids.