The Ella C. McFadden Endowment Fund has helped Lena Pope to evolve over the last 30 years to meet new and changing community needs. In the 1970s, the McFadden Home served as a residential treatment center, housing children and teenagers who needed extensive services.
The 1980s saw Lena Pope place children into smaller homes with highly trained staff to provide services for children with needs so severe that no one else could care for them. Through a merger with another nonprofit, Lena Pope also gained the McFadden Shelter, which provided emergency shelter for teenagers who had been sexually abused. The 1990s saw Lena Pope transition from placing all of these children in one home as residential treatment into placing these children in treatment foster care where they were part of a family.
In the new millennium, Lena Pope strategically shifted services to prevention and early intervention for children and families with an emphasis on counseling and education. Lena Pope Counseling Services has grown to provide mental health therapy to about 2,000 children and family members per year. They opened an elementary public charter school, Chapel Hill Academy, to provide high quality educational opportunities to children who otherwise wouldn’t have them. Lena Pope also opened the Early Learning Center to provide the best quality child care for six week olds to five year olds to families who cannot afford it.
All of these changes that Lena Pope made had inherent financial risks. The stable funding from the Ella C. McFadden Endowment Fund has provided stable revenue to mitigate these risks. This funding has not only allowed Lena Pope to weather the financial storms of the last thirty years, but to emerge thriving to meet the changing needs of the community. For example, in the early 2000s, United Way of Tarrant County provided almost full funding for Lena Pope Counseling Services, up to $600,000 annually. With changes to United Way’s goals, this funding has dramatically decreased over the last seven years to less than $70,000. Without stable income from the Ella C. McFadden Fund, Lena Pope may have had to decrease the number of families served in Lena Pope’s Counseling Services. Instead, Lena Pope was able to leverage these funds with efforts to diversify the program’s revenue to grow Counseling Services to serve more families than ever before.
In the future, the Ella C. McFadden Endowment Fund will continue to allow Lena Pope to provide counseling and education services to local families. It will give Lena Pope the stability needed to grow our programs and to evolve when necessary to meet community needs.
To celebrate 30 years of giving from the Ella C. McFadden Endowment Fund, Community Foundation of North Texas is hosting a series called 13 Days of Giving. Each weekday through December 17, we’ll share a story highlighting how one of the nonprofits benefitting from the fund has impacted this region. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to receive the daily alerts, or visit www.cfntx.org.
A Story of Success
Like a snowball rolling down a hill, John and Carol’s inter-generational cycle of abuse was just getting bigger and bigger. Recently, the couple started raising their two great-grandsons, Sam and Jeremiah, after neither their mother nor grandmother could provide a stable home to the boys. Unfortunately, John and Carol’s daughter as well as granddaughter have had ongoing problems with substance abuse which led to a series of unhealthy relationships involving domestic violence.
The family was referred to Lena Pope for counseling by Child Protective Services. John and Carol seemed to finally have hope they could end the vicious cycle of abuse in their family. Both Sam and Jeremiah received play therapy to learn to deal with their emotions and work through their traumas. Through counseling of their own, John and Carol learned to be supportive during such a fragile time in their great-grandsons’ lives. Also, they acquired new discipline skills that were easy to implement while setting proper limitations on the boys.
Recently, the family’s CPS case was closed, but the family continues their counseling. Sam is learning to control his anger without aggression, while Jeremiah is learning it is okay to express his emotions rather than keep his feelings bottled up. John and Carol are benefitting from continued counseling by learning to manage anxiety brought on by the ongoing custody disputes throughout their family.
The family’s ongoing counseling gives John and Carol the tools to provide a healthy environment for their great-grandsons which allows everyone to grow emotionally in a stable and loving home.
Funding from the Ella C. McFadden Fund made this counseling possible for John, Carol, Sam and Jeremiah.