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January 15th

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The Gift of Community | Upbring

The Gift of Community 1

This Christmas season at Upbring we’re sharing some of our favorite gifts — the kind that continue to be a blessing long after they’ve been received. From the gifts of home and comfort to health and education, we’ll share inspiring stories as our way of saying thank you to all of you who so faithfully and generously made these gifts possible.


A community is more than a group of individuals living in geographical proximity. Community forms when people share the same interests and concerns or come from similar walks of life. It’s a group of people who work together, rally when the call is sounded and remain close. Community means loyalty.

Upbring is more than an organization. We’re a community of dedicated stewards inspired by faith and driven by our mission to break the cycle of child abuse.

In today’s story, you will meet a family whose service and contributions to the Upbring community span over 40 years and continue to this day. They are one of many families who have created a legacy that will impact generations for years to come.

Meet the Franklins.

The note read, “Let’s adopt.” It was 1969 when Larry Franklin wrote this on his church bulletin and passed it to his wife, Mary Lee. Her response was one of shock. With two beautiful young daughters already, Mary Lee knew she was capable of opening her heart to any child brought into her life, but she wasn’t sure if Larry was serious. That is until he called Upbring to set up an appointment.

Almost nine months later, the Franklins adopted a baby boy and named him Wood. From the very beginning, they were open and honest with him about his adoption. He felt loved and cherished just the same.

Through the years Mary Lee and Larry stayed close to Upbring. They were invited to a President’s Council dinner one year, and from there, their involvement grew stronger. Mary Lee served on the board of directors for 15 years and was even chairman for part of that time. She has since passed the torch to Wood, who currently serves on the Upbring board. Together as a family, the Franklins put in countless hours collecting and distributing clothes to foster children across Texas.

Because Upbring meant so much to their family, Mary Lee and Larry decided to give back. The couple has made many generous gifts so that they can help pave the way for a brighter future – and a loyal community – for even more children.


Please consider making a year-end gift now to support other families like the Franklins. Your donation to Upbring will provide the gift of community this Christmas season and into the New Year.

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