Kurt Senske has visited New Life Children’s Center hundreds of times during his 25 years as Upbring CEO. One day, a brave girl named Ava* approached him and asked who he was. When Kurt told Ava he leads the organization that operates New Life, she shared a story he will never forget.
“She said that because of the therapy, life skills development opportunities and on-site education she got at New Life, she knew she would have a pretty good earthly life,” Kurt remembered.
“And because our spiritual care program taught her that her sins are forgiven, she also knew she would have an amazing eternal life.”
Ava’s story was just one of many beautiful stories of physical, emotional and spiritual healing told during Upbring Red Ball 2018. Because of the generous friends who supported our signature fundraising event, Upbring has the resources to provide care for more than 300 kids next year at New Life and in our Foster In Texas and BeREAL programs.
“We could not do what we do without you”
They are children like Jay and AJ, who didn’t always know where they would sleep or where their next meal would come from. The brothers were excited to come to Austin and go to a big party with their mom, Cheryl Lamaak, who partnered with Upbring to adopt them. Mostly, Cheryl said, the boys were excited to dance!
But before the music started, Cheryl delivered a heartfelt message to Red Ball guests.
“Your support helped me take the boys shopping for clothes when they came to live with me. They were so excited to pick out their own shoes for the first time,” Cheryl said. “I was also able to sign them up for karate, which has helped build their self-confidence. Those might seem like small things, but they make a tremendous impact in the lives of families who welcome children into their homes. We could not do what we do without you.”
Live art and live music
Red Ball guests had the chance to bid on trips, gift baskets and other items during live and silent auctions. The items were donated by generous congregations, businesses, families and individuals such as Austin artist Mila Sketch.
Mila was on-site creating a painting that she donated to New Life Children’s Center.
The evening closed with music by The Mrs. The Austin-based pock-rock group’s songs are powered by driving drum and bass lines.
But the heartbeat of each number lies in uplifting lyrics that promote a positive self-image among women.
In future blog posts, we will feature Mila Sketch and The Mrs. In the meantime, we thank you for showing Central Texas children we see them, we value them and we celebrate them.
We encourage you to visit our Flickr page and relive the fun from Upbring Red Ball 2018!
*Ava’s story is true, but we used a pseudonym to protect her identity.