Sitting around the dinner table with the Jaspers, the East Texas family’s bond is tangible. It can be felt in each hug, story and burst of laughter. They love, support and encourage each other because they know how important it is that families are strong.
That’s why they’re so passionate about helping Buckner Family Pathways strengthen single-parent families. Serving in eight locations across the state, Family Pathways provides single- parent families safe, secure housing, child care assistance and a variety of other resources so single parents can attain their higher education goals and stabilize their families.
“Family is so important to us,” said Jane E Jasper Campbell. “Buckner tries to keep families together. Family is hard in general. You throw financial burdens into that, and it’s harder. We love that Buckner is fighting to keep families together through the program.”
The Jaspers have seen first-hand the impact Family Pathways has in Longview. They’ve met single moms and their children who are thriving in school. They see smiles on faces where there once weren’t any. For some of these families, they have hope for the first
time in their lives.
“It’s so uplifting,” Brent Jasper said. “You see lives flourishing. You see lives being changed. Whether that’s kids in a room or mom’s in a classroom excelling in their education, we want to multiply that.”
To increase the ministry, the Jaspers are offering a matching grant this summer to support Family Pathways, doubling gifts made toward the program. In the past 20 years, Family Pathways has impacted more than 5,800 individuals, transforming 1,900 families in the process.
“I hope we see a whole lot more of what we’ve seen,” Jon Jasper said. “We want to see more young women whose lives have been changed.”
Family Pathways makes dreams attainable for single-parent families. A significant number of the Family Pathways moms have encountered abuse in various forms. Many of the families come out of generations of poverty.
Research repeatedly shows that education is the key to increased earning power and family stability. These parents often are the first members of their family to go to college, let alone complete it. Earning a college degree instills confidence in the parents and sets the stage for success throughout life.
“Buckner addresses those basic needs: I need somewhere to live. I need somewhere my kids are safe. I need to be able to support my kids in the future,” said Carrie-Ann Jasper Yearty. “That’s what every parent wants. This provides an opportunity that they otherwise may not have: two to three years to get their feet underneath them.”