A group of supporters, community residents, leaders and members of the Buckner family celebrated the Buckner Family Hope Center at Aldine as it observed its 27th anniversary of ministry to the Aldine community and its fifth anniversary as a Buckner ministry.
Albert L. Reyes, President and CEO of Buckner International, praised the work of the center and the efforts of Sylvia Bolling, who founded the ministry in 1990. "We’ve been able to capitalize on the longstanding reputation for excellence and in-depth family services that this ministry has provided, and added that to the strength and direction of Buckner to bring hope to families in the community."
Founded by Bolling as the Aldine YOUTH Community Center, the ministry was started when she uttered two words: “Yes, Lord.” That small phrase was an answer to the vision God gave her that year to “make a difference in the lives of the youth in the community," she said. Her vision started an effort that eventually led to the establishment of the Aldine YOUTH Community Center.
“Our one-stop-shop center served thousands of youth and families and was a place of healing and transformation in the community," she recalled. "God’s faithful promise to send everything and everybody we needed – in his time, his way and his season – was manifested over the years, allowing the vision to flourish.”
In 2012, Aldine YOUTH joined with the statewide and international resources of Buckner International to create a stronger, more sustainable program. The ministry currently ministers to at-risk youth and their families, serving about 5,000 households in a community encompassing a two-mile radius of U.S. Highway 59 North and Aldine Mail Route.
The area includes 12 schools, five subdivisions, seven apartment complexes and several businesses and churches. About 85 percent of the students living in our community are considered economically disadvantaged
The Family Hope Center offers a variety of educational, vocational, social and recreational services accessible to the community and designed to meet its specific needs. The Hope Center strives to address the gaps in services by identifying service providers for those in need and overcoming social, language, cultural, transportation and location barriers.
In addition to Reyes and Bolling, also speaking at the event were current Family Hope Center Director Shawna Roy and Houston Philanthropist Martha Turner, founder and chairman emeritus of Martha Turner I Sotheby's International Realty. The meal was provided by the staff of Buckner Parkway Place in Houston.