Due to the threat of COVID-19 in Texas, Camp Buckner has been closed for retreats and day camps, but that hasn't stopped the staff from continuing to serve families and children even while working remotely.
Six college-aged Camp Buckner employees have hand-written more than 350 encouraging notes to foster families across the state of Texas.
"We want to continue to serve in some way even if the camp itself is closed," said Bill Joe Averitt, Camp Buckner retreat director. "We thought this would be a great opportunity for our camp staff to keep busy and continue to provide ministry to families during difficult times."
The letters were meant to show foster families they were not alone and expressed hope and encouragement for the present and future.
"My favorite thing while writing the letters was picking a Bible verse to include in the letters," said MaryJane Borrego. "I'm hoping these letters are a little surprise to the foster families and it gives them a smile and hope that things are going to get better."
MaryJane is a Camp Buckner weekend activity staff member, working on her degree from Texas State University. She wrote more than 50 letters to foster families and tried to encourage them to stay safe and healthy and to find ways to enjoy the extra time with family.
Janeth Wilson, a Camp Buckner weekend activity staff member working on her degree from University of Texas at Austin, wrote 80 letters to families and said the families were not the only ones to receive hope and encouragement from the letters.
"During this time, it was something that gave me hope and something to look forward to," she said. "I got to hand write the letters and make them personal. It added a whole new level of showing how I truly feel for the families and let them know they are being thought of and prayed for by someone they may not know.
"If anyone has the time to sit down and write a letter to someone they have not talked to or seen in a while, I would say do so," Janeth continued. "We do not know what the exact future will look like, but we can send love and hope through letters."