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A Jewel of a Gift

By Analiz González
Buckner International

My Father’s House Lubbock receives $250,000 donation

(LUBBOCK, Texas) — The night before Jewel Wells died, one of her best friends visited her to say that she could go home if she was ready. She would see to it that Wells’ money went exactly where she wanted it: My Father’s House Lubbock.

Eight months later, on Nov. 3, a cashier’s check of $250,000 was handed to Jill Varnell, a gift officer at Buckner International.

My Father’s House Lubbock is a Buckner program that helps single parents acquire self sufficiency by facilitating higher education through affordable housing, training programs and a licensed child care center among other services.

“It’s something Jewel could identify with,” said her friend, who wishes to remain anonymous. “It’s something she believed in.”

The donation will go to create independent living apartments for women in the program who are ready to meet the challenge of greater freedoms, such as cooking their own meals for their families and coming and going without needing to sign approval forms.

Deanna Dodd, 22, will be one of the first three women to benefit from the new living situation.

Dodd is currently studying meteorology at South Plains College while her three children attend the daycare program at My Father’s House.

“When I first got here, I got my GED,” Dodd said. “Then I started college, which had always been a joke. I mean, I had two children and another on the way so this was never a possibility before My Father’s House Lubbock.”

The new structure will help us a whole lot, she said.

“A lot of women need all the supervision in the beginning. I mean, I needed it. But this will be like a progression towards independence (for those in the program). Right now all I have is a small refrigerator in our apartment. Now I’ll have a large one and a stove and oven.”

Dodd added that she became a Christian on her first day at My Father’s House and now her three young children are growing up in a Christian home where they can pray before meals and know about Jesus’ love.

“This new donation will be a great help,” she said. “This is a great program.”

For more information on Buckner International’s transitional ministries, like My Father’s House Lubbock, visit http://www.buckner.org/trans.shtml.

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