Gifts from Rebuild Texas, others help rebuild Children's Village campus

After six months of being displaced due to Hurricane Harvey, Buckner foster families, foster children and staff have returned “home” to Buckner Children’s Village.

The Rebuild Texas Fund gave a gift of more than $320,000 to Buckner Children and Family Services of Southeast Texas, enabling the ministry to rebuild its Beaumont foster care campus damaged by Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Buckner Gift Officer Rhonda Robichau said Harvey caused “tremendous devastation to three of our four campus homes at Buckner Children’s Village, and to our administration building. Foster families and our staff were displaced and relocated to alternate locations. While this was a strain, we continued to meet the daily and on-going needs of the children entrusted to us.”

The damage was significant enough to displace foster families providing care in the village, and the Rebuild Texas gift will provide for the majority of renovation to the campus.

Laura May, executive director of BCFS Southeast Texas, shared her gratitude with Rebuild Texas and other individuals and organizations that contributed to the build-back.

“Thanks to Rebuild Texas and others who contributed to the safety of the children in our care, these donations allowed us to place three families back in homes, as well as our staff back into offices after being displaced seven months,” she said. “It’s been good for staff to be back in an environment where they can be available to the children and families we serve each day.”

The ministry suffered an estimated $449,000 in damages from the storm, the second-post costly hurricane in U.S. history, May said.


Chris Hensman, program officer for the Rebuild Texas Fund, said the choice to name Buckner as the gift recipient was an acknowledgement of the types of services Buckner provides.

“We knew Beaumont was one of the hardest hit areas in East Texas and that so many children and families are affected by Buckner services, so we wanted to support Buckner in serving these families.”

The Rebuild Texas Fund was created by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation “to help our region recover from one of the most significant disasters in the area’s history.” 

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