This summer was supposed to mark the 10th year in a row Woodlawn Baptist Church in Austin, Texas, would send volunteers to the Rio Grande Valley for a week-long mission trip, building a home for one of the families served by Buckner. It was supposed to be seven straight days of heat and sweat, hammers and wood, and faith and love – but their plans changed due to a global pandemic.

Throughout the past decade, Woodlawn has participated with Buckner doing home builds, mission trips and volunteering with the Buckner Family Hope Center to teach adult empowerment classes. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the church decided to cancel this year’s mission trip with Buckner. Instead, the church pledged to raise $7,000 to help 10 families they built homes for in the past pay bills during the global pandemic. 

The donation is a part of Woodlawn’s long-standing commitment to proactively support Buckner and its mission in the Rio Grande Valley, especially through the phases of the pandemic. Their commitment to financially assist the community is a great example of how during hard times, it is important to band together and help one another.

“When the Woodlawn trip was canceled as a result of COVID-19, our hearts were heavy for the families who became our friends in the Rio Grande Valley,” said Bryan Hall, student pastor at Woodlawn. “Knowing the hardships many of the families are facing, we were looking for an opportunity to give, provide relief and express our love in tangible ways.” 

Samuel Hutchinson, manager of domestic missions and construction for Buckner International, said he is grateful for Woodlawn’s continuous support to serve vulnerable families and children in the community. 

“On behalf of the families we serve, thank you to Woodlawn,” Hutchinson said. “The overwhelming level of hardship brought on by the pandemic is being felt by many families in our community. Woodlawn's generous pledge will help vulnerable families see hope shine in times of uncertainty and instability.”

The families who will benefit from the $7,000 donation are clients of the Buckner Family Hope Center in Peñitas, Texas, which qualified them for the new homes built and paid for by Woodlawn. 

Visit buckner.org/missions to see how you can serve vulnerable families in Texas or internationally.

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