Charities We Support
Monica’s House: Since its inception in 1998, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Cameron and Willacy Counties (CACCWC) has helped thousands of children in the healing process of abuse. Their Mission to Serve and Advocate for child victims of abuse through education, prevention, intervention, and recovery. Website: www.caccwc.org
Children’s Hospital-Vannie Cook: The clinic was created through a joint effort of the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Cancer Foundation, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Center. Our goal is to ensure that local children who suffer from cancer and blood diseases receive the most up-to-date care and treatment without the need to leave the region and regardless of ability to pay. The mission of the Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children’s Cancer and Hematology Clinic is to provide treatment to children in South Texas who suffer from cancer and blood disorders regardless of their ability to pay. It is the region’s first state-of-the-art pediatric hematology/oncology clinic and the only comprehensive pediatric cancer treatment facility in South Texas. Since 2001, 10,000 families have found the care they need right where they need it most, in their own backyard. Website: www.texaschildren.org
Their Mission: Ronald McDonald House of Charities of South Texas provides a home away from home for families who must travel to fulfill their children’s healthcare needs. Their Vision: We believe when you change a child’s life you change a family which can change the community, and ultimately the world. RHMC strives to be part of the solution in improving the lives of the children and their families, providing programs that strengthen families during difficult times. Website: www.rmhcofcc.org
Charro Days: An annual fiesta celebrated in Brownsville, Texas in late February, was first conceived in 1937 by local business leaders. The event commemorates the Mexican heritage of the area on both sides of the Rio Grande and is named in honor of the “Charro”, that dashing Mexican gentleman cowboy. The first Charro Days celebration was held in February of 1938, and featured parades, dances, races, a bullfight, a rodeo, a concert, a grand ball and Noche Mexicana. Residents and visitors dressed in the traditional costumes of Mexico and honored the Mexican “Charro”. The Mr. Amigo Association became a part of Charro Days in 1969 honoring a Mexican citizen who contributes to friendly bi-national relations. Plan appearance by Mr. Amigo at local events and coordinate the Hands Across the Border ceremony at the Gateway International Bridge. Sombrero Festival a three day street party in Washington Park joined the festivities in 1986 with Tejano. The three organizations collectively give back to the local community in the areas of recreation, beautification, tourism and higher education.
United Way: Fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community.
Mission Statement United Way of Southern Cameron County improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of our communities to advance the common good. We are here to bring our communities together to find and address those issues that are most important to you. Like helping children get a good start in school and in life. Like helping families become more self-sufficient. Like being sure people have access to good health care. Working with people just like you, we put people and resources together to achieve remarkable results. We attain success on issues that matter to you and your neighbors. Website: www.unitedwayrgv.org
The Brownsville Historical Association: (BHA) Manages 7 historic buildings and museums in the Mitte Cultural District and Downtown Brownsville: Stillman House Museum, Heritage Museum, Market Square Research Center, Historic Alonso Building, Historic Brownsville Museum, the Old City Cemetery and the Laureles Ranch House Museum. Through exhibitions, educational programs, publications, cultural events, and archival collections, BHA shares Brownsville’s history and cultural arts with the local community. The mission of the Brownsville Historical Association is to preserve, educate, and promote the history, heritage, and cultural arts of Brownsville, Texas and its environs through exhibitions, educational programs, publications, cultural events, and archival collections. The Vision of BHA is to improve the quality of life for all residents of Brownsville, Texas and its environs by providing life-long learning experiences about the history, cultural arts, and heritage of the region, and to continue to attract tourism to the heart of Historic Downtown Brownsville. Website: www.brownsvillehistory.org
The Las Huellas Association: Serves as an advocate for the benefit of South Texas wildlife and for the rights of South Texas wildlife managers, landowners, and sportsmen in educational and wildlife habitat-related arenas. We are dedicated to educating people of all ages, especially the youth of South Texas, about the conservation, management, and enhancement of wildlife and wildlife habitat to ensure the preservation of our cherished resources for future generations. If you are interested in learning more about how our South Texas community can conserve wildlife and habitats. Website: www.lashuellas.org
Moody Clinic: We pride ourselves in being the best outpatient rehabilitative clinic in the lower Rio Grande Valley. We have some of the most skilled therapists on staff who are providing the highest quality of care for our patients. Once you and your child walk through our doors, you become part of the Moody Clinic family!
Licensed therapists on staff provide speech/language, physical and occupational rehabilitative treatment to children ages birth to twenty-one years old who have been diagnosed with a developmental delay, disability and/or acquired injury. Website: www.moodyclinic.org
Camille Playhouse: Our beloved home to productions since 1964, the theatre is proudly named for Mrs. Camille Sams Lightner. Theatre was among Camille’s many great loves. She was a regular performer with the annual Junior Service League Follies, and had a great voice for the stage. It was a huge loss for the community when Camille passed in December 1962. When Camille’s sister, Gladys Porter, asked Camille’s good friend and fellow performer, Henri DeStefano, what should be built in Camille’s memory, Henri replied:
“Camille loved the theatre. Build her a theatre.” The City of Brownsville provided the land in Dean Porter Park and the Sam’s Foundation provided a grant to fund the construction of the facility which opened its doors in January 1964. With a drive to stimulate interest in theatre through production of stage performances and the development and application of the arts necessary to such productions, utilizing the talents and abilities of those in the Brownsville community and neighboring communities with a passion for the art, thereby engaging audiences in the artistic process, sparking the imaginations of young children and developing the next generation of stage actors, we are proud to be carrying on Camille’s dream and legacy of having community theatre in Brownsville. Camille’s legacy remains our primary mission and guides us in all we do. Website: www.camilleplayhouse.net
Tip of Texas Family Outreach: (TOTFO) Was formed from an idea developed and nurtured by Mrs. Gloria Hughes, a former nurse and member of the Cameron County Child Welfare Board. She shared her vision of making “the prevention of child abuse” a reality in our community. In January 1987, her vision was the impetus for the creation of the Tip of Texas Family Outreach. It was formed by a steering committee comprised of volunteers who held a special passion to serve as advocates for children. The agency opened its doors to the public in March 1989 and has been providing confidential and compassionate services to families residing in the City of Brownsville and its surrounding communities ever since Tip of Texas Family Outreach is a non-profit organization established to strengthen families and prevent child abuse and neglect by providing supportive services, information and referrals. Website: www.totfo.org
Good Neighbor Settlement House: Was established in 1953 by the First United Methodist Church in Brownsville, Texas. It was created to provide basic services to the Buena Vida neighborhood, the poorest neighborhood in Brownsville. As Brownsville evolved, a growing homeless population meant that many men and women were on the streets. Good Neighbor Settlement House has expanded its role to include serving the hungry and the homeless population of Brownsville. Good Neighbor Settlement House is a nonprofit, multi-service agency dedicated to assisting the needy men, women, and children of Brownsville, TX through programs that provide nutritious meals, clothing, showers, and support services. Website: www.goodneighborsettlement.org
The Brownsville Museum of Fine Art: Strives to contribute to the art education and cultural enrichment of the community, exhibit works of art, arrange for and offer educational programs for children and adults, and encourage and develop the appreciation and advancement of art throughout the community The Museum’s children’s programs have earned the organization a commendation from the Texas Art Education Association for outstanding service to the community. With support from sponsors, we will continue to build on our success. Website: www.bmfa.us
Children’s Museum of Brownsville: To introduce children to the “World of Learning” through hands-on creative and interactive exhibits, workshops, and special events. Our Vision That Children of diverse ages and backgrounds will learn through fun. That the Children’s Museum of Brownsville will complement the education system. That a child’s self-worth will be enhanced through discovery and participation
That respect for others will be strengthened through interactive, cooperative play. Focus on children (ages birth to 8 years) and their learning activities, as well as creating the opportunity for older children to be a part of the total learning process. cultivate children’s cultural curiosity, strengthen their imagination, and nurture creativity. To challenge and motivate children to discover new ways of learning by appealing to their sense of adventure and play through our exhibits, workshops and special events
To provide a positive atmosphere and clean environment for children and families to grow and learn.
The Brownsville Wellness Coalition: (BWC), a Texas not-for-profit corporation was formed to address our community’s poor health status by providing programs that promote nutrition and healthy lifestyles. Like the entire U.S. border with Mexico, which has some of the worst health outcomes in the nation (Fisher- Hoch et al., 2015), Brownsville has an alarming, above-national prevalence of residents who are overweight (34%), obese (50%), and living with diabetes (28%). Furthermore, Brownsville, Texas, is one of the nation’s poorest cities, with over 31% of families living below the poverty level (Census Bureau’s American Community Survey). BWC grew from the community’s response to our health crisis. The Brownsville Wellness Coalition envisions a future where all community members sustain a healthier way of life. Everyone will have the freedom, opportunity, and tools to be self-sufficient and achieve their best wellness. Website: www.brownsvillewellnesscoalition.com
Loaves and Fishes of the Rio Grande Valley: In 1991, we recognized a need for assistance to indigent families in Harlingen and the Upper Cameron County Area. Because of this, Loaves and Fishes of the Rio Grande Valley was formed. At first, we only operated a food kitchen for indigent families – the Bread of Life Dining Hall. Several years later, services were expanded to include job search assistance and education – the New Hope Job Shop. Family Emergency Assistance including the men’s shelter and the women’s shelters were later added to serve the community – the Open Arms Homeless Shelter. The Loaves and Fishes of the Rio Grande Valley Corporation shall be a cooperative corporation of those congregations and local denominational bodies (e.g. District, Association, Diocese, Region, Presbytery, Conference, Convention, etc.) which choose to participate. Loaves and Fishes’ primary mission is to function as the “mission arm” of the member congregations in the Upper Cameron and Willacy County areas. Loaves and Fishes of the RGV Valley, Inc., offers food, shelter, job training and placement and provides monetary and non-monetary aid to those experiencing a life altering event that takes away their ability to afford the necessities of life.
The GRMS House System: Provides an opportunity for students and faculty to interact across grade levels. In doing so, the school community benefits from positive peer pressure, increased school spirit, and healthy competition. GRMS is committed to providing education through travel and experience, offering our students outstanding opportunities and creating memories that will last a lifetime. Creating Opportunities, Transforming Lives. Website: www.guadalupeprep.org
Final Call for Alpha 5195:
The final call by dispatch to ICE Special Agent Jaime Jorge Zapata came shortly after 11:00 a.m. on a Tuesday in 2011. “Alpha 5195, this is sector, an officer with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection called on the radio. No one answered. In the silence that followed, the officer continued: “Sector to all units: Alpha 5195, Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Jaime Jorge Zapata, is 10-7 (out of service). May he rest in peace. Alpha 5195 was Jaime’s call sign. Jaime was killed in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi on Feb. 15th. May you fish on and never forget those who give their lives so that we may continue to live ours to the fullest. The Jaime J. Zapata Fishing Tournament is a memorial event honoring Special Agent Jaime Jorge Zapata, who was killed on February 15, 2011, in the line of duty, and other agents who have given their lives while in service to our country. Jaime J. Zapata Fishing Tournament is a one-day bay fishing tournament commemorating all law enforcement officers, past and present. Website: www.alpha5195.com