Nova Festervan, a co-founder of Hands of Hope and Evelyn Barrett, lunch coordinator, are ready for tea. Photos submitted by Hands of Hope
Helping Hands hosts annual Tea ‘n More fundraiser
Fifteen years ago, the nonprofit ministry Hands of Hope held its first fundraiser, Tea ‘n More. Nova Festervan, one of the co-founders of this ecumenical ministry, relates that it was held in the tea room of the Price Senior Citizen Center with Pat Hager playing the harp while Bert Flannigan of Costumed Occasions provided commentary and Tamera Keithley modeled Aurelia Newton’s beautiful blue Rose Festival gown. The early 1900 wedding dress and shoes worn by Dot Renfro’s grandmother were displayed; as was Brenda Kyle’s beautiful red, ruffled, full-skirted prom dress from the 1950s. Lovely tables were set by hostesses; and Festervan remembers one table especially, set by Joy Lengefield, set the standard for years to come.
Hands of Hope has continued to provide encouragement, hope, education, confidence, and a move toward self-sufficiency for undereducated and disadvantaged women of Hays County. As a faith-based ministry, Hands of Hope relies on support from local churches and individuals and grants from local community organizations. Tea ’n More has continued through the years as a major fund-raiser and a favorite event among the ladies of San Marcos.
Current and past graduates of Hands of Hope.
On a beautiful spring afternoon, March 23, The Price Center again welcomed the Hands of Hope annual fundraiser, Tea ‘n More. Through the years, the tea has grown, encompassing all of the historic rooms of the Price Center. High tea was served in both the Tea Room and the 1910 Room which were decorated with beautifully adorned tables set by table hostesses using their own china, silver and imagination to provide amazing centerpieces. Those attending were treated to traditional high tea offerings such as savories, scones, sweets and tea provided by the Texas Pie Company of Kyle. A spring style show from Chico’s and Brighton provided lots of enthusiasm, as did a successful Silent Auction and raffle housed in the 1893 room.
As Tea ‘n More has grown, so has Hands of Hope. This ecumenical ministry organized in 2004 through an effort of many churches in San Marcos, began its classes meeting in low-income housing of San Marcos. When that space was no longer available, First Baptist Church of San Marcos welcomed the ministry to share their building.
Dr. Rosie Morris, Everyday Ethics teacher, and daughter Rachel Morris, have found something to bid on at the silent auction.
Two free 10-week sessions are held each year, providing a Christian context in which women in need are equipped for life and employment. Classes change from semester to semester depending on the needs of the participants. They spend five hours a day, four days a week in classes. Currently, the classes include daily Bible Study, Skills to Pay the Bills (job-readiness), Math, Individual Computer Training, Everyday Ethics, Writing/Reading/ESL (when needed), Language Arts, Money Management, Let’s Get Organized, Health and Nutrition, Personal Discovery, Exercise and Communication. There are coordinators, teachers, mentors and advisory council members from different church affiliations in San Marcos. Each participant is teamed with a mentor, who meets and encourages her throughout the session. All positions in Hands of Hope are staffed by volunteers, which at this time number 41. All classes are taught by retired teachers or individuals with professional experience in the subjects they teach. Transportation and childcare are provided when they are needed, and daily lunches are provided by church and community groups. When ladies graduate, they have the possibility to move forward with additional education with help from the Hands of Hope Scholarship Fund.
Currently, 10 ladies are completing the spring semester of Hands of Hope. They will be graduating on April 25, at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church. This is a beautiful graduation ceremony which includes the ladies speaking about their journey during the 10 weeks. Please join us for graduation and a beautiful reception following. If you are interested in volunteering or know someone who would like to attend our fall session, please contact Charlotte Evans 512-576-0117.