President Steven Hinson along with State Director Jose Garcia and Director John Harmon recounted their trip to the State Capitol to meet with Representatives James Frank and Craig Estes on February 20, 2013. This day was designated by the Texas Association of Builders (TAB) as Rally Day for 2013. Rally Day comes around every two years when there is a legislative session. Approximately 7000 TAB members covered the capitol lawn to voice their opinions on specific issues facing the home building industry. Steven said, “Water was the major topic on everyone’s list”. Without water you lose industries which in turn cause population growth to decline. It’s a trickledown effect that can be devastating. John Harmon mentioned although they had the opportunity to visit the Representative’s offices it would be more effective for members to keep in constant contact with the Representatives while they are out of session in a more relaxed atmosphere and voice their concerns.
Steven and Jose both attended the TAB winter board meetings while in Austin. They mentioned each HBA is assigned to a specific area and our HBA shares the area with Ft. Worth and Abilene. Both Ft. Worth and Abilene HBA’s were receptive to being involved in events held by the NTHBA as well as having the NTHBA join in their events. Steven and Jose both mentioned the importance of contributing to the TAB HOMEPAC to help fund candidates who support protecting the interest of the home building industry. Steven said he would like to see the NTHBA become a 100% supporter by reaching the annual goal set by TAB. The goal is $25.00 per member this year. Steven also mentioned the Sunbelt Builder Show is June 24-25, 2013. TAB would like to see more members participate in order to attract more vendors. This would also be an opportunity for members to attend some of the TAB meetings set in conjunction with the show to become familiar with how TAB works for them. Every member is welcomed to attend any and all meetings TAB schedules.
After giving members a recap of their trip to Austin, Steven Hinson showed how the NTHBA takes pride in giving back to the community and area counties. Most people recognize the NTHBA from the annual Parade of Homes that was scheduled for the 60th time last year and proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity. However in recent years the NTHBA started giving back more. For the past 3 years the NTHBA has been blessed with the opportunity to give scholarships to individuals wanting to further their education for a career in the home building industry. They are still seeking applications for 2013. Recently the NTHBA began an annual golf tournament to raise funds to give to local charities. On March 7, 2013 the NTHBA was honored to present checks of $1250.00 each to four local charities from the proceeds from the 2012 Golf Tournament. Our goal is to keep the money here in the community.
The first recipient was CASA of Red River –Court Appointed Special Advocates who advocate for children who find themselves in the court system as victims of child abuse and/or neglect. Many of them are in foster care and need a “voice in court” in order to find a safe and permanent home as soon as possible. President Katherine Smith accepted the funds for CASA and expressed the money will be used to train volunteers who are assigned to cases to provide the voice for these children by sharing with the court both the child’s wishes and the volunteers recommendations for what is in the child’s best interest.
The second recipient was Christmas in Action – A non-profit organization that was originally known as Christmas in April and due to founder Bobby Trimble’s efforts, Christmas in April Wichita County, TX. Inc. was formed in 1983 from the interest and efforts of one of our now city leaders Councilor Mary Ward. In 2004 it broke away from the parent company and the name changed to Christmas in Action. Their mission is to repair homes for the low-income elderly and low-income disabled in Wichita County. Since Christmas in Action started in 1983 over 2000 homes have been repaired. The last Saturday in April is known as Project Day for Christmas in Action and orientations and training are available for volunteer house captains needed to lead home repair projects. In the absence of Executive Director Cassie Ahearn, Councilor Mary Ward and Cassie’s husband John Ahearn accepted the check for Christmas in Action. It was said the donation couldn’t come at a better time and will definitely go to good use helping area residents.
The third recipient was DAV Chapter 41 – Disabled American Veterans Chapter 41 is the local chapter in Wichita Falls which reaches out to help those who proudly served their country to protect and preserve the freedoms of the American people then find themselves in situations mentally, physically and economically where they need help themselves. Chapter Commander Joel Jimenez and Service Commander Hugh McElroy explained to members we have many veterans come home after serving their country with physical and mental wounds that require numerous trips to the VA hospital in Lawton and most have no transportation or funds to make these trips. The DAV will transport sometimes up to 20 veterans a week to the VA Hospital for appointments. The DAV also helps pay for prescriptions, utilities and groceries for some of these veterans who are no longer able to provide for themselves. This Chapter of the DAV also has a therapeutic program where they take veterans who have come back from war suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder to a hunting lodge in South Texas with other Veterans. This trip helps them to overcome the traumatic memories that keep them from enjoy the everyday sport of hunting or just shooting a gun. It also gives them time to bond with others who experience the same post traumatic stress disorder as themselves.
The fourth recipient was Faith Mission – Executive Director Steve Sparks told the members, “This focused Christ-centered ministry assesses individual needs, receives clients into Mission ministries, and determines their personal areas of capability from which to nurture their growth process.” Faith Mission works to change the lives of less fortunate and homeless people so they can become self-sufficient. Faith Mission has two facilities. Faith Mission shelters men and families experiencing homelessness and Faith Refuge shelters women experiencing homelessness and mothers with children. Both shelters offer a one-year program, “New Beginnings”, for persons struggling with addiction. Individuals enter the program voluntarily or by court order. The money will be used to continue their efforts to fight homelessness in Wichita Falls.
Each charity expressed their gratitude for the donations and told members there is always room for volunteers if anyone would be interested in volunteering.
In closing President Steven Hinson announced the next meeting will be April 11, 2013 at the Good Times Party Barn. This event will be a family night with food, fun and fellowship. The 363rd Training Squadron instructors and families are invited, so please plan to attend and show your appreciation for their service.