Helping Hands Initiative: Centers for Children and Families needs you to help keep families strong

Published: Jan. 16, 2020 at 1:02 PM CST
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As part of CBS7’s Helping Hands Initiative, we’re looking at a nonprofit that’s helping hundreds of children in Midland-Odessa connect with their families.

Centers for Children and Families is an organization that offers free counseling services to people in need from all walks of life.

Since 1957, Centers has prided itself on building strong families by counseling both parents and children who are in serious need.

“Ultimately, the families that are in this situation are usually in it because something truly negative and sometimes traumatic has happened,” Marketing Director Melanie Saiz said.

Some of those young families need a little more help than others.

That’s why Centers offers the Kids First program – visits where children can spend quality time with non-custodial parents under the protective watch of volunteers.

Saiz explained volunteering for only a few hours twice a month can make a huge impact on a child’s relationship with their parents.

“During the visits, you’re able to see exactly what your benefit is because as kids start to loosen up, you see them opening up to the parent,” she said. “There’s a bond there that is very important, and our volunteers are helping to create that bond.”

But these visits can’t happen without volunteers.

Centers organizers said they have a serious shortage of Kids First volunteers and a long waiting list of parents trying to find supervisors to help them connect with their kids.

Organizers said if more people would volunteer for kids first, they’d know just how fulfilling it is to see families come together stronger.

“Kids ultimately love their parents,” Saiz said. “There’s something intrinsic there. They want to have that connection. And if we can provide a safe space for that and someone can be apart of that, you really are making a change in the life of this child.”

To find more information on how you can start volunteering at centers, visit their website by clicking here.

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