Recent News

  • Fighting Hunger, Touching Hearts

    olddaysThings have changed since I was a child.  I remember leaving home early in the morning and returning to the house just before supper.  This was back in the days.  The days when a kid could roam the streets safely, ride their bikes in the neighborhoods for miles and miles, and anybody would feed us lunch because we were from the same community.

    The famous African Proverb of “it takes a village to raise a child is still true.” 

    The struggle today is our communities are no longer safe.  Kids have to be watched and protected from predators. Oftentimes the predators are of own household.  There is no doubt that children today are a major concern, even in most American cities.

    We have experienced the child molestation epidemic and now it has come to our attention that kids are being trafficked, sold, and used as sex toys. We used to think that this was done only in foreign countries and potentially in large cities like LA, Detroit,or Chicago. 

    Most recently we have discovered that sex trafficking has been happening in many communities both large and small.  It has surfaced and been rumored to my desk that some parents are selling their kids bodies for the exchange of drugs.  

    These scenarios are brutally true and most of us are unaware.  These disgusting selfish acts are often hidden in poverty stricken areas and done mostly in the shadows and under the cover of darkness.  If these hideous acts are not enough we have another hidden enemy in our community.  It is the enemy called hunger. 

    Hunger is also a silent hidden enemy and we cannot compare the effects of it to the devastation of sex trafficking. 

    But can we minimize the agony of a hungry child by facing this grave reality and taking a positive action against hunger.

    It is hard to fathom that we have hungry kids in our neighborhoods right here in Gregg County.  Here are the actual stats from our county records.

    Income is 9.6% less than the national average.

    19.3% of people live in food insecure homes.

    24.2% of children live in these same homes.
    That’s 7520 children at risk of hunger every day in Gregg County.
     
     The Dream Center is committed to fight hunger and to provide food assistance to families that qualify.  We are not just a food supplier, but we make sure the food is distributed to families with a legitimate need.  This is truly a collaborative program where we desire to serve and empower those we serve. 
     
    Our record to distribute, serve and support our clients is a continued source of growth and opportunity to our city.  Our relationship with the East Texas Food Bank has proven to be significant in improving and expanding the quality of the food we serve. 
     
    We recently added a large line of produce that provides delicious fruits and vegetables.  The quality of this type of food fuels the bodies, improves the health of all, and adds a sense of satisfaction to the hungered. 
     
    We are anxious to continue serving quality food to our community and our city.  There is much more to do and even better ways to provide for these kids and their families.
     
     What can you do?
    1. You can make a donation at www.longviewdreamcenter.com
    2. You can become a food assistance partner by giving a regular monthly donation
    3. You can report to us any child or family that is suffering from hunger
    4. You can volunteer at the Dream Center almost any day of the week
     
    Contact US

    If you would like to serve at the Dream Center just click here.

    If you would like to make a donation to one of our projects or programs simply click on this then click    paypal          on the Paypal link.

    You can also visit our website and check out additional opportunities!

    We would love to hear from you, please leave a comment.

     

  • The Real Need to Answer Why

    why“What” we are doing is obvious.  It is seen by the activity we are involved with.  If we are changing a tire it is quite easy to see. But to know “why” is not always obvious. It may be that we had a flat or the tire was totally used up.  There are also lots of other why’s we could apply to the scenario.

    “Why” is one of life’s most important questions. When we know “why” we know the inside story and the purpose behind the action. Knowing the “why” to something opens the door to discovery, passion, and purpose.

    Why are we feeding 400 families a month? 

    The Dream Center began due to the extreme poverty in our area and seeing the condition of impoverished families. This poverty is not only physical but generational and pervasive in our East Texas culture. We are working fluidly to create assistance for goods, programs and education for these families. This poverty cannot be broken by simply providing food and clothes but must be countered with programs and Life Skills that break the poverty cycle.

    We must also break the cycles of low self worth and generational cycles that permeate the hearts of East Texas. Confidence can be imparted along with skills that prepare the learner for jobs and employment. At the Dream Center we have started our goals to break poverty by providing food and clothes that form a relational foundation of trust and care. Through providing needed resources we have found an entrance of trust that enables us to go deeper into our clients struggles.

    Why are we so focused on helping others?lady

    Our LifeSource Food Program serves a variety of families. One of our primary clients are grandmothers raising children. We estimate that a large portion of our food clients are in this category.   The struggle with this segment of society is they are locked into a desperate situation. The struggle includes age limitations and no possible means to enter back into the job market. Most of these grandmothers are past the age of employment and their retirement funds are either social security or low-income pensions. The need is obvious.

    Why are we needed?

    The things we have previously accomplished reveal the need.

    • Distributed over 37,560 pounds of food in 2014
    • Provided food for over 4,000 families in Gregg County.
    • Hosted 720 volunteers in the city of Longview
    • Logged a total of 17,000 volunteer hours.
    • Started the Senior Box Food Program for East Texas
    • Currently serving over 100 Senior’s a healthy box of food every month.

    Why do want to do more?

    We must also break the cycles of low self worth and generational cycles of poverty that permeate the hearts of East Texans. We believe we can give hope and instill confidence through life skills classes.  These classes will empower people to become gainfully employed and stand on their own in the future.

    We are very close to finishing our Life Skills Classroom.  This has been an both an exciting and challenging project. It has taken us several months to make this a reality.  At times it has seemed like it would not happen. We have remodeled the room, purchased all new equipment and recruited our exceptional teachers.

    IMG_0967We are seeking a 5 Star Partner to sponsor for our LifeSkills Classroom at the Dream Center. This partnership also includes endorsing our computer classroom after your company and hanging a beautiful large banner with your name or company name in our facility and in the classroom.  For information to sponsor this program please contact Shonna Barlow at 903.653.1740.

    If you would like to serve at the Dream Center just click here.

    If you would like to make a donation to one of our projects or programs simply click on this then click on the Paypal link.paypal

    We would love to have you become a volunteer with US!

    You can also check out more opportunities by visiting our website.

    We would love to hear from you.

    Please leave a comment on how the Dream Center has blessed your life or family.

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