For so many people, time feels like it is standing still right now, but the Texas children who need help from Azleway are growing closer to adulthood every day. We have a limited time to impart the skills they are going to need to become productive and self-supporting grown-ups and we can’t take a break.
Thank heavens there are always others willing to help in the mission! For the past 12 years, Mueller Inc. has partnered with the popular television show Texas Country Reporter to choose a deserving non-profit organization in Texas to receive a free Mueller building. Mueller Helping Hand history.
On behalf of the kids we serve, we are thrilled that Azleway has been chosen as the recipient of the 2020 Helping Hands building. We are planning a vocational training program for our Big Sandy Azleway Substance Abuse Program (ASAP). Breaking the chain of addiction is paramount, but with years of interrupted schooling due to drug or alcohol abuse, many of these teens need a roadmap to a future that doesn’t always include college.
Mueller personnel traveled to Big Sandy in early October to erect the building and Texas Country Reporter was on site to film the build and capture the special moments such as the dedication ceremony, where the Azleway will receive the keys to their new building. KLTV came out to watch the build during the week.
The Azleway Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) generally serves 100 kids a year, between the ages of 12-18. The boys’ average age is 16 and they usually stay between 90-120 days but can stay longer to continue the program. While most of our teens are court-ordered, private placement is available.
Vocational instruction will allow certifiable levels of skill training for the students, sending them into adulthood with verified abilities valuable to employers. Programs are planned for printing, metal, and wood trades, with expected expansions into other area in the future. Vocational training can have a positive impact on a person’s motivation, attitude, self-esteem, and self-confidence. These kids are rebuilding after years of self-medication and learning solid, transferable work skills will serve them for the rest of their lives.
While we could not be more excited about receiving the gift of this building, we will be reaching out to the community for other needs to make this program viable, including specialized equipment for each trade. Our community has always rallied to help these vulnerable kids, and we know our neighbors will continue to show grace and generosity to those who most need it.