The Edwin A. Blue and Janice Owen Miller Charitable Fund held at East Texas Communities Foundation (ETCF) in Tyler, Texas, awarded $98,000 to assist 15 charities serving Henderson County, Texas.

“Mrs. Miller was a generous benefactor during her lifetime, giving both her time and her resources to many groups and worthy causes in and around Athens,” said Kyle Penney, President of East Texas Communities Foundation. “Mrs. Miller made plans before her death in 2007 to establish an endowment fund that continues to fulfill her charitable objectives in her beloved community.”

Henderson County HELP Center, which houses Maggie’s House Child Advocacy Center, received grant funding to provide therapy sessions to children who are the victims of abuse and neglect. The mission of Maggie’s House Child Advocacy Center is to support all aspects of services for children and families who suffer from alleged child abuse and neglect.

“The counseling program at Maggie’s House provides evidence-based Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, TF-CBT, to the child victims of abuse,” said Leslie Saunders, Executive Director for Henderson County HELP Center. “Many times, victims have to relive the trauma during the court process which can re-victimize the child. Providing therapy throughout the process helps ensure the child is receiving the support needed and not regressing after therapy was initiated.”

The goal of the counseling programs is to ensure that every child receives counseling for as long as is needed to receive optimal health and healing. “These additional sessions will allow our clients to see there is a light at the end of their complex trauma,” added Saunders.

The Library at Cedar Creek Lake was also awarded a grant from the Miller Fund to update their teen book collection, and provide additional STEM materials and board games for teen patrons.  

“Recently, the teen area was expanded, with new furniture added, including implementing new technology,” said Sondra Price, Executive Director for the Library at Cedar Creek Lake. “The library will use this grant to purchase additional STEM materials, board games, and active play games for use in programming to target teen patrons.” In addition, the library will purchase two iPads for use with STEM materials and board games featuring a digital component.

The Miller Fund Grant supports strong projects based on good ideas and compelling needs that have the potential to improve the Henderson County community and the lives of its people. Applicants are limited to non-profits with 501(c)(3) status or governmental entities providing services in Henderson County, Texas. Grant requests for support in the areas of education, health, human services, environment, and the arts are welcome. A grant committee composed of representatives from Henderson County reviewed all grant applications.

Other non-profits serving Henderson County that received grants include:

  • Library at Cedar Creek Lake for teen book collection, purchase of iPads and STEM materials
  • CASA of Trinity Valley’s volunteer recruitment and appreciation efforts
  • Community Food Pantry in Tool for the purchase of nutritional fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, protein and bread
  • Friends of the Library, Henderson County uninterrupted access to electronic resources like ebooks and audiobooks
  • Children’s Clothing Ministry of First Baptist Church, Athens, Texas, to provide shoes to public school students for the upcoming school year
  • Henderson County Food Pantry to purchase food supplies and maintain inventory
  • Henderson County HELP Center to provide 100 sessions of therapy services child victims of abuse and neglect
  • Abundant Life Pregnancy Resource Center to provide ultrasounds for pregnant mothers
  • Labor of Love to provide wheelchair ramps to 8 clients
  • Lila Lane Outreach for remodeling two bathrooms
  • Love in Action to provide transitional housing for the working poor
  • The ARK Campus Ministry to provide meeting space for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and support the Friends of the Cardinals program
  • Miss Fran’s Teaching Garden for adding a teaching corner for educators and speakers, a pollinator garden and general maintenance
  • Alzheimer’s Coalition of Henderson County to provide respite care for 9 families
  • Athens Little Theater replace air conditioning and remodel storage area