Humane Society Adoption Weekend is here

NEWS RELEASE

ADOPTION WEEKEND JUNE 5-7

The Humane Society of Central Texas will participate in the ASPCA National Adoption Weekend June 5-7 to encourage the public to safely complete adoptions from home amid the COVID-19 crisis.

During this time, HSCTX will hold Zoom meetings each day at 11 a.m. for the public to participate in virtual introductions to dogs that are available for adoption. The shelter has remained operational throughout COVID, but our buildings are not open to the public. One result is that animal adoptions have decreased over the last 3 months.

We are conducting these virtual introductions to increase our adoption rate and get homeless animals into loving homes.

To find out more about our minimal-exposure, contact-free adoption process visit humanesocietycentraltexas.org or call 254-754-1454.

MORE INFO: Visit ASPCA.org/AdoptFromHome for more information about the ASPCA National Adoption Weekend, including a comprehensive map of participating animal shelters and rescue groups. This initiative will encourage the public — including people currently caring for foster animals — to complete adoptions from their homes to safely place thousands of homeless dogs, cats, and horses into adoptive homes across the country.

During this period of uncertainty, it’s more important than ever for people to consider adopting a new animal not only for their benefit, but also to free up space and resources for other vulnerable animals in need.

Follow along on social media @ASPCA or use the hashtag #AdoptFromHome to see the nationwide campaign in action. Potential adopters are also encouraged to stay updated on local efforts by following @HSCTX at facebook.com/hsctx, twitter.com/drpaulahsctx,
and Instagram.com/hsctx.

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About the Humane Society of Central Texas
As an advocate for the animals at the City of Waco Animal Shelter, the Humane Society of Central Texas provides adoptions, rescue and foster opportunities, as well as community education regarding responsible pet ownership. The partnership between HSCTX and the City of Waco Animal Services, along with the support of the community, City of Waco, Central Texas and beyond, has resulted in a current average live-exit rate of above 90%. Our goal is to save each and every healthy or treatable animal that
comes into the shelter because we believe that every Waco animal deserves a chance. With the continued help and support of every person who has a heart for homeless pets, we believe it can be done!

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health
services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Equity in action

By Rachel E. Pate

“In a racially equitable society, the distribution of society’s benefits and burdens would not be skewed by race.”The Aspen Institute

Brief Rewind

Around this time last year, the City of Waco, our mayor and city council held a retreat addressing racial inequity within our community. J.B. Smith, Waco Tribune-Herald reporter, covered the story in “Waco council takes aim at racial disparities, gentrification” (May 23, 2019).  Some of the staggering statistics gathered and presented by the city were highlighted in J.B.’s article, revealing that:

  • Whites account for 43% of Waco’s population but hold 80% of the jobs paying more than $40,000 as of 2015.
  • Among white households, 13.5% make less than $25,000 a year, compared with 25.3% among Hispanics and 51.1% among blacks.
  • Nearly 29% of white households make more than $100,000 a year, compared with 3.3% for blacks and 8.7% for Hispanics.
  • African Americans in 2017 had a 31% mortgage denial rate, compared with 20.9% for Hispanics and 11.7% for whites.

In the news article Councilman Dillion Meek stated: “I’ve always put a high value on grit and self-determination, but if the goal is to improve the economy, we have to look at systems from 100 or 150 years ago to now,” Meek said. “The outcomes from the data speak for themselves and are a direct result of the history of this community.”

Assistant City Manager Deidra Emerson was also quoted saying: “The end goal is to ensure that everyone in Waco thrives, including people of color. … The starting point for the next generation is the ending point of the last generation. If we don’t start to change those outcomes now, we’ll keep repeating the same things.“

Pandemic Proportions

Positioned against the backdrop of a once-in-a-century global pandemic, we all witnessed our nation’s institutions, systems, businesses and, most importantly, people brace for a great unknown together. As the virus spread, we were forced to mourn more and differently than before, all while swallowing disproportionate effects happening in communities of color. The Pandemic drastically changed so much of what we thought we once knew and added to the boiling pot of health disparities, income disparities, racial disparities and inequity in the fabric of America.  

As the wave of concern swept through our nation, our local leaders were called to immediate attention and action; elected officials, health officials, business experts and volunteer task forces were all on one accord. 

The Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce (CTAACC), along with others, was right in the thick of early and ongoing discussions about community health and our local economy. Our staff immediately pivoted from pre-set work to intentionally and strategically supporting the needs of our community’s small and minority-owned businesses. 

We partnered with the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to support immediate small business initiatives like our StarBridge Bingo and Buy Local Waco online marketing campaigns. We worked together to collect grassroots data from businesses, employees and people of color. 

CTAACC was firmly seated at the table with the city and other community partners breaking down information, providing frequent updates and contributing solutions. 

Collective Voices

While weeks of the shelter-in-place orders and social distancing continued, CTAACC assembled an informal advisory group to work alongside our staff and help create solutions for business equity. Community business members and leaders included Wannika Muhammad, Rev. Marlon Jones and Cuevas Peacock, who each added diversity, passion and perspective to the dialogue. Our group later became known as the CommUnity Voices team. United in tackling the tasks before us, we put our heads together and strategically planned our moves ahead.  

Within our virtual, weekly think-tank sessions, each member shared our concerns about equity, community and business. Each contributed wisdom and insight from our collective backgrounds in business and community development, religion and higher education and lived experiences. We examined and digested everything around us and studied the historical pre-sets of inequity. 

As we saw increased unemployment rates for workers, struggling small businesses and government relief that could only do so much, the group determined that solid, perpetual initiatives were mandatory to rightfully shore up vulnerable, small, minority-owned businesses. In those conversations, our vision for equity was honed.

Forward March

The Chamber’s Center for Business Excellence (CBE) has long been an engine for small business development, offering free business tools, technology resources and meeting space. Utilizing this existing program, CTAACC established the Cen-Tex Minority Business (CTMB) Equity Fund in May 2020 to provide business relief to businesses of color through grant funding and micro-loans.  (Donate Here.)

The CTMB Equity Fund is the first local fund in our community that will assist small minority-owned businesses facing income loss or rising expenses due to circumstances caused by natural disasters, illness, global pandemics, or any situation that disrupts their economic and social well-being. 

The fund will also provide increased access to social capital and business training/education for entrepreneurs. Our kick-start campaign goal of $100,000 provides individuals, organizations and businesses with the opportunity to not only talk about equity but invest in it also.  I could say more, but for now I’ll digress and take a breath. There’s still more action to be done tomorrow.

The Center of Business Excellence (CBE) is a private sector 501(c)(3) charity affiliated with the Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce. The CBE actively helps McLennan County small businesses thrive by providing operational, social, and financial resources needed to sustain business development. The CBE manages the Cen-Tex Minority Business Equity Funda program created by the Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce and a Business Advisory Committee comprised of community business members and leaders.  

The purpose of the fund program is to provide short-term, immediate aid/relief to small, local minority-owned businesses facing income loss or rising expenses due to circumstances caused by natural disasters, illness, global pandemics, or any situation that disrupts their economic and social well-being. 

Any McLennan County-based, minority-owned, small business with 10 employees or less is eligible to apply for assistance. Grants/loans may be awarded up to $2,500 dependent on resources. I could go on, but for now I guess I’ll digress and take a breather. There’s action to be done tomorrow.

Editor’s Note: Investments in the CTMB Equity Fund are currently being accepted online at www.centexchamber.com. The online application portal for business funding is expected to open later this month. CTAACC can be reached at (254) 235-3204.


Rachel E. Pate is vice president of economic development at Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce (CTAACC) in Waco. Rachel is a native Wacoan and graduate of University High School. Since 2016, Rachel has served in various roles at the chamber and championed the causes of small entrepreneurs, women, and minorities. She is also a LeadershipPlenty Institute graduate, Rapoport Academy Public School Board member and Start-Up Waco Board member.

With her mother being a Sunday School teacher and evangelist, Rachel began serving the community at a very early age. She was active on her church’s usher board and youth ministry. Some of her fondest memories of growing up in Waco are being surrounded by her large, extended family for reunions and Juneteenth gatherings; her mother is one of 11 siblings who all hail from Waco. Her father, R.E. Pate Jr. (deceased), and mother met at Paul Quinn College in the early 1970s — the same campus where CTAACC resides today.

Rachel is also a proud mom of one, a lifelong member of Toliver Chapel Church, a lover of the great outdoors, an avid basketball fan, and a dedicated wearer of Converse’s Chuck Taylor shoes. Rachel’s favorite scripture is Romans 8:31- “…If God be for us, then who can stand against us?”

Helping your teen through the strangest year ever

From The Heart of Texas Region MHMR

Most teenagers strive for independence, want to be with their peers, and are looking ahead to the future. Given this, how do we care for young people during this time, when they aren’t able to hang out with their friends and whose plans may have been cancelled or postponed by the coronavirus? Below are some strategies that might help to address these unexpected parenting challenges, especially at a time when many adults are struggling to hold it all together.

Make Space for Disappointment and Sadness

Teenagers everywhere are facing losses. Once-in-a-lifetime events, such as, graduations, sporting events, and proms have either been cancelled or drastically modified. Performances and competitions for which teenagers have been preparing for months, if not years, have been cancelled overnight. While schools and teachers struggle to get coursework online, gone are the clubs, teams, and other interactions that many students enjoy.  

Though we can’t replace what’s been lost, adults should not undervalue the power of offering empathy to discouraged adolescents. In addition to feelings of anxiety around COVID-19, teenagers may be feeling sad, angry, and frustrated about what has become of their year. Words of understanding or empathy might include, “I hate that you have lost so much so fast and I am sorry this has happened. You’ll get through this, but that doesn’t make it any easier right now.” When it comes to addressing painful feelings with teenagers, offering compassion can help pave their way toward feeling better.

Make Space for Relief and Joy

The same teenagers who may be feeling upset about missing school and their peers, may also express some feelings of relief. As much as they are grieving their losses, they may also be relieved at getting out of some commitments they never wanted to keep, or interactions with classmates, teachers or coaches that may have been negative in the past. We might say, “It’s OK to feel relief now too,” while reassuring teenagers that embracing the upsides of the disruption does not minimize what they’ve lost or their worries about the impact of the virus.

Expect Friction Regarding Their Social Lives

If you’re a parent who is sticking to the social distancing guidelines, your teenager is probably already frustrated with you, as some parents are still allowing their kids to hang out as usual. To address this we might say, “I know that other parents are still having kids over, but we can’t support that choice because it doesn’t fit with what the official safety recommendations are.” From there, we can let our teenagers know that when turning down invites they are free to blame us, and that if local safety guidelines allow, we’re open to their suggestions about how they might get together with friends outdoors, six feet apart.

When adolescents can’t see their peers in person, it seems only fair to loosen the rules on how much time they spend connecting online. But all bets aren’t off. Now, as always, rules are still in order to keep digital technology from undermining essential elements of healthy development. Sleep, productive learning, physical activity and face-to-face interactions (even if only with family members for now) should not be crowded out by life online.

Allow Privacy and Time Alone

Of course, few adolescents will want to spend all of their new at-home time with their parents or guardians. Teenagers who are formally quarantined, under shelter-in-place orders, or simply practicing social distancing will need and deserve privacy and time alone. Make it clear that you welcome your teenagers’ company, but don’t take it personally if they want you nearby but quiet, or if they want to spend time in some other private space in your home.

Think about approaching your teenager with an extra measure of thoughtfulness when making requests. For example, saying, “We’re going to need you to supervise your sister for a couple of hours, but we know that you have plans too. How should we do this?” might be a good place to start.

Treat Teenagers as Problem-Solving Partners

As we struggle to figure out new rules, systems and routines for daily living, let’s remember that adolescents are usually at least as resourceful as adults. Don’t hesitate to ask teenagers’ help. We could say, “We’re all having to invent new ways to arrange our days. Can you show me what you have in mind so that I can get a feel for your regular schedule and make sure you’re covering all your bases?”

The school year is ending, summer is nearly here and there is a lot we still don’t know about how that will unfold for our teenagers, but there are some truths about adolescents that can help us through this difficult time: they welcome empathy, they are resilient and adaptable, and they appreciate — and tend to live up to — high expectations.

Substance Use Disorder lost in the Coronavirus Pandemic

By Bill Baily, President and CEO of Cenikor Foundation

As the country learns to fight the coronavirus, the opioid epidemic has slipped back to the shadows. Just a few months ago, that epidemic was taking almost 200 lives per day, 67,367 in 2018, and had become a household topic. Taskforces, committees, legislators, communities and treatment providers were standing together to help make resources available for those that found themselves suffering from addiction issues.

We are facing a time of unprecedented stress and unknowns. Unemployment is rapidly rising. Social distancing brings the psychological fallout of isolation. It is vitally important, now more than ever, to the health of our nation to ensure that treatment is available and accessible. Times of high stress bring with them an increase in alcohol and drug use and abuse which compounds the issues that our families and communities are already facing. According to a National Institute on Drug Abuse report following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, “stressful times are particularly difficult for those who are more vulnerable to substance abuse and stress. Stress is one of the most powerful triggers for relapse in addicted individuals, even after long periods of abstinence”.

As we all know, hospitals are dealing daily with the pandemic and we are so grateful for the doctors and nurses showing up every day. A lesser known fact is that as stay at home orders have been issued across Texas, substance use disorder services have been designated essential services. This further emphasizes the necessity for those struggling with addictions to be able to receive the services they so desperately need. At Cenikor Foundation, we have been serving a community in the crisis of addiction for over 53 years and continue to meet the challenge through this crisis. True to the trends we have seen in previous crises, we continue to see a steady stream of calls for help. Our staff have risen to the challenge to provide safe environments for those seeking services and continue to provide daily the care that is necessary to save the lives of those suffering from addiction. We are honored and privileged to continue being a place for change during, through, and after this national crisis. Whether you or someone you love is searching for detoxification, short term residential/inpatient or outpatient treatment services in the Waco area, and whether you are insured, uninsured or under-insured, we can help. For every unique situation, there is a door to successful recovery, there are resources available and it is the right time to ask for help.


Bill Bailey has served as President and CEO of Cenikor Foundation since 2004. Through Bill Bailey’s 16 years of leadership, Cenikor has provided strategic guidance, igniting a successful cycle of growth in geographic scope and treatment services within Cenikor’s full continuum of care. Bill’s commitment to Cenikor and the overall behavioral health community is one of long-term success, focused on Cenikor raising public awareness in the areas of treatment, prevention and education, and continuing a progressive movement on a national level. 

Mental Health in the Time of Corona Virus: Helping Children Cope Emotionally


From your Heart of Texas Region MHMR (For more posts in this series, click here: Mental Health in the Time of Corona Virus)


Children are being flooded with information about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) from a variety of sources.  This is a unique situation that may leave parents questioning what to say to their children and how to address the possible emotional fallout from this concerning and anxiety-producing time in our society.

Children need to have important, factual, and appropriate information. They are likely receiving information from peers, adults, social media, and news outlets. We know that not all of this information is accurate.  Parents should provide accurate information in an effort to reduce possible confusion, fear and anxiety and to provide reassurance.  Be careful not to provide too much information and keep it at a level that the child is able to understand.

Remain sensitive to your child’s mood, behavior, and any noticeable changes in regular patterns such as sleeping and eating.   Some children keep their thoughts and feelings to themselves, while others act out their emotions. If you notice changes in your child, encourage them to express their feelings so you can explain and provide support. This provides safety and security for your child in the midst of difficult feelings and emotions. 

Continue to have as much structure in the day as your time will allow. Life as your children know it has been disrupted probably more than any other time in their lives. They are not attending school, they may not be seeing friends, sporting events have been cancelled or postponed, and they may be staying home more. Structure can decrease the amount of anxiety a child may be feeling, and give them a sense of control.

Provide children with practices that decrease the chances of getting the virus. Inform your children of the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations on what safety steps can be taken to lessen the spread of the virus (e.g., washing hands frequently, using wipes to clean surfaces, not gathering in large groups, keeping distance from others, using proper means to cover mouth when coughing or sneezing). This will offer children a sense of control over the spread of the virus.

Be aware of your own responses to COVID-19. Children take signals from their parents. Try to be aware of how you are feeling and your own experiences around COVID-19, and how this can affect your child. Speak to a friend, spouse or other trusted person to talk about your concerns and anxieties.  Don’t wait to feel overwhelmed by your worries to speak to others.  Having ongoing discussion with others will help you with your own anxieties and in not feeling you are alone in your concerns.


MHMR Mental Health Hot line – 254-752-3451 or 1-866-752-3451 – 24 hours a day. For questions related to substance use challenges, call 254-297-8999. Call 911 for a life-threatening crisis. 

Mental Health in the Time of Corona Virus: Taking Care of Yourself is Not a Luxury


From your Heart of Texas Region MHMR


During times like these taking care of yourself isn’t a luxury. It is essential. And during this difficult time, when stress is running high, it’s more important than ever. Here are five tips that can help:

Make time for yourself – Right now, much of the personal time that was part of our daily routines may not be available. Without it, we have to be intentional about creating space to recharge and decompress. This could look like taking a shower or bath, walking around the block, or designating time to read. Think proactively of things you can do with this enforced time at home. Get back in touch with hobbies or activities you enjoy but rarely have time for, or make the choice to learn a new skill.

Prioritize healthy choices – The added stress and loss of structure we are all experiencing right now can make it easy to slip into habits that feel good in the moment but can be detrimental in the long term. Make sure you’re eating properly, try to get enough sleep, and create a routine that includes physical activity. Be thoughtful and intentional about how you are treating yourself and your body.

Be realistic – Avoid burnout by setting realistic expectations and giving yourself grace if you can’t meet them. Practice forgiveness and self-compassion. There’s no playbook for this. Remember you are doing your best during a very difficult time. Cut yourself some slack.

Set boundaries – Anxiety may seem rampant right now. With so much worry and uncertainty floating around it can be easy to absorb other people’s fears and concerns without even realizing it. If you have a friend or family member who is in the habit of sending worst-case-scenario news or is prone to sending anxiety-provoking text messages, practice a little emotional distancing. Let them know you sympathize but that you’re taking a break from constant worrying. You can always reconnect when things are calmer.

Finally, remember, being kind to yourself will not only help you stay calm during this difficult time, it will help ensure that you have the bandwidth you need to take good care of yourself. When you prioritize your needs, you’re filling the tank, emotionally and physically, and that means you’ll be in a position to offer comfort and care to others when they need it most.

Mental Health in the time of Corona Virus: Intense feelings are to be expected – know when to seek help


From your Heart of Texas Region MHMR


Natural disasters – including pandemics like the current Coronavirus outbreak – can seriously affect emotional health. Fear and anxiety about contracting a disease may feel overwhelming and may cause strong emotions in adults and children alike. 

Intense Feelings Are Expected 

Over the years the residents of the Heart of Texas Region have demonstrated remarkable resilience. Individuals, families, and communities impacted by the Coronavirus are taking proactive steps to adjust and adapt to the situation. The reaction to personal and financial stress created by the Coronavirus is different for each person. Though some may not need additional help, many may find themselves in need of extra support to help them cope with the changes to everyday living. 

Talk About Feelings with Friends and Family 

Talking about the way you feel, and taking care of yourself by eating right, getting enough sleep, avoiding alcohol, and getting exercise can help to manage and alleviate stress. 

Take Care of Each Other 

Check-in with friends and family members to find out how they are doing. Feeling stressed, sad, or upset is a common reaction to life-changing events. Learn to recognize and pay attention to early warning signs of serious problems. 

Know When to Seek Help 

Depending on their situation, some people may develop depression, experience grief, and anger, turn to drugs and alcohol, and even contemplate suicide. The signs of serious problems include: 

  • Excessive worry. 
  • Frequent crying. 
  • An increase in irritability, anger, and frequent arguing. 
  • Wanting to be alone most of the time. 
  • Feeling anxious or fearful, overwhelmed by sadness, confused. 
  • Having trouble thinking clearly and concentrating and difficulty making decisions. 
  • Increased alcohol and/or substance use. 
  • Physical aches, pains, complaints. 

If these signs and symptoms persist and interfere with daily functioning, it is important to seek help for yourself or a loved one.

During this time, the Heart of Texas Region MHMR will continue to provide services to our customers and the community.

The safety of our community and our customers remain our top priority. If you are experiencing emotional distress related to the COVID-19 emergency, or for any other help, please contact the Heart of Texas Region MHMR Center 24/7 by phone or text at 1-866-752-3451

Additional Helpline: 

The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, can provide immediate counseling to anyone who is seeking help in coping with the mental or emotional effects caused by developments related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Helpline is a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week and free resource that responds to people who need crisis counseling and support in dealing with the traumatic effects of a natural or human-caused disaster. The Helpline is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Helpline specialists are trained to assist callers who have a range of symptoms.

“People who have been through a traumatic event can experience anxiety, worry or insomnia,” said Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, MD, Ph.D., who is the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use and who is the head of SAMHSA. “People seeking emotional help during an ongoing disaster such as a pandemic can call 1-800-985-5990 or can text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746 – and can find recovery and coping strategies.”

The Helpline immediately connects callers to trained and caring professionals from the closest crisis counseling centers in the nationwide network of centers. The Helpline staff will provide confidential counseling, referrals, and other needed support services. More on the Helpline is at http://disasterdistress.samhsa.gov/.

Stress from Corona Virus: Will you react or respond?

By Darryl W. Thomas, Jr.

I am a U.S. Marine (two-time) Wartime Veteran who was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I know first-hand their terrible effects. It can feel like a big black hole at times, sending its victim into an endless spiral of dark times. Over the years, with adequate support and resources, I have drastically improved my mental health. Mentally, I am now in a healthy and peaceful place.

As I sit here, I can’t help but think about the uproar that this COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has caused to echo throughout the world. Many are oppressed by fear, overwhelmed by uncertainty and overtaken by anxiety. During these times, it is natural to focus on self-preservation.

To focus on surviving is not a bad thing; however, to only focus on you is not exactly good, either.  Particularly for those of us who are parents, it is important to remember that our children depend on us to model appropriate ways to handle stress and anxiety during tumultuous times such as these. 

Healthy self-preservation includes mental health (the way you think, feel and behave) and spiritual wellness (guiding values, principles, morals and beliefs). In many stressful instances, people tend to merely react to a situation instead of responding to a situation. To react, simply, means to impulsively act based on something that happened. To respond means to deliberately act after giving thought to your guiding values, principles morals and beliefs.

I once heard a quote that said, “It’s not the load that breaks you down, but it’s the way that you carry it.” – Author Unknown

I agree 100 percent. In most cases, it isn’t the stress that brings us to our knees. Rather, it is the mismanagement of stress that does so.

As an At-Risk Interventionist, I have more than 20 years of experience working with at-risk youth, teens and young adults. In 2013, I founded a nonprofit called, The Size Of a Man ( www.SizeOfaMan.org ).  Through this practice I have learned that healthy, thriving, meaningful relationships are crucial for young people. In addition to working with kids professionally, I have five kids of my own.  As parents, we know all-too-well the importance of us maintaining a healthy, thriving relationship with our children. Also, we know that our children learn by example. It is our responsibility and in the best interest of our offspring that we learn to effectively manage stress.

When we, the parents, respond to the stressful times in a responsible manner, we teach our children to do the same. Depending on the strength of that parent-child relationship, our kids tend to follow our lead and respond to stress in the same ways we do.

So, during this global crisis, how should we manage our stress and self-preservation in a way that sets a good example for our kids?  I have two suggestions:

Tip #1: Understand that your problems, stressors, and challenges have an expiration date. These difficulties will end, and the stress that they bring will subside if we choose to handle it responsibly.  Hopefully this tip liberates you and helps you respond rather than react to your stress.

Tip #2: Remember that a closed mouth doesn’t get fed. Even as adults, there are times when we need help. Sometimes we really don’t have the answers to our problems. That’s fine. Be okay with admitting that and seeking out help from someone that you trust. Remember, if you fail to open your mouth and make it known to others that you need help, then you more than likely won’t get the help that you need.

In my humble opinion, this COVID-19 pandemic will soon pass, but the memories that you create during this time will likely outlive you.  Don’t just react – Respond.  Stay safe!


Darryl W. Thomas, Jr., affectionately known as Coach D, is a former at-risk youth turned U.S. Marine and Champion for the Underdog. With more than 20 years of experience working with the at-risk youth, teens and young adults, Coach D has dedicated his time, energy and life’s work to inspiring, challenging and empowering the underdogs to win in the face of adversity and hardships. He is a motivational speaker, published author, life coach, at-risk interventionist, and, most importantly, a family man. If you would like more tips on how to help your teen navigate through anxiety and depression, then checkout https://www.DarrylWThomas.com .

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email [email protected] for more information.