At a recent luncheon of over 500 supporters for Family Point Resources in Houston, Texas, Trina Morford from the Memorial Ward in the Richmond, Texas stake was named 2016 Volunteer of the Year for her work supporting refugee families.
“Trina has connected with the community here at FamilyPoint through sports, clubs, adult and youth education programs, and child nutrition programs. She has connected with many refugee families in our community with the necessary resources needed to sustain a safe and healthy household. Without innovative volunteers like Trina, FamilyPoint would not exist and could not reach those in need of community,” the award presentation noted.
Brandon Stribling, Health and Fitness Director for FamilyPoint, first met Morford when her son, Jonah, got involved in the track program in 2015. “Trina is someone who goes above and beyond,” he said. “”Trina connected us with a demographic that we had not yet reached that is exploding in this community. This community has taken in thousands of refugees from Syria, from Congo, Burundi, Egypt. We were not connected in the community and she helped us,” Stripling continued.
“FamilyPoint is about meeting needs, transforming lives and building hope,” Stribling said. Beginning in 2007, the community center has offered programs in health and fitness, after school tutorials, arts and enrichment activities, clubs, library resources, nutrition services and summer camps.
Stephanie Hruzek, Education Director for FamilyPoint remembered meeting Morford when she was making sandwiches for track and field participants. “Trina is such a caring adult…she even organized a clothing drive through her church for the children and their families,” Hruzek said.
“Relationships and education are the two factors that have been proven over time to impact a child’s life trajectory. So all the programs we design are around how to facilitate the building of relationships,” Hruzek added. Relationships and education are central to Morford’s efforts.
Morford has been instrumental in introducing the Daily Dose Program into neighborhood schools where Church missionaries teach lessons to refugee children and parents. During the summer, refugee children were so anxious to learn they knocked on her door and begged her to teach them to read. “I literally had children in my home for weeks that summer,” Morford said. She connected with FamilyPoint and within a short time they had volunteers lined up to teach the children. “This is a generous community, generous with time and love,” she added.
Morford reported being surprised at receiving the Volunteer of the Year Award. “There are so many fantastic people that are equally valiant, that put in time day after day. This is one of the biggest honors I have received in my life,” she said.
Photos by Jennifer Martino