CASEY'S HEART "I'm adopted, and my parents adopted me when I was homeless in a foster care home. I said, 'Since you chose to help me, I want to help them (the homeless),'" Doesn't sound like a quote from your typical middle school student, does it? Well if there is one thing in this world you can be sure of, it's that Casey Rogers is anything but typical. As an eight-year-old, Casey had an encounter that would prove to have a profound impact on his life. While dining at a fast-food restaurant with his family, Casey witnessed a homeless man begging for money. This single event touched young Casey's heart and propelled him to launch his own charity, aptly named Casey's Heart. Casey's Heart organizes monthly trips downtown to deliver basic necessities like jackets, blankets and toothbrushes to people who live on the streets. Casey, his family and volunteers have also delivered toys to children at Family Gateway and Dallas Life Foundation shelters. Casey's effort has grown so much in the past three years that Trinity Life has made T-shirts for the outings and bought a bus primarily for the downtown trips. There's no overhead for the ministry, and everything collected goes to the homeless. Casey was recently honored as the winner of a national essay contest sponsored by Kraft Foods. The essay opportunity was extended to young people throughout the United States who are making a difference in their community. There were numerous submissions, but because of his efforts with Casey's Heart, Casey was the unanimous winner. So what was the prize for winning? Triggering the April 11 implosion that demolished historic Texas Stadium. See the Dallas Morning News article HERE. Each month, the crew of Trinity Life volunteers transports the donated goods, which fill the church offices, to a parking lot downtown. Whether it's below freezing or 108 degrees, Casey's Heart and Trinity Life faithfully show the love of Christ to those who are less fortunate. The volunteers also hand out Bibles and pray with people if asked. Casey said he reads the Bible to some homeless adults who never learned to read. He simply refers to the homeless as "my friends." If you would like to learn more about Casey's Heart, or wish to become involved in some way please CONTACT the church office Monday through Thursday from 9:00-4:00 PM. HEARTS WITHOUT HOMES Hearts Without Homes is Trinity Life's local foster care and adoption ministry. Through fund raising and community events, this ministry is making an impact right here in Garland and in the greater DFW Metroplex. Hearts Without Homes exists: - To promote Foster care and Adoption among Christian families - To show love and appreciation to families of Adopted and Foster Children - To show love and kindness to Foster Children, especially those ready to be adopted without any prospective parents by spending time with them, taking them shopping, and taking them on outings - To pray for their future so they may overcome their past - To celebrate the decisions made for Foster and Adoption. - To educate families that are considering becoming Foster Parents. If you would like to learn more about Hearts Without Homes, please email Pat Jones at auntiepat3@aol.com SALT FAMILY MINISTRIES Did you know every year in the state of Texas there are more than 70,000 new cases of documented child abuse? Did you know there are currently 34,000 children currently in the Texas foster care system? Many of these children have been abused, neglected and even abandoned. But sadly, in our great state there are only about 2,500 foster homes to care for the more than 100,000 children that need a safe place. Russell Rogers, senior pastor here at Trinity Life and his wife, Shelley, strongly believe that it is the responsibility of the church to respond to this crisis. Having housed numerous foster children themselves (and adopting three), the Rogers are living out the command of Christ to be the "salt of the earth" and the "light of the world." The Rogers launched S.A.L.T. (Saved and Living Truth) Family Ministries in 2007. Since that time S.A.L.T. has spoken to more than 100 congregations and organizations throughout Texas as well as greater Los Angeles, California. Working in cooperation with D.F.P.S., S.A.L.T. Ministries has identified 1,500 homes that qualify for training to become Foster and/or Adoptive homes. Additionally, S.A.L.T. Ministries has been invited to come and share with other states and countries regarding the positive impact of the faith-based approach to solving the crisis facing these entities in the arena of foster and adoptive care.