A word about a really good cause

July 1, 2012  

by Mike Jasper 

Word from Oak Hill is…

More.

Specifically, more from Richard McCain. While he lost his bid for another term as constable, he will stay involved in the community, especially with his favorite cause—Foundation Communities.

Recently, Foundation Communities—which provides affordable housing and educational services to homeless or otherwise financially threatened families and individuals—held an open house at the learning facility in the Sierra Vista apartment complex owned by the non-profit organization.

Constable McCain spoke at that open house.

“I was homeless for a while as a child, at the age of 14,” McCain told the audience. “Since then, I’ve always had a fear of being homeless again.”

McCain said that fear caused him to be duly diligent to a fault, a workaholic as it were. So when he heard about Foundation Communities, he immediately signed on to help.

These apartment complexes are not the projects, and I would have had no idea the apartments were part of a low-income housing project. It is in SoCo, after all, albeit on the south side of Ben White.

The complex (with the exception of some infrastructure construction going on at the time) was neat, tidy, organized, and, most of all safe. Each unit had fresh paint, a ceiling fan, low flush toilets, electric ranges and tile floors. Very clean, very green.

It was an eye-opener for this writer. For example Southwest Trails (on Old Bee Cave Road in Oak Hill) is also owned by Foundation Communities. Who knew they were a low-income housing project? Not me, that’s for sure.

One of the tenants being helped by the organization spoke at the gathering. She was not a junkie, she was not an alcoholic, she was not even a single mom. She was a nurse married to a UPS worker with three kids. Thing is, their third kid was born with several congenital problems requiring surgery after surgery after yet another surgery. The resulting financial burden caused them to lose their house and go into severe debt. She and the kids moved to the East Coast to live with mom until things could be sorted out.

Foundation Communities got her family back together and in one home.

Foundation Communities seeks volunteers and tax-deductible donations. If you’re so inclined, go to foundcom.org or call Donna Williams at 512-447-2026.

• • •

   A shout out of thanks to the postal worker who helped me out two weeks ago in front of the mail box in the Oak Hill Plaza shopping center.

I was sending off an important letter, which included a final payment of a debt. Got my envelope, got the check signed, got the address filled out, put the letter and check inside the envelope, sealed it and then dropped it into the mailbox around 7 pm—well after the 2:30 pickup.

On the way home, I realized I’d forgotten to put a stamp on the envelope. Not good.

The next day at 2:30 pm, I waited for the postman in front of the mailbox. He showed up around 2:45 and I told him, “I have a letter in the box and I forgot to put a stamp on it. Could you find it so I can add the stamp?” He said, “There’s got to be 600 pieces of mail in there.” I thought he might be exaggerating. And he was.

But… he let me look through as he grabbed a few envelopes at a time. Finally, among the last dozen envelopes, my letter appeared and he put the stamp on for me.

Whew.

We definitely need to keep the US Postal Service alive.

• • •

  It seems everybody loves Jack Allen’s Kitchen, so you’ll be happy to know that another location of the popular restaurant will be opening in Round Rock.

I know. The last thing anyone needs is a reason to go to Round Rock, but if you’re an Express fan like me, you now have two reasons to drive north.

To celebrate the new restaurant, chef Jack Gilmore—along with business partner Tom Kamm and staff—will be throwing a party at the new space, Thursday, July 19, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The event includes live music, hardhat tours, goodies from the grill, Deedee’s peach cobbler with Amy’s Ice Cream, cold beverages, and produce and proteins from local farmers. The party is open to the public, so no need to make reservations.

Construction of the Round Rock restaurant began this June and the location at 2500 Hoppe Trail is expected to open to the public this fall. For more information and directions, go to www.jackallenskitchen.com.

• • •

   This in from Richard “Juke” Joucken:

“Sorry I missed you at Buddy’s (July 4th). Gary Hunt and I and a bunch of neighbors guarded the park from fireworks. Bruce Melton brought his acoustic and I brought mine and he and I jammed a little in the park. I guess we saved the neighborhood!”

I can only assume everyone involved wore some kind of helmet. Seriously, thanks for holding sentry for us in the Scenic Brook area.

(Want your neighborhood association highlighted? Have a story you need to tell? Would you like to rat out a neighbor? If so, be sure to email me at mail@mikejasper.com and get the word out.)


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