In 2001, a group of 21 women gathered to discuss the idea of forming an organization to support children in need in their community of Aledo. At the time, Parker County did not have any organizations where families could go for help with medical, dental, food, clothing or utilities needs. These 21 women with a heart of service became the founding members of The Aledo Children’s AdvoCats. Each of the original members were asked to invite 10 friends to join the organization, and now the organization is 350 members strong. Since then, AdvoCats have donated more than $900,000 to help support children and families in the nine communities of Aledo ISD. AdvoCats work is made possible through the dedication and hard work of members, volunteers, sponsors and the community at large.
Children’s Fund (CF)
AdvoCats has three areas of service to help children and families. The first is the Children’s Fund (CF) This is AdvoCats main outreach service which includes working with school principals, counselors, and teachers to identify children and their families who may have a need for assistance. Each family’s request is evaluated on an individual basis and all information is kept confidential. Last year, CF donated over $40,000 to children and families in need. CF provides services in the following areas:
Living Expenses– food gas, clothing, shoes, utilities, emergency home repairs, rent/mortgage
School Programs – field trips, school/class shirts, school supplies, backpacks, extracurricular programs, PE clothes, yearbooks, testing fees, CTE courses
Professional Services – Medical, dental, vision, medical emergency services, professional counseling, crisis intervention
The second area is the Angel Project. This program organizes Christmas gifts for qualified Aledo ISD students and siblings who reside in the same home. Angel Project is a collaborative effort between AdvoCats, AISD, and the community. The school counselors identify students who may benefit from this project, AdvoCats will then collect a wish-list and assign a community volunteer shopper to purchase the gifts. AdvoCats will collect and distribute the gifts. The Angel Project in 2019 was a huge success thanks to the generosity of our volunteers and community. Through their efforts over $40,000 in gifts were donated to 408 children representing 165 families.
Aledo Children’s Clothes Closet
The third area is the Aledo Children’s Clothes Closet, located in downtown Aledo on Oak Street. This clothing resale boutique has a primary purpose of providing free clothing to children and families in need through donations of gently used men’s, women’s and children’s clothing. Also accepted are accessories, such as, shoes, purses, and jewelry. The Aledo Children's Clothes Closet is also open to the public as a resale shop. All proceeds support the AdvoCats programs to help local children and families.
Each year AdvoCats awards scholarships to graduating seniors. This past year AdvoCats awarded six scholarships, totaling over $5,000 to deserving seniors. (see our website for more info and pictures)
Over the years AdvoCats has contributed to several programs in the community such as the development of Bearcat Park, Teen Court, Shattered Dreams, Hancock House of Hope, The and the Adams Family House project. They just celebrated their 15th anniversary of one of their major fundraisers, the Run, Walk, or Crawl (RWC) race which is held each spring. The Help & Hope Luncheon which just passed in September is the second major annual fundraisers.