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Tonya Eckert - Executive Director, Casa


Merry Christmas, Friends!

Wow!  Another year is almost in the books!  I want to start by saying how grateful we are for you and your support of the programs and services at Casa de Amigos.  Our friends and neighbors benefit greatly from your generosity.  Thank you.

I can not express enough how creative our English as a Second Language teachers are!  Today our ESL 3 class provided a “Health Fair”.  Each student had a booth to describe a health issue and concept.  Senior citizens from the Casa Senior Center and staff went to each booth and learned about diabetes, the importance of sleep, stress management, exercise, food groups, etc.  Since we provide free childcare on campus while their parent(s) are in class, the students are able to fully engage in learning.  Progressing through ESL level 3 provides students with the ability to converse in English with confidence day to day, ultimately leading to opportunities that overall better their lives.

On March 9, we enjoyed a ribbon cutting to “officially” open Leslie’s Place, a medical clinic collaborative with Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and Midland Memorial Hospital at Casa de Amigos.  Leslie’s Place continues to provide free health care to uninsured and underserved adults.   As of this Tuesday, we have served 579 unique individuals through the clinic.  Many who have never had health care are able to have follow up appointments, receive needed lab work and pick up much needed prescriptions.  We have a pharmacist in place who is working on our pharmacy license so that we will be able to have heart, diabetes and other prescriptions on hand for our patients before they leave.  We continue to be grateful to the Wood family and friends who insured Leslie’s vision and legacy was fulfilled and are grateful to those who continue to support the clinic. 

Combating isolation is one of the many important initiatives of Casa de Amigos senior citizen programming.  This year Casa de Amigos introduced Virtual Reality to the Casa, Southeast and Midland Senior Centers!  Studies show that Virtual Reality is very beneficial for older adults by promoting movement, encouraging social engagement, and providing educational opportunities.  It also provides engagement with familiar memories-by “traveling” to a childhood home or school, revisiting a vacation site, etc.  We were initially cautiously optimistic, but they are a hit!  In the inserted picture, these two gentlemen found out they were from the same place!  One of the gentlemen showed the other the first home he and his wife lived in, the other gentlemen showed his favorite fishing spot.  Come to find out, they had a lot in common!

Elementary educational success is one of the keys to completing high school.  We continuously try to find ways to engage parents and siblings in the Education Station at Casa de Amigos.  Parent Night offers opportunities to engage the entire family in the success of their child’s education while introducing them to the many wrap around services offered through the programs at Casa.  Last week the Education Station hosted a Christmas Extravaganza!  The kids sang a selection of Christmas songs and served hot cocoa and cookies to their families! 

Food insecurity continues to be a major issue.  In our continued partnership with the West Texas Food Bank, 356 boxes of food were provided during the November food distribution.  Every 3rd Tuesday of each month, cars line up early in the morning to receive much needed food for their families.  We are grateful for the companies and individuals who help with this undertaking.  We are always in need of volunteers to help! 


In 2024, Casa de Amigos is “celebrating 60 years of building brighter futures together”.  Planned in 2024 is the expansion of adult education to include basic literacy, adding a more comprehensive financial literacy component along with several other initiatives. 


The Board of Directors, staff and the community are extremely grateful for you.  Your time, resources, prayers and encouragement are such a blessing throughout the year.  Together we will continue to “improve the quality of life in our community by HELPING PEOPLE HELP THEMSELVES.”


We send our warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!


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