The second annual iCare conference, presented by STCH Ministries with support from the Blanche Davis Moore Foundation, was held on August 9, 2018, in Victoria, Texas. STCH Ministries created the iCare conference to equip “people who help people”. This event brought together more than thirty presenters from ten area organizations, who provided training and resources for dealing with tough topics and mental health issues, including suicide, addiction, divorce, depression, anxiety, and others.

The mental health crisis in our country touches nearly every family. STCH Ministries is working to bring relief through donation-based counseling and recognizes that many other individuals and organizations are making a difference as well.

“iCare was born out of that whole concept to pay back and help support and bolster people that are working with these families,” said Darin Griffiths, Vice President of Family Counseling at STCH Ministries.

Glen Dry, the pastor of Sportsman’s Church in Victoria and the emcee of the event, said, “[People] are realizing, ‘How do we cope, how do we collaborate with one another? How do we put all these resources in one room?’ I think for such a time as this, STCH Ministries is positioned in the best place to do this.”

Dry also commented, “Selfishly, this helps my staff. It helps the people who work for me to care for the people that come into our environments. More tools and better understanding, so that we can do what we do best better.”

One of the draws for the conference is the opportunity for participants to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs). CEUs are required for many professionals to maintain their license. Up to six CEUs were available at iCare for participants who are Licensed Professional Counselors or Licensed Clinical Social Workers.

Plans are already underway for next year’s conference and organizers are looking ahead to reach even more people.

Darin Griffiths stated, “One dream that I have is for this to be reproduced in all four of our regional counseling locations. The same people who were sitting in this room are in San Antonio today, and they are in Corpus Christi, and they are in Houston. I think it is up to us to get there – where they are at, in their environment, with the same information. We’re hoping iCare will develop a brand recognition that shows quality.”

In the midst of a mental health epidemic in America, there is a growing need for support and training among the people on the front lines. Through iCare, STCH Ministries hopes to be part of the solution that our communities are seeking.

Golf can be many things: relaxing, challenging, thrilling, or infuriating. It is a pastime for some, a way of life for others. But at the STCH Ministries Golf Classic, golf takes on a new dimension. No longer is it just a game; it is a “game-changer” for the lives of children and families in need.

Every year, dozens of teams gather for some friendly competition on the golf course while at the same time raising funds to support the work of STCH Ministries. All of the children in care benefit from this event, but the ones most impacted are the young people who attend the event as ambassadors for the children’s home.

“Normally we take six to eight kids,” says Greg Huskey, Boothe Campus Administrator, who notes that aside from the occasional teen who has played on the high school golf team, this sport is a “foreign concept” to most of them.

“They may see it on TV. Rarely does anybody have a golfing background, and that’s primarily because of the background where a lot of our kids come from.”

Huskey says the teens have several responsibilities at the tournament. “It may be to carry the bags. It may be to pass out lunch. It may be helping with registration.”

And these interactions give the young people one of the most important experiences of the day: coming face to face with people who care about, support, and believe in them. Just as the golf course is a new world to the kids, the Golf Classic event shows them a whole new world of people who are committed to their success in life.

“For me it’s great to see them interact with those people,” says Huskey. “They’re genuine people. They care about kids and what we do in this ministry.”

If you haven’t yet signed up for the 2018 STCH Ministries Golf Classic, we invite you to register online today. No matter your score on the golf course, this is one tournament where you are always on the winning team.