What do you remember about the people in your high school? Do you remember seeing a certain group of kids from time to time – the ones who were in the special education class? Eventually, the time would come when they had to graduate and transition out of high school. Then what? Where do individuals with special physical and intellectual needs go after high school? Sadly, resources are scarce and the options are few. Our guest on the podcast today is doing her part and then some to change that. Ms. Brenda Ornales is the founder of Heather’s Old Skool Village – a unique “school” in Lake Worth, Texas, that is set up especially for these adults who are no longer eligible to attend public school. Joining Brenda is her friend and office manager, Margie Johnson. These ladies are sharing with us the story and mission of Heather’s Old Skool Village, and what we as a community can do to help them fulfill their calling.
Brenda has a total of 25 years of experience as an educator, teaching special education at Lake Worth High School. She’s always been the one who would take her students under her wing, spending time with them after school and getting to know their families. She envisioned one day, after retirement, having a group home. But one student in particular – Heather – inspired Brenda to consider something different. Brenda stepped in when Heather’s parents split up. She spent a lot of time with Heather and her dad (who’d gained full custody of Heather and her sister). Heather told her that she wanted to be a teacher like Brenda someday, and so Brenda thought maybe, instead of a group home, she’d buy a place where Heather could be the teacher she dreamed of being. An unlikely trip for lunch took Brenda right by an historic building for sale. It was like God was beaming lights right over that building, and she knew that would be her place. An offer was made, accepted, and Brenda jumped right in. An historic building, furnished with antiques, would be just the place for Heather to “teach” as many of her peers and volunteers as the place could hold. And so began Heather’s Old Skool Village.
One of the biggest obstacles to opening similar facilities is the lack of funding. Unlike most businesses, this is not something done to turn a profit. Brenda poured her own teacher retirement account into Old Skool, and her parents would give generously every time a need arose. MHMR of Tarrant County provides the largest percentage of their funding, but it only amounts to about $20.87 per client, for a five hour day. Old Skool does have some paid staff members, but they also rely greatly on those who give generously of their time and talents to volunteer there. Many, if not all of them, have family members who are clients at Old Skool. Brenda and Margie work tirelessly to gain private funding and donations for their kids. Along with fundraising, these ladiesseek to spread awarenessby educating the general public, explaining why places like Old Skool are so important and necessary.
Brenda and Margie both share a few of the many times that God has provided for their ministry, through groups like the Elks Lodge and the local “100 Men Who Give a Damn” and donations given during a spur of the moment open house. Times got tough, and the kids showed up well before their funding did, but they kept going. They’ve received grants and held successful fundraisers. Still, expenses come up that weren’t planned for, like having their bus in the shop. They rely on their bus to get their group out and about in the community; it’s important to Brenda that her kids not be “hidden”. She also instills in them that it’s not all about “taking”. Many of her kids work at local restaurants, rolling silverware and filling salt and pepper shakers. They even bring in their change to save in a piggy bank to buy snow cones from the couple on the corner. She continues to teach them valuable life skills in a loving, safe, and nurturing environment.
God placed the desire in Brenda’s heart long ago to serve this population, and He’s providing for her every step of the way. Margie faithfully believes in God’s provision and follows His lead as she oversees all of the finances for Old Skool. In fact, her word of encouragement for anyone who’s being led to start something from scratch is this: If it’s in God’s interest and serving Him in some way, you might as well step out, because if it’s for you to do, it’ll happen. Amen!
Jake Enriquez: 00:04 Welcome back to Press and Reach. My name’s Jake Enriquez, your host and uh, again today, this morning we always asked that you’d go back and visit us on press and reach dot com. Make sure you take the time to take a look around and visit us and sign up for the newsletter, the devotional that we have going out on Mondays. We’d really love to hear from you and get to a chance to talk to you and connect with you. Uh, here at Press and Reach, we’re all about faith, family, community, and just connecting with one another. And here this morning, I’m telling you, we have a, uh, a wonderful guest, some guests of ours who were visiting with as a matter of fact out here in Lake Worth, Texas. And you may hear the wind because we’re outside, but it doesn’t matter. We’re going to have a good time anyways.
Jake Enriquez: 00:44 So. And the birds by the way, but here today we have Ms Brenda Ornales and Margie Johnson. See I was gonna say Thompson. I just asked you your last name. I’m sorry about that. But anyway, so these two are at Heather’s Old Skool Village, right? And this morning we’re going to just get a chance to talk with them and they’re going to share with us what they’re doing out here and we would just really want you guys to hear from them. So good morning Brenda and Margie, how are you guys doing today? Thank you for allowing us to come out and hang out with you and for the tour by the way that you gave us and you guys just do a lot of great things, but I just want you to introduce yourself so everyone gets a chance to know you on a personal level, just who you are and where you’re from.
Brenda Ornelas: 01:28 Okay. Hi, I’m Brenda. I grew up in Azle, graduated and moved away for many years. Came back in ’98, I believe and began teaching at Lake Worth High School, special education and I would have a total of 25 years experience teaching special education. And the worst thing for me was seeing when kids were about to graduate and the fear of both the child, if they’re cognitive enough to realize, and the parents because what’s going to happen next? Everything was taken away from them. So, uh, I had this idea and I had several parents who became family slash friends and, Margie being one and we would talk, what are we going to do, what are we got to do? So that’s where the idea came from.
Margie Johnson: 02:23 Okay. And Margie, who you are, where you’re from? I don’t know. I’m, I’m, I’m Margie Johnson and I’m the office manager here at Old Skool. Heather’s Old Skool and um, I am originally from Virginia but came here by way of mine. Dad when he retired. Anyway, I’m so married. My husband moved up here. All right, great.
Jake Enriquez: 02:46 And you’ve been a part of this from the beginning, right?
Margie Johnson: 02:50 Yes. And Nicholas? I’ve met Brenda back when Nick started high school, when he was 14. And then we got to be pretty good friends there for awhile and then after, oh my gosh, it was like Nicholas just off the chart behavioral problems, because for our kids, you know, when you take them away from all that they’ve known for fourteen years, 18 years, whatever. Anyway, he had bad behavioral problems and Brenda really helped a lot on that one.
Jake Enriquez: 03:22 And you guys, uh, when, when you started this, how did that really come into play? Because you mean you can’t just start it, you know, just scratch your head and one day say, Hey, I want to go start this.
Brenda Ornelas: 03:34 I kinda think we did. I really, I truly think we kind of scratched our head. Something I had talked about for years, but I always envisioned myself having a group home because I’ve been known to take kids into my wing and take them home with me. And uh, I saw, I always thought it would be a group home, but a more, I guess more when Heather came into my life and she began saying she wanted to be a teacher, like me. She wanted to be a teacher like me. And I’d say, well someday I’ll retire. We’ll buy a place, and I truly believe it was scratching my head. And because I did something I never ever do, I went to eat at Long John Silver’s, nothing against it, but I went to eat at Long John and I cut through back through the neighborhood here, which you can see it’s not the best of neighborhoods, it’s a, it’s not the worst, but it’s, it’s not the best, but there’s this little brick building and come to find out.
Brenda Ornelas: 04:35 it’s a historic building for Lake Worth, but it was for sale and it was just like the lights were going off. I mean, just like God was beaming it. I mean really truly it was. I said, that’s it, you know, I said that’s our place. And so I got a bunch of parents together and met with the realtor, said, let’s look at it, see what you all think. And we all thought it was wonderful. Everybody shared my vision and uh, I made an offer on it and they accepted. And then that’s when the fun begins. [the fun began, huh] It was truly a money pit for a couple of years. It was really bad shape. I had no clue what I was getting, I was way over my head, so I felt yes, I did scratch my head. It was like, oh my gosh, what have we got in to?
Jake Enriquez: 05:26 But let me ask you this. How did, uh, the name – Heather’s Old Skool Village – come into play? How did that, how’d you come up with the name?
Brenda Ornelas: 05:33 Like I said earlier, Heather and I adopted each other. Heather’s mom made bad choices. She left the family. Um, dad started allowing me to do things with her socially after school. We would, she would hang out with myself. Uh, and then dad and I started hanging out doing stuff off altogether and anyway, she just decided she wanted to be a teacher like me. And I told her…so I knew it had to be named after Heather, Heather’s Old Skool because it’s an old old building. [yeah, I like it though] And it’s furniture. It’s old. The building’s old. We furnish it in antiques. It’s totally furnished in antiques and then “Village” because it truly takes all of us. It’s not just me – it’s Margie, it’s Danielle, it’s Veronica. It’s all of us working together.
Jake Enriquez: 06:27 So but, how did you, I guess I should ask, how did you meet Heather?
Brenda Ornelas: 06:30 She was my student.
New Speaker: 06:30 She was one of your students and I want, I want to clarify that because uh, you did teach special needs and…
Brenda Ornelas: 06:38 She was my student. She was my student, and I knew her family. Her mom worked for the school district and so it was such a shock to everybody when the family broke up, when mom made her choices and dad got full custody of Heather and her sister,
Jake Enriquez: 07:00 you know, it takes a very special person to do and teach and lead and uh, just be in this environment the way you two are and the rest of you are. It does, it takes a very special person because of all that you guys are dealing with. And like you pointed out early, earlier, Margie, everyone’s at a different place. So everyone who comes here is at a different place. No one’s the same. It’s not just one same issue and that takes care of everything. But let me ask you this question. Why do you think there are not more facilities like this?
Margie Johnson: 07:36 Lack of funding.
Jake Enriquez: 07:39 Lack of funding. No money in it. Okay.
Margie Johnson: 07:41 None. That’s pretty much what drives most businesses, right? When you open a business, it’s because that’s going to be your, you know, your money. Um, and I think that’s probably why it happened at the time when it happened for Brenda, in retirement. Because there’s no way she could have done this while she was working. I mean, not that you’re not working now!
Jake Enriquez: 08:03 Right? Right. But putting in the real work now. Yeah, I hear you
Brenda Ornelas: 08:13 Well, and like I told you earlier, each client, especially through MHMR of Tarrant County, and that’s where our biggest percentage is…
Jake Enriquez: 08:18 That’s okay. We know you’re busy, Ms Brenda.
Brenda Ornelas: 08:29 Each client, for five hours, it’s twenty dollars and eighty-seven cents. So $4 an hour.
Jake Enriquez: 08:31 Wow. So the funding is lacking. So what do you, what do you say we do about…how do you raise awareness about that? Because here’s the thing, uh, I, I know I pointed this out to you earlier, but we, myself, I’ve gotten to, me and my wife, we have two special needs children and actually they’re coming into the end of high school for them. So we already talk about that. And brother Vic was talking about, he asked me not long ago, So what do they do after that, you know? So there’s a transition that takes place and you know, most people might not be aware of that, you know?
Brenda Ornelas: 09:04 They’re not aware of it, it’s just educating…and you know, uh, and Margie and I did it all, I’m telling you, we did it ALL. The benefits – we started having those early on and the best benefit we had was $14,000 and we thought, we thought we had won the lottery. I mean, it was unbelievable.
Jake Enriquez: 09:26 Um, and what benefit was that that you did?
Brenda Ornelas: 09:31 We had it at the Elks Lodge here in Fort Worth. In fact, the Elks Lodge got a grant early on and they’re the ones that did this garden area that, they had somebody do all the raised flower beds, the raised beds.
Jake Enriquez: 09:44 It’s beautiful. I really like it. It’s nice.
Brenda Ornelas: 09:47 Well, thank you. But, uh, so it’s less than three years. And our last benefit, we had April 22nd, we raised, we cleared a hundred five thousand dollars. [Oh Wow, that’s awesome] But you know, that all goes toward our new building, every bit of it, so it’s taken us this long to be at a point where we can actually put money back and not just pay the electricity bill and the…[Sure, sure] Because we’d been at a point where we couldn’t pay.
Jake Enriquez: 10:18 So the staff that it works here, everyone has a child of special needs, or not?
Margie Johnson: 10:26 Either a child or a family member or have…obviously, Brenda’s booked.
Jake Enriquez: 10:26 Sure, sure. So a vested interest for sure.
Margie Johnson: 10:26 Right, because my son…my sister-in-law works here, so her nephew comes here. Danielle, her son comes here, and Veronica, she has a special needs son also.
Jake Enriquez: 10:44 Okay. All right. So I know that in the beginning it may have been a little shaky. You said, what was it, two years of money pit?
Brenda Ornelas: 10:53 A money pit! ’13 to ’15 was horrible! I don’t know. I mean it’s not like my parents have an endless amount of money, but they lived very conservative and they did have some money put back for retirement and it seems like every time we turned around I was having to ask them, we got to pay for this, we got to pay for that. And they did it. No questions asked. I mean, [matter of fact, you, you, you were saying earlier your dad] I was blessed. My dad. Yes, yes. Very good businessman, made wise decisions for us I believe here at this school and I, I believe with all my heart, he’s still intervening and guiding us and looking out for our best interests.
Jake Enriquez: 11:45 That’s awesome. I’ll tell you what, we’re going to take a really quick break and we’ll be right back.
Jake Enriquez: 11:51 Welcome back to Press and Reach. My name’s Jake Enriquez again, once you again your or hanging out with Brenda and Margie from Heather’s Old Skool Village and we’re just talking about, uh, they were just sharing really about starting the school, starting Heather’s Old Skool Village and what all it took. But I’m going to ask you now a Ms Brenda a little bit more about, in depth about maybe the vision and how it came about. So how did all that really come about for you? Because you did say earlier you always wanted that. You always wanted to have something like that.
Brenda Ornelas: 12:20 I don’t know. I’ve always had a passion for working with wants with…I always say the underdogs, but then, and I hate to think our kids are underdogs, but in a way that they are because they’re not on an equal playing field with everybody else to say the least. But, I can’t tell you the exact year, but it was in the sixties. My cousin Rhonda was born to my aunt and uncle who I adored in. Rhonda was back in the day when they were called, labeled as a mongoloid and the doctor told my aunt, he said, you know, there’s a real good home in Denton, which now I know – the state school, and I’d advise you to put her there. And she said, are you kidding me? This is my daughter. I will love her. And she had two other sons that were perfectly normal. And, uh, I, I’ve never, never seen a person, I don’t guess, uh, with special needs before Ronda came into our family.
Brenda Ornelas: 13:22 And I always said, you know, we didn’t teach Rhonda. Rhonda taught us. She taught our whole family unconditional love. And my aunt has a thing about dogs. She doesn’t like dogs. And I told her one time, I said, our kids are just like dogs, and she said, how can you say that? I said, if you ever seen a dog that doesn’t love unconditionally? and I said, that’s our kids are the peers aren’t always say they’re the closest thing to God, to Jesus, that there is because they do have the purest hearts. They see no faults in us, and what a world it would be if they all, or if we were all were like that. [yeah. that’s amazing] Anyway, like I said, until Heather came along. I really didn’t know what, how it would be because like I say, I had kids that I had take it in and take that were basically homeless and Margie and her husband had done the same thing with some of our previous students. We had were both taken some very disadvantaged children into our lives. But when heather came along and wanting to be the teacher, then I knew that’s what it was meant to be. That we were just started school and I would call it a school so she would, that would satisfy her teaching desires.
Jake Enriquez: 14:39 You know, I’m just the reason I asked you to share that I listened to, I listened always for God working in it. Okay, so and I hear you guys. So both of you had a heart for that. So the scripture says where two or three or more gather in My name, there I am in the midst. So then he leads us in these things, right? And also that he gives us the desires of our heart. So desire of your heart that you always wanted that. Now if you really think about it, you can easily put all of that together and you can put the fingerprint of God all over what you do and we all have to walk in faith and I know that that’s what you guys did. You both of y’all stepped out in faith. You stepped out in faith to do this, and I think it’s an awesome thing. You know the scripture says, therefore we also, okay, this is, this is a scripture that talks about walking in faith, says, therefore we also right? Because we have so been surrounded by this great witnesses, cloud of witnesses. He says, therefore, let us lay aside every weight and every sin that ensnares us and let us run this race with endurance, the race that was set before us.
Jake Enriquez: 15:48 So God gives each and everybody their own. He really gives each and everybody their own and it’s a calling. It’s a calling. And, and I think that sometimes people, they think about ministry, so they think about a pastor or priest or somebody, but ministry is this service in the work that God puts in your heart. So then this, this case, you guys are ministering like nobody else’s business, really. So we really would love to stand beside you, stand with you and encourage you guys. Number one, just to keep doing it because there’s only one way you can do it – because if you continue that scripture it says, but you have to look onto the author and finisher of our faith, which is Jesus Christ. So when you look unto the Lord, right? He’s the one that gives us the strength. And if you think about it, and he said he’s the one that therefore with the joy set before Him, He endured the cross.
Jake Enriquez: 16:42 So he did all of that. So when you’re running with the Lord, he’s got your back. He’s the one that gives it to it. I heard both of y’all talk about y’all. Y’all knew things were in the works. Things were coming through and had to be by faith what God is surely blessed you and seeing it through. But He always allows us to be tested. He does. So when you go through those two years like that, it just multiplies. Right? So any good thing and great thing comes from the Lord. But I noticed that as you guys go, there are always going to be things that we can do together as a community is I think about faith, family, community. So, uh, I know we did it in a little bit on the video earlier, but what are some of those things – I want you to share? What are some of those things that the faith community can help with this? Sure.
Brenda Ornelas: 17:26 Can I say something about what you just spoke on? Margie is not a healthy person. I mean, she, she has lots of health problems. Sure. And I truly did not think that she’d still be here two and a half, four years later. I mean, since we actually started the building over here, or no, because I mean physically, I just didn’t think she was. Her health would allow her to be. So I think what you just spoke about is so true. I mean, that is Margie. I mean, it’s nothing but the grace of God that has kept her, her going and her, um, and maybe, I don’t know, maybe it’s been a healing for her, for some parts of her life. I mean, her body also because she does…she’s in pain. I know she’s in pain every day she’s here, but others don’t know that and they don’t see that. They see the joy in her. So yeah, I think you hit the, you spoke the truth, you spoke Margie’s on that for sure.
Jake Enriquez: 18:32 Oh bless you. Margie, you’re a blessing to us all. You know, we’re supposed to be blessed to go be a blessing. You’ve been blessed, no doubt, and you are blessing, you’re blessing as well as you continue to walk this thing out. But you know, again, we want to want to walk alongside you and help out. So what are some of those things, you guys, now’s your time to say, Hey, we need this and that. Speak freely on it.
Brenda Ornelas: 18:32 If we could dream or wish for something?
Jake Enriquez: 18:54 Yeah, come on with it.
Brenda Ornelas: 18:55 I have to say iPads, because Margie, somebody gave us…and I’m not, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. But they gave us some knockoff one’s..
Margie Johnson: 19:22 Well, they’re tablets, and tablets are Android driven so they’re just not quite as friendly. And most of our kids have had iPads before in school because in Lake Worth they each got an iPad, so they all know how to work them. So that’s why we go that way.
Brenda Ornelas: 19:25 And like I told you earlier, it sounds like probably a, a cheap…looking for a way out for a babysitter or a pacifier for our kids. But Margie and I both believe we have seen miracles happen with them using tablets when the kids can’t even talk or speak, but yet they will use that to communicate with us. They will give us an answer with her, tap their ops and they will, uh, they will find music to entertain the whole group with. But they can’t read. How does this happen? I can’t answer that, you know, so for us it’s an educational thing and, face it, they don’t have a lot…I hate to say this, they don’t know it, and who am I to say, but you might think, well they don’t have a lot of joys in life, you know, they’re not out driving or going to the movies or doing things with their friends that normal kids are doing at their age. But their joy is here. You saw that inside. You see the joy that these kids have and the love they have for each other.
Jake Enriquez: 20:30 Absolutely. And it’s not just a, you know. And I was thinking about that on the way over here. I was talking to Victor. It’s not just kids though, you know?
Brenda Ornelas: 20:39 We have a situation and, and I introduced you to the lady, but I have a very good friend. Her mother in law has Alzheimer’s. The father-in-law still has to work, has his own company, but leaving her home was just becoming too much of a hazard for herself. And she said, do you know any place she could go, for the day? Well, what am I going to say? No, I don’t know a place like that. no. It’s fine.
Brenda Ornelas: 21:08 I said, try her here. She said, Are you sure? I said, yeah, try her here and she’s probably 78 years old, upper seventies? But to see our kids sit and hold her hand-in-hand and have a conversation like there’s not a thing in the world wrong with her. To ask her to play cards with them, to play Yahtzee or Uno or whatever. It’s just a basic, it’s a win win for all of us.
Jake Enriquez: 21:32 Absolutely. I saw that in there. She does look like she enjoys it and they enjoy her.
Brenda Ornelas: 21:40 She told me she had I think 12 grandchildren. I said, well now you have 50. [50. Okay, good] But they love her. I mean, you know they’re so accepting of everybody.
Jake Enriquez: 21:52 Yeah, absolutely. So, iPads and also, I believe it was the bus? The bus, the bus is in the shop right now, right?
Brenda Ornelas: 21:58 They have no idea what that’s going to cost us, but we do know the air conditioner was not working, so that’s gotta be fixed for the summer and then we have, who knows, we don’t know why it won’t start right now because, uh, so it’s being worked on as we speak. So that’s going to be a big cost that we sure weren’t planning on.
Jake Enriquez: 22:19 Okay, well, this is a very special thing that you guys do. It really is. So here, I want to. I want you, because you know, you might not believe this, you might not think are looking at it this way, but you two are encouragers. You really are. You really are. You encourage people by doing what you’re doing right now. You’re encouraging people to pick up whatever it is that God has placed on their heart and go do the same. Right? So what would you say to someone who’s thinking about, “man, I always wanted to do this or do that.” What would you say to somebody like that in this time right now?
Brenda Ornelas: 22:19 Have the faith. Bepatient.
Margie Johnson: 22:57 If it’s in God’s interest and serving Him in some way, might as well step out, becasue if it’s for you to do, it’ll happen.
Jake Enriquez: 22:57 Absolutely. So out in faith, right?
Brenda Ornelas: 23:08 So many times when we thought were good and keep the door open…[out of the blue, there it was] And Margie has looked at me, I can’t tell you how many times, say, why do I doubt? Why do I get nervous? Why do I question? Because she controls all the money. I don’t worry about it. That’s her, her thing to worry about that. And I, and it always appears. We went, uh, can I say a bad word?
Jake Enriquez: 23:08 Go ahead, yeah yeah.
Brenda Ornelas: 23:36 Well there was a group called “100 Men Who Give a Damn”, of Tarrant County, or of Fort Worth. These hundred men meet at Rahr Brewing once a quarter. They invite three nonprofits to come and present their story. Each men gives $100. So the winner of the nonprofit, they walk away with $10,000 that night, in hand. You have a stack of cash, checks. So April, May the 22nd, I believe it was. I believe it was exactly a month to the day after our benefit, I went and told our story – myself, Heather, my mother and Alberto and I went and told our story. I was sick, I was so nervous about it. But anyway, we were chosen but there was only 94 men who gave a damn that night. [Okay. All right] So we walked away with $9,400. But I said to me that’s like $94,000, do you know the next day, the next day we got a check for $500 and the next day we got a check for $100. So we ended up in that week with $10,000. [Oh Wow. Look at that] So see, it’s crazy. I mean it’s like…
Margie Johnson: 25:06 The first Christmas? We had absolutely nothing. We had nothing, moneywise, let’s put it that way. We had everything, decorations. So Brenda goes, let’s have a, an open house. And there was quite a few people that said what do you want to do that for? She said, well, we’ll just do a little lunch and maybe they come in and tour it and maybe pay a couple dollars for their lunch and whatnot. We’ll make a few dollars. Yeah. So we did that. We decorate. It took us two weeks to decorate this place. Christmas, you know how some people say, yeah, threw up? Anyway, it was everywhere!
Margie Johnson: 25:40 Anyway, um, that being said, after all that we ended up with, was it 9,000?  $10,000 just from doing that. People finding out about us, they came in and they would tell somebody else and it was just, God blessed us once again, that kept us for four months and that’s when our money started coming in from our billing that we’d been doing.
Jake Enriquez: 26:04 Okay. All right.
Brenda Ornelas: 26:07 Because once you start this, yes the kids come immediately, but it’s months before the money comes for them [I see] before the payment comes. And that’s a nightmare in itself, and that’s Margie’s expertise to a ‘t’, because I have no clue, but she keeps that going and she’s the, she’s the one that has all that down.
Jake Enriquez: 26:26 Oh, that’s awesome. Well, hey, you know what, we, we, uh, we love you guys. We greatly appreciate you. What you continue to do out here in the community and we’ll be standing with you. Definitely so. But is there anything else that you want the community to know before we take off, that you would want them to know and understand?
Brenda Ornelas: 26:46 I want them to also know that it’s not all about us taking, and us getting, our kids getting. I mean, because, yes, I think they’re entitled to certain things. Yes, yes. But I want them to know how to give back also, I don’t want it to be a one way. So it’s very important to us that we are known out in the community. I’ve always, when I was a teacher, I took the kids everywhere we would go. I wanted them seen out. I didn’t want them hidden. No, not at all. And uh, we started that here as well. That’s why I said, the bus is so important. But also we, uh, work at three different restaurants we have agreements with. We work at The Flight on Eagle Mountain Lake two days a week. We work at Cheddar’s three days a week here in Lake Worth. We work with Enchilada Ole over on Sylvania one day a week. And the kids, they go and they roll silverware, they wipe tables down, they fill salt and pepper shakers. And then their reward for that is they’re paid for a meal and that’s all.
Brenda Ornelas: 27:54 Heather has worked at Holiday Inn here in Lake Worth for six years. Now hers is a paid job. [Sure] But, uh, um, it’s just so important to me that people know about them and that they get to know them and that our kids truly, that they give back. We made friends with a couple over on the corner that has a snow cone stand. Well, now the kids are, we’re having them…brought a piggy bank and they’re having to bring their change to raise money. I mean, we could easily go by them snow cones, but, uh, it’s, it’s important that they learn that it’s not all about taking.
Jake Enriquez: 28:27 So life skills I know you guys are teaching and walking in life with these guys I know you’re doing. So you know, our call today, you know, at press and reach, on the press and reach podcast, is for the listeners. Listen, we’re going to put the show notes on the website. It’ll be press and reach dot com forward slash 65. I’m sorry, forward slash 66. I’ll put it on there on the show notes. You’ll be able to connect with Heather’s Old Skool Village and make sure you do. Make sure you visit their Facebook is the best way to do it. So you’ll be able to visit their Facebook page, all that good stuff. You’ll also get the show notes on this, all the things that they’re doing and a way that you could make a contribution and, uh, and you know, partake in some of the things you’re doing. If you’re a ministry out there, especially in the local Dallas, Fort Worth area, make sure you give these guys a call and see how you can plug in and help out and do some things together because you know, we’re supposed to be out here in community doing things together, walking together, and only the faithful do, we know. So if you’re faithful, I ask you to come forward and do that. All right? So make sure you check it out. The show notes on this page again, is press and reach dot com forward slash 66.