Hidalgo County Commissioners Court awarded $50,000 to a nonprofit that advocates for children who have been abused or neglected.
Last week, the governing body awarded the grant to Estrella’s House, an extension of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Hidalgo County.
“Estrella’s House provides a safe haven with a child-friendly, non-institutional environment where young victims are not afraid to tell their story,” the organization’s website stated.
The advocacy center, which each year requests funds from the county, was the first of its kind and treats children between the ages of 2 and 17.
“Before advocacy centers such as ours, red tape, legal issues and ineffective communication between various departments during a child abuse case often left victims with little to no protection and often discouraged persons from reporting abuse,” the website stated.
The money the county awarded comes from a specific fund authorized by Section 381.004 (f) of the Texas Local Government Code, according to County Executive Officer Valde Guerra.
“These are electric co-op credits from the state of Texas. There is specific use for these credit monies,” he told commissioners Dec. 17.
The following day, students from Edinburg High School donated several much-needed items to the organization through the school’s Hope on the Run Project.
They gave thousands of personal hygiene products, socks, pajamas and toys to members of the center, which works with law enforcement, child protective services and the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office in the investigation and intervention of child abuse cases.