Story by Nubia Reyna
Photos by Miguel Roberts
Lucy Ann Wolthoff arrived to our office wearing a bright pink blouse, blue jeans and a pair of chic suede boots. With her blonde and straight hair resting on her shoulders, Lucy Ann started speaking about the work she has been doing for the past couple of months as the community outreach director for Foster Angels of South Texas.
“We work closely with CASA and CPS, and they send us requests of what foster kids need, and we fulfill them,” she said. “We like to fulfill them in less than 48 hours. We try to fill in the gaps of where others can’t provide, like the government, and they need it right away.”
Although the Rio Grande Valley has a large number of foster kids, Lucy Ann strives to be there for them.
“Their office is in Corpus, and they just realized that in the 19 counties, unfortunately, the highest amount of kids that are placed in foster care program is Cameron and Hidalgo counties,” she said. “They’ve been fulfilling a lot more requests for down here in the Valley, so I was just blessed to provide. First of all, to provide that we are here and what are the services that we do, and that’s what we’ve been focusing on the last couple of months.”
A Harlingen native, Lucy Ann has dedicated her life to advertising and sales. With a degree in communications, she never imagined that one day she would be dedicating her time to improve the lives of foster kids in the Valley.
“I’ve always been in sales and in marketing, and somebody said, ‘Is it difficult to ask for money?’ and I said ‘No, not at all’ — because I’ve been asking people for a place in advertising in a Winter Texan magazine or a newspaper,” she said. “I am the voice for these foster kids. They don’t have a voice. I’m not the one talking; I’m representing them and that’s something that just means a lot to me.”
Lucy Ann did have doubts at first, but being a helping hand in children’s lives changed that mindset.
“It’s something that I didn’t think I could do but it is definitely meaningful, and it’s not about me,” she said. “I’m speaking for these kids that need some kind of hope in life, some kind of direction that they can hold onto to say, ‘Hey, we are going to break the cycle and be successful.”
Asked what her plans for the future are, Lucy Ann said it is impossible to know what the future holds, but she knows God has a plan. She also talked about an event that dramatically impacted her life back in the ’90s, where despite the odds, she overcame the situation.
“I was 15 when I got in a really bad car accident, and I was a really good tennis player,” she said. “I was a sophomore in high school. I had a plan that I wanted to be a tennis player. I wanted to go to college and get a scholarship to play tennis, and on Oct. 21, 1995, that completely changed.
“I was in the car accident. I broke my back, tore my intestines. I hit my face, crushed my sinuses, my jaw, and I was placed in ICU for about 17 days and lost all feeling in my left leg. And I wasn’t going to make it and I made it.”
But, in the face of adversity, Lucy Ann overcame all obstacles.
“They said I wasn’t going to be able to walk, and I did,” she said. “I wasn’t going to be able to play tennis, and I did. And I couldn’t have kids, and I have three. I feel, like, if you say this is what you want to do in the next year, it’s really not in your control. God has a plan.”
For more information about Foster Angels of South Texas, visit fosterangelsstx.org