Care, Hope, and Servant Leadership: The Recipe for Transformed Lives
September 9, 2015
On the west side of San Antonio, thousands are living without necessities like food, shelter, clothing, and employment. For these people, hope often seems hard to find. Thankfully, the Christian Hope Resource Center is making a difference - restoring hope and dignity to those weathering hard times. The center serves more than 4,000 families each month, reconciling relationships, helping adults find employment, feeding the hungry, and supporting each person as they get back on their feet.
Providing a “Hand Up”Like those who come through its doors, The Christian Hope Resource Center (CHRC) has also seen transformation. After more than 20 years of giving food to the poor, the board chose to change their model of assistance. Megan Legacy, Executive Director and C12 Group Member, explains the transformation:
“Rather than handing out a monthly food supplement, a case management program was deployed to work with families on an ongoing, one-on-one basis to uncover the root causes of their food insecurity and help them develop a proactive plan to become more self-sufficient,” she said. “Case managers address their needs holistically by assessing health, housing, family relationships, employment status, and educational needs.”
This model fosters relationships between CHRC’s staff and those receiving assistance. It allows them to help on a deeper level by connecting people with the right services, and more importantly, pointing them to Christ.
“We really focus on providing a hand up rather than a hand out,” Megan said. “The result is thousands of success stories and many coming to embrace the love of Christ for the first time in their lives.”
Answering the Call
When Megan looks back on her initial career path in policy and government relations, she sees how God had a distinct plan for her life.
“I was working for the U.S. Senate in Washington, D.C., when I was exposed to Lincoln Heights, one of the largest housing projects in the nation. My heart was broken and I felt a calling to quit my job and serve in the inner city. Shortly after, my husband’s career took us to San Antonio and allowed me to discover the CHRC. Being exposed to poverty every day is a constant reminder of God’s purpose for my life. Just as He worked on my heart in D.C., he continues to refuel that passion, driving me to lead with Christ-like principles and pursue excellence with the ministry I’ve been called to steward.”
Building Bright Futures
Javier’s story is one of Megan’s favorite success stories from the field. At the age of 21, Javier came to the CHRC looking for a better life. He had been abandoned by his father and living on the streets since age 13. As a teen, Javier was involved in drugs and gang activity leading to a juvenile detention center sentence. After overcoming many challenges, he was ready to turn his life around and engaged to be married. Javier wanted to provide for his family and become a better father. He worked with the CHRC for six weeks, creating a resume and applying for jobs. He also attended parenting classes and worked on his interview skills during this time. It wasn’t long before he landed an interview. Javier borrowed a suit and learned how to tie a necktie for the first time in his life. Two hours later, he raced into the CHRC with tears in his eyes; he had gotten the job - a full-time position with benefits. Now he could be the man he had dreamed of being, and the man the team at CHRC always knew he was.
“It requires more than a hand out to help people rise,” Megan explained. “The key is restored relationships, renewed dignity, and abundant grace. We love them like Christ and walk alongside them until they can stand on their own two feet.”
Leaning in for Support and Encouragement
Megan credits her ability to lead with integrity, knowledge, and Christian wisdom to the C12 Group of Central Texas.
“My C12 peers help me get through those tough days and situations. I can talk openly about issues I am facing and come away with strategies to solve problems through the collective experience of my peer group.
As the CHRC’s Executive Director, Megan constantly experiences situations that pull on her heart. Whether having tough conversations that can lead to conflict, terminating an employee, or in her early years, leading the center through radical change, Megan knows she needs to be a steadfast leader.
“At the CHRC, we are always surrounded by people who are dealing with crisis,” she said. “Some people come to us gravely ill and in need of health insurance. Others are fleeing domestic violence situations. Often, it’s a parent who just lost their job and can’t afford groceries. I have been called to be a servant leader - to be a good steward and provide help to those facing adversity.”
Participation in a C12 Group encourages Megan to be courageous and bold in her service - not only to those in need, but to her teammates at the CHRC as well. As the organization has navigated big changes in their service model, Megan has gleaned insight from her peers at C12.
“So many of the business principles discussed in my C12 Group are applicable to running a non-profit, like hiring, recruiting, marketing, corporate culture, and strategic planning. It has been amazing to learn from different industries and receive objective feedback. When you are a leader you often feel alone, but my C12 Group empowers me. It consists of real people with real struggles, real marriages, and real families, and it is refreshing to have that common bond,” shared Megan.
Seeking Wise Counsel
According to Megan, seeking wise counsel is an important response to God’s calling. Would you like to be surrounded by authentic leaders who use their businesses and organizations to glorify Christ? C12 Group is not just an investment in your leadership skills - it is an investment in your staff, your clients, and every person you encounter. Learn more today.