Thomas G. and Ida Hendrick

mrhendrickHendrick Home for Children was founded in 1939 by West Texas pioneers, Thomas G. and Ida Nations Hendrick. The Hendricks helped settle the Wild West with seven different ranches in New Mexico and West Texas. Together, Mr. and Mrs. Hendrick share a familial ballad that bridges the histories of the Indian territories, Civil War, two World Wars, covered wagons, airplanes, automobiles and the atomic bomb. After the loss of their only son, four-year-old Joseph, and the providential discovery of oil on several of their ranches, the Hendricks established and largely endowed Hendrick Home for children who, for various reasons, cannot live with their biological families. Starting with the devastating effects of the Great Depression, the Home has provided long-term, quality care for children needing a loving home.mrshendrick

The children are raised in an atmosphere of spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual growth. They enjoy participating in all academic and extracurricular activities of their public schools. Their vacations include activities such as water and snow skiing, competitive horse shows, camping in the Big Bend of Texas and fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Since 1939, Hendrick Home for Children has been a safe and loving “home” for thousands of children after living their early lives in poverty, abuse and neglect.

June 3, 2014: Hendrick Home Breaks Ground on the A. L. “Dusty” and Nancy Rhodes Family Care Complex

Abilene, Texas – Brightly painted shovels were used to break ground today for the construction of the A. L. “Dusty” and Nancy Rhodes Family Care Complex on the 52-acre grounds of Hendrick Home for Children.

hhc-fcc-rhodes-naming-photo-rgbChildren, friends and community members in attendance watched as the Rhodes and members of their family turned the first bits of Texas clay to commemorate the day.  The blades of each of the ceremonial shovels were painted recently by children in the Family Care Program especially for today’s event.

Grady G. Barr, former Abilene mayor (1998-2004) and Hendrick Home for Children board member since 1991, began today’s groundbreaking ceremony with an announcement of the Rhodes as the naming donors of the $6.5 million facility. Dusty Rhodes, Abilene attorney and rancher, has been a member of the home’s board of trustees since 1994.

“Beginning a new project that will touch lives far into the future is a great way to set our sights on the next 75 years,” said Barr. “We celebrate the Home’s 75th anniversary today with renewed hope that struggling families will find the help they need while they live in the Dusty and Nancy Rhodes Family Care Complex. The Rhodes’ heart is in helping children and letting them heal and gain strength so their families can stay together. The Rhodes have given an immeasurable and priceless gift to people of today and the future.” Family Care is a short-term program designed to help single parents stay with their children in an efficiency apartment as they work toward a major goal leading to family stability and financial independence.

With Hendrick Home employees, members of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce Redcoats and guests from out of town looking on, Mayor of Abilene Norm Archibald read the following proclamation at the event.

“WHEREAS, the benevolence and vision of others is a vital part of strengthening charitable organizations and protecting children and parents in crisis; and

“WHEREAS, Hendrick Home for Children has helped identify and support the children and parents at risk since 1939 through intellectual, physical, emotional and spiritual provisions; and

“WHEREAS, a great need to address the problem of children in poverty is an increasingly complex problem across Texas requiring specialized resources, knowledge, training, and education; and

“WHEREAS, two distinguished citizens of Texas, Mr. A. L. “Dusty” and Mrs. Nancy Rhodes, have stepped forward to invest in the lives of future generations through the founding gift for the construction of the A. L. “Dusty” and Nancy Rhodes Family Care Complex; and

“WHEREAS, the contribution of benefactors that contribute to the success of organizations that help children and the community at large deserve our recognition and commendations;

“NOW THEREFORE, I Norman Archibald, Mayor of Abilene, do hereby proclaim the June 3, 2014 as Dusty and Nancy Rhodes Day. I hereby extend greetings and best wishes to all observing the 75th Anniversary of Hendrick Home for Children, and I invite the citizens of Abilene, Texas to join me in recognizing the largesse, generosity. and wisdom of Mr. and Mrs. Dusty Rhodes.

“IN WITNESS THEREOF, I have here unto set my hand this third day of June, in the year 2014.”

Overseeing the design and construction of the 26,000-sq. ft. complex are Chuck Doby, engineer and chief executive officer of CADCO Engineers and Architects, Inc. of Abilene and Steve Ellinger, AIA, architect.

A commissioned oil painting of the Rhodes, unveiled today, will hang in Hendrick Home’s main building until it is moved to the new complex for the grand opening ceremony planned for July 2015.

Recognized for their generosity to the project are the Estate of Bill and Amber Cree, the William J. and Catherine Bryce Memorial Fund, the Shelton Foundation, First Financial Trust and Asset Management Company, and Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company.