Harvey Won’t Stop Child Advocates of Fort Bend’s Christmas Home Tour

The Dew Plantation House located in Missouri City’s Kitty Hollow Park.

Hurricane Harvey left a path of destruction across Fort Bend County and the Houston Metropolitan area but even the wrath of Hurricane Harvey won’t stop this Fort Bend County event, scheduled for December 8th and 9th. A Fort Bend holiday tradition, the Tour offers guests the opportunity to view beautifully decorated homes in Fort Bend County while helping to raise much needed funds to support Child Advocates of Fort Bends’s (CAFB) programs serving abused and neglected children.

“When our offices reopened after Harvey, we considered cancelling the tour,” stated Child Advocates of Fort Bend CEO Ruthanne Mefford. “As the aftermath of the hurricane continues to take a physical and emotional toll on area residents, it was hard to fathom putting on this event; however, we realized that it was more important than ever to move forward with the Tour. Over 1,200 children in foster care along the Texas Gulf Coast were displaced by Hurricane Harvey, and their needs haven’t gone away. The Tour is critical to funding our programs for abused and neglected children, including more than 300 children in foster care.

“Evacuation from home and relocation away from family and friends can disturb family support and social networks. For child victims of abuse, some of whom may have already been removed from their homes, a traumatic event like this can make symptoms worse. For others, a natural disaster can spark depression, extreme stress, anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and a host of other problems. By sponsoring or participating in the Christmas Home Tour, you can help us ensure that all child victims of abuse get the therapy and healing services they desperately need,” stated Mefford.

Proceeds from the Christmas Home Tour help CAFB advocate for the needs of abused and neglected children in this community. Through its two programs, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and the Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC), the agency touches the lives of more than 400 young victims each month.

“Planning was well underway before the hurricane,” stated CAFB Marketing Specialist Lisa Moore. “We have some exciting things planned for this year. We’re in new neighborhoods, and we have homes on both ends of the county from Long Meadow Farms to Kitty Hollow Park. We’re partnering with the Fort Bend History Association to showcase the DeWalt Heritage Center in turn-of-the-century style for the Christmas holiday.”

The historic Dew house, which was built as a farmhouse 1899-1900 and was luxuriously updated in the 1920s to reflect the family’s successful ranching and oil ventures, was moved in 2006 to its new location in Missouri City’s Kitty Hollow Park. From there, it was renovated and transformed into the DeWalt Heritage Center through a partnership of Fort Bend County and the Fort Bend History Association. “It is an important piece of Fort Bend history, and when the Fort Bend History Association approached us about participating, we thought it would make a great addition to the Tour,” said Moore. Dew family descendants have donated and loaned many historical items and priceless artifacts just for the Tour, including vintage décor, original china, silver and crystal, saddles and other items from the Dew house’s glory days. The Fort Bend History Association also will display rare collections items, including a horse-drawn buggy owned by the family, during the Tour. “We are incredibly excited to partner with Child Advocates of Fort Bend for this year’s Christmas Home Tour,” said Claire Rogers, Executive Director of the Fort Bend History Association. “Our ‘Dewcent’ volunteers and decorators can’t wait to deck the halls of the Dew House and share Texas history at the same time!”

Tour hours are 10 am until 4 pm on December 8th and 9th with a candlelight tour on December 8th from 6 to 9 pm. The Tour underwriter is the Fred and Mabel R. Parks Foundation. Sponsorships from $100 to $15,000 are available. For sponsorship information or to help with the tour, visit www.cafb.org or contact Lisa Moore at 281-344-5108 or lmoore@cafb.org. For updates on home locations and ticket sales, go to www.cafb.org/Events/Home-Tour/.