Hello, friends and sponsors!
I’m honored to be the Honorary Chair for this year’s golf tournament. Of course, I’m following in some mighty big footsteps – namely, my father, Rev. Bill Lawson. In fact, he wrote such a wonderful letter last year to supporters that I asked the tournament officials to simply re-send it! I hope you will consider becoming a sponsor again this year. Although I don’t know the first thing about playing golf, I do know how much your support is needed. Thanks again, and looking forward to seeing you!
Driving Beds, Senior Housing and More…
On this occasion last year, I wrote to you as golfers and supporters a message stating that you are not just ‘doing this for recreation’ but that you are providing housing for some person or family that would be deemed homeless on the streets of Houston. Furthermore, your support helps seniors live in decent and affordable housing whereby they can ‘age’ in place. Each of these demographic populations are challenged in the current culture because they have limited resources, and they need a place to call home.
Several years ago, my late wife Audrey Hoffman Lawson and I began this ministry as a walk of faith. And in that walk, we have seen God’s love manifested through the helping of persons that are indigent and those in need. The Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church family has embraced our vision for a community that doesn’t just focus on Christian development and discipleship but helps persons from various backgrounds deal with difficulty. As referenced above, the charity that you support today, WAICV (Wheeler Avenue Inner City Visions) supports the (MBTLC) Madge Bush Transitional Living Center and the AHLSR (Audrey Hoffman Lawson Senior Residences). These individuals face a myriad of challenges, but it is through these facilities that they are able to receive vital resources. I have been made recently aware that my eldest daughter, Melanie Lawson has accepted the role of Honorary Chair of this year’s tournament. And while this has become a family affair, the purpose for the cause is greater than any one or two persons; please help Melanie bring about increased awareness and support to this effort.
On a personal note, since last year’s tournament, my wife Audrey has passed, and while we miss her deeply, her legacy as a community organizer and philanthropist for those that have been left out goes on. The families that this agency serves do not golf and may not know what the term par means, but the monies raised from this charity will be used to help those persons. Jesus Christ said to us in the book of Matthew 25:31-40 that “I was a stranger and you invited me in.”
I would like to thank the WAICV Charity Golf Tournament Committee, all sponsors and every person that picks up a golf club at the tournament to drive not just for fun, beds and housing, but for people. The efforts that you make today are changing lives.
In 2001, Wheeler Avenue Inner City Visions was established as a 501 c (3) non-profit corporation with the mission to secure funding support to the WA Non-Profit entities and their affiliate programs. WAICV supports four (4) affiliate non-profits under the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in Third Ward Houston. The non-profits are as follows: Wheeler Avenue Triangle Ministries (WATMI), Wheeler Avenue Central City Comprehensive Community Center (WA5C’s), Wheeler Avenue Christian Academy (WACA) and the Wheeler Avenue Africa Project (WAAP).
The facility houses 16 adult women and up to two children (16 yrs, or younger) for 24 months. In 2010 the facility underwent a comprehensive rehabilitation project and reopened with comfortable fully furnished units.
In 2012, WATMI and affiliate of WAICV acquired several properties in the immediate vicinity of the Madge Bush Facility on Drew and Sampson. The Martin Luther King Jr. Center properties include the former single family housing units known as the Mickey Leland Crisis Center. WATMI has recently rehabilitated 4 of the 5 Single Family housing units into Affordable Housing for Seniors (62+) and older with a Case Manager component. This project was made possible through the generous donations of major funders like Wells Fargo and other funding agencies such as WAICV. On February 26, 2015, the Audrey Hoffman Lawson Seniors Residences (AHLSR) were officially opened and d dedicated for use by seniors. The AHLSR is funded in part by the WAICV Golf tournament proceeds.