Family Service Association’s Adopt-A-Family holiday program

Family Service Assoc_colorFor over 20 years Family Service Association has helped give thousands of families hope for the holidays through their Adopt-A-Family program. With major sponsors like Valero, Family Service is ensuring a bright December for San Antonio.

Take for instance, Valencia Carter. Her family was helped by the program. The only thing she wanted was to give her youngest son something nice. She spoke to her other two children and let them know that with deep regret she could only afford one present that year. Her eldest children accepted noting that their younger brother still needed something to believe in.

Family Service Association stepped in and quickly found her a family willing to donate items. The day of pick up soon arrived and Valencia stood awestruck and in tears. “The only thing my baby wanted was a bike; he could not stop thinking about it and brought it up every chance he got. I could not afford to get him a bicycle at the time so I had no idea how I was going to tell him.” The day she went to The Neighborhood Place, among the many wonderful basic need items, was a brand new shiny bicycle.

“I will never forget my son’s face.” Valencia Carter says, “To the people, whoever they are, that got us all of those wonderful things. I do not know if they will ever understand just what they did for my family. We have hope again that somehow everything is going to be ok.”

Family Service Association’s Adopt-A-Family program is still going strong. Help us. Call 210-299-2400 and let us know you want to adopt. Alternatively, fill out our sponsor application form found here:



Special Halloween and Christmas events to wrap up successful 2013 season at Morgan’s Wonderland

MorgansWonderland_logoSpecial events in celebration of Halloween and Christmas at Morgan’s Wonderland will cap a successful 2013 season, the fourth for the world’s first ultra-accessible, family-fun theme park specifically designed with special-needs individuals of all ages in mind but built for everyone to enjoy.

From 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31, the “More Delightful Than Frightful” observance of Halloween will collect food and funds to help the San Antonio Food Bank fight hunger. Children age 12 and younger and special-needs individuals of all ages can wear their more delightful-than-frightful Halloween costumes and go trick-or-treating while they enjoy the unique 25-acre park and all its attractions that are accessible to everyone.

Through Oct. 30, each person who brings three non-perishable food items to Morgan’s Wonderland will receive a coupon good for free admission to More Delightful Than Frightful. On the day of Halloween, admission will be free for those with special needs and $5 for everyone else.  All food donations and More Delightful Than Frightful admissions revenue will go directly to the Food Bank.

District 5840 Rotary Clubs are partnering with Morgan’s Wonderland in staging the safe and colorful Halloween event.

On Friday, Nov. 29, Morgan’s Wonderland will begin its second year of hosting “A Wonderland Christmas,” special holiday entertainment for the entire family on weekend evenings leading up to Christmas. For information on operating days, hours of operation and admissions, visit

In addition to the park’s regular attractions, “A Wonderland Christmas” will feature a new twinkling lights-and-music show at Sanctuary Garden, plus Santa Claus visits, carolers, a petting zoo and Christmas decorations galore.

Morgan’s Wonderland has become the anchor for a family-fun destination now known as Wonderland, Texas. The former Longhorn Quarry also is now home to Toyota Field, home of the San Antonio Scorpions pro soccer team; the STAR (South Texas Area Regional) Soccer Complex, with 13 first-class fields for tournament and league play; and Monarch Academy, a school for students with special needs next door to Morgan’s Wonderland.  Net profits from the Scorpions, Toyota Field and STAR Soccer have been earmarked for helping non-profit Morgan’s Wonderland meet its financial obligations as well as expand services and programs for the special-needs community.

The inspiration for Morgan’s Wonderland came from philanthropists Gordon and Maggie Hartman’s 20-year-old daughter Morgan. Her soaring spirit despite personal challenges sparked within the Hartmans a deep desire to create a haven not only for those with special needs but also for their families, caregivers,  invited friends and the general public.

“Inclusion is the overarching objective for Morgan’s Wonderland,” Gordon Hartman explained. “Our vision is to play an instrumental role in helping establish more ultra-accessible family fun parks throughout the nation and the world.  Morgan’s Wonderland is a truly beautiful place, and it takes on a special ambience at night for special events such as the ones we have planned for Halloween and Christmas.”

Morgan’s Wonderland is located just west of IH 35 at the intersection of Wurzbach Parkway and Thousand Oaks Drive. For more information, visit

Help Elf Louise bring toys to children this Christmas!

Elf Louise packages ready for Santa SPMThe Elf Louise Christmas Project (ELCP) needs a home for the 2014 Holidays. ELCP needs an “angel” to loan the use of a building or provide underwriting for a short-term lease on space from November 1, 2013 until January 15, 2014. Please help us spread the word. This is what the Elf needs to set up the Workshop:

  • Approximately 50,000 sq. ft. of donated space, preferably in one building, but it could be in smaller contiguous spaces, such as in a strip mall
  • ELCP provides insurance and can provide a rider for the property
  • ELCP has been able to help with the cost of utilities (if needed) in the recent past
  • Warehouse space with some air conditioning is ideal – need to be able to run a forklift
  • A loading dock or the capacity to bring in overseas shipping crates needed
  • High ceilings are a great benefit
  • A central location preferred, not far from down town, due to the price of gas (Santa teams provide their own gas)

Time is of the essence because the informational materials for volunteers and media need to include the location and physical address for the Project. The volunteers will leave the location in better condition than they found it! Read more about Elf Louise at

Santas wait for Elf Louise packagesFor the 45th year, Elf Louise will provide presents for San Antonio children who otherwise might have been forgotten at Christmas. In 2012, approximately 19,000 children in 5,460 families experienced the joy of an Elf Louise Christmas. You can help make this project a reality this holiday season.

Please contact ELCP Director Bill Harrison at (210) 843-9237 or Elf Louise Locker at (210) 829-1467, or email the project at