Meet Mrs. Ellen LoBue. Ellen is the only full time social worker employed by the HEB ISD in the Family Support Services Office. Last year, her office identified 700 “homeless children” and determined that 47% of families in the HEB ISD are economically disadvantaged.

Mrs. LoBue has a heart for children. She educates the families about the resources available but she said, “School supplies are a big thing for the kids. We all want that little kid to start their first day of school with a new little backpack and pencils…and not something that has already lost its eraser because it’s the only pencil in the house.” Even with the social services available, Ellen realized the need was just too great. So she began to seek help from local churches. 

She told the church leaders, “I appreciate that the churches are sending people to other countries to do missions but we need to look in our backyard. There’s too much need here to ignore now. I need you, I’m asking you, I’m begging you, I’m praying for you to coordinate the churches. I need a collaboration of churches to help meet the needs of the families in this community on a large scale.”
Do you believe in miracles? Check out this timeline:

  • August 2008, John Meador, pastor of First Baptist Euless, gave staff member, Scott Sheppard, an assignment to determine what would need to be done to create a coalition of local churches to help our community.  
  • November 2008, Lydia, who works with Ellen in the Social Support Services office, heard about the proposed coalition during a church service. Lydia contacted Scott to find out more.
  • January 2009, Scott met with Ellen and learned that her office had also been seeking a coalition among churches.

Talk about a vision coming together! After meeting with area churches, civic leaders and area businesses, 6Stones, a non-profit / 501c3 was established. It was a dream come true for Ellen, and the timing was nothing short of amazing! Ellen said Tarrant County provides a “Back to School Round-Up” at Will Rogers Convention Center but the families that come to her “either don’t have transportation to Will Rogers or don’t have gas money to use to get there.” She told church leaders, “I really want something like that here for our kids.” leadership took on the challenge, and with the assistance of area businesses and over a dozen churches, 6Stones will provide backpacks and school supplies for up to 2,000 students this Saturday, August 22. For just $20, you can help a child receive a backpack. Click here to sponsor a child. Click here to volunteer on August 22. (Volunteer Training Meeting 6 pm Tuesday August 18, 205 N. Industral Blvd, Bedford).

What else is needed?

  • Education – you can help spread the word that help is available on a large scale – right here in the HEB area. Most students are identified through the Student Residency Survey but some won’t complete the form for fear of having to change schools. They don’t know there is a federal act** to protect them. Some students “may have to move three to five times in a year but at least they get to have the stability of staying in one school,” Ellen said.
  • Provide Food – “Sometimes a school nurse will call and say, ‘this kiddo has no food at home, so he’s eating breakfast and lunch at school and he’s not eating all night.’” People don’t realize it takes four-five months to receive food stamps and Medicaid coverage. Ellen helps provide assistance in the meantime. You can help too by joining her at the Tarrant Area Food Bank the 2nd Thursday of each month from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Ten volunteers working those three hours will feed 75 families for one month. Mark your calendar and plan on helping on September 10th.
  • Provide Christmas – Check back later for details on how you can help with Christmas wishes!

Mrs. Lobue said the best part of her job is “giving people hope. You can make a difference. You can tell the person, ‘you are not alone.’ I wish people recognized the need in their own backyard. I wish they were willing to help without judging. It’s not the child’s fault. We need to do all we can to help them get back on their feet.”

She said, “The majority of people who come in this office for help are working people who are behind because of their own illness or having to stay home from work with an infectious child. They’ve gotten behind and find that they have no money for groceries.”

Mrs. Lobue said it’s rewarding to be able to help. She admires “the clients that just keep wading through. They know they can come to us. They walk in with the weight of the world on their shoulders and walk out knowing ‘ok – today I’ve brought home food for my family. I’ve got someone helping me get medication. I’ve applied to become self-sufficient through Medicaid and food stamps. I feel hopeful.’ You just go – wow! That is amazing – it really is!”

She has a Masters Degree in Social Work. She is married and has two boys, ages 15 & 13, and one girl, 10. Her favorite food is tomato and cheese pizza and her least favorite food is fish or any kind of seafood. Ellen enjoys watching her sons play ice hockey and watching her daughter play volleyball. Ellen also enjoys cooking and trying new recipes. She recently tried making Cocoanut Curried Chicken but said the family ended up ordering pizza that night.

**McKinney-Vento Act
The federal McKinney-Vento Act protects a child’s right to be enrolled in one school and have transportation to that school even if the child has to move outside the school’s attendance zone. More specifically, it protects homeless children and identifies them as those living in a shelter, a motel, an abandoned building, foster care, substandard housing, with friends, or doubled up with other families.



1 Comment

  1. Angela C on August 20, 2009 at 12:24 am

    Ellen is one of the most remarkable human beings I know. We should all have more of her in us. Skip eating out or a movie one night and donate the savings to her "kids" at HEB. Helping out these kids and their families benefits us all in more ways than we can count.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.