NewsForever Families


Forever Families: Waco Rainbow Room

Posted at 3:17 PM, Apr 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-25 15:24:56-04

(KXXV) — A new organization is stepping up to help operate the Waco Rainbow Room, a resource room for children in crisis, and they're already a huge part of finding forever families for children in Central Texas.

The Waco Rainbow Room opened to great fan fare more than 20 years ago inside the downtown Waco CPS office.

"I was watching Laura Bush come in," said McLennan County CPS Supervisor Jesse Guardiola.

Guardiola has been with CPS for 45 years.

"I really believe that taking care of children is a privilege. I believe they deserve their childhood and we have an opportunity to help the children," said Guardiola.

Things like diapers, wipes, the essentials are needed when a child is taken into care. They are often taken into care suddenly and without many personal possessions.

"They did not come with anything," recalled former foster mother JoAnn Nors.

Nors is also the president of the Child Welfare Board in McLennan County.

For decades, the Junior League of Waco has operated the Rainbow Room successfully, but the time to transition the initiative to a new nonprofit has come. The child welfare board asked Partnerships for Children to take the reigns.

"I feel like it's going to be a great help to keep things organized and stocked and have things available when case workers need them," said Nors.

PFC operates the Travis County Rainbow Room and plans to hire a part time staff member for the Waco Rainbow Room, steam line the process and keep up with the explosive growth.

"At PFC our mission is to empower and support children in CPS care in Central Texas and this fits right into our mission," said Marcus Cantu with PFC.

Cantu says the community can support the Rainbow Room with donations, volunteer or come take a tour to learn more. It takes an estimated $50,000 to operate each year and a lot of leg work.

"With the population growth here in Waco, the numbers keep increasing. I would say on average about every month there are about 600 children and we're coming in to make sure the Rainbow Room will be used to its full potential," said Cantu.

A lot has changed over the years in Waco, as more children come into care but one things remains the same... the community cares about our kids.

"It's very gratifying that people do care and they want to share and help out," said Nors.

Check out the new website for the Waco Rainbow Room.