NewsPositively Central Texas


'It's about the kids': Local woman braves icy roads driving foster care employees to work

Posted at 9:34 PM, Feb 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-05 08:32:58-05

We've all seen videos of cars and trucks slipping, sliding, and getting stuck on the roads over the past few days but essential workers have had to brave those conditions.

Tina Capito and her team at the Garden of Hope, an emergency shelter for foster children, are no different.

Capito is the CEO of The Garden of Hope, she said, "We have to have staff, we have state ratios. We have children in our care, and we have to have staff be able to be at work every day, during the day in the evening and overnight."

The slippery and slick road conditions made it difficult for staff to get to and from work. After helping during last year's winter storm, Dena Vega showed up again to help.

Vega said, "It appears as though it's going to be an annual tradition!"

Vega has been gassing up her four-wheel-drive truck and had been making sure staff get to and from work safely. So far she has driven over 400 miles in two days.

COURTESY: Tina Capito

'It's just in my heart to make sure that the kids have what they need, and they need the staff, and they need Tina there. I just want the kids to know that we love them, people love them. And they may not feel that before or they might struggle with that feeling. But I want them to know that there are people that love them. And there are people that really care about them," said Vega.

Running an emergency shelter for children in the foster care system is no easy task, it's a huge undertaking with the staff needed 24/7. Capito explains if it was not for Vega, she does not know how they would have made it through this year's winter freeze.

While the kids are top of mind, Capito said, "It is about the kids, but we always have to take care of our staff before we can take care of the kids. Because if I don't have staff, we don't have children we can take care of. And so that's important as well. And so, this really makes our staff feel that no matter what's going on that we're going to help take care of them as much as they take care of their children."

COURTESY: Tina Capito

Vega is as humble as ever. "I wish I could give more of my time throughout the year. And unfortunately, I'm not able to. So when things like this, come up, and we're fortunate enough to be able to help, we just want to make sure that we're out there to do whatever we can for the kids."

The duo also stopped along the way to assist other drivers on the road, urging the community to stay off the roads unless necessary.

"We're watching cars slide all over the road. We're watching people spin out, we're watching people not be able to drive well. If you don't need to be out, there's not really anything that's important enough to get an accident or to cause harm to themselves or anyone else," said Capito.

As the ice thaws, Capito said she is beyond grateful for Vega's help.

"There's no amount of money that could replace the volunteers and the service that this community gives. And the Vega family is just one piece of that puzzle," said Capito.