During mid-October, stars of the HGTV show Fixer Upper Chip and Joanna Gaines hosted their annual Silobration in Waco, where a local organization, The 4-1-1, was presented with a check that will benefit the Temple-area youth.
The famous couple received many applications for the ‘Chipstarter’ Dream Launcher Contest and narrowed it down to six finalists who were each presented with an award at the Silobration.
Crusader country’s very own Marcus Wimby, along with Kim White and Dion Alexander were among the finalists. They were awarded $40,000 to use in the demolition and remodel of a house in east Temple that will be used as a safe hangout for local boys.
The goal of the 4-1-1 is to provide young boys in the East Temple community a safe and fun place to spend their time while learning different skills.
This will all take place in a house that was previously owned by Civil Rights activist Myrtle Captain.
This house has been the site of many charitable events and organizations in its lifetime, and after it is revamped it will once again be a place that helps the community.
White, who owns the home, started 4-1-1 after realizing that there weren’t a lot of opportunities for young boys in the area. Her role will be to serve on the board of the non-profit, which will involve coming up with the programing for the house as well as acquiring food and donations. White plans to be involved in an administrative capacity, while Wimby and Alexander run the home.
“We want a balance of experience and relationship,” White said, “Each boy will set their own goals: long-term or short-term and we will sit down with them and go over how to obtain those goals and how they can do certain things to reach those goals through every day decisions.”
White said she chose Wimby and Alexander because they have offered to volunteer with the boys without an incentive. She also saw that the boys respected and responded well to Wimby and Alexander and that the two were able to guide the boys in a special way.
“I knew that whatever this was, we needed to make sure it kept happening.” White said.
Wimby is currently a senior business major here at UMHB and will graduate this December. He had previously met the Whites through volunteer work where he worked alongside Alexander. They both got along with the boys so well that when White shared her idea, they were on board.
Wimby hopes to give the boys a positive outlook on life and help them realize that their circumstances are temporary and they won’t be in this state forever.
“If they can take anything away from me, I want them to know the life they have now could be better by the actions and work they do now,” Wimby said.
The senior said he hopes that the house can be a place where they host family dinners and teach the boys to act like gentlemen.
“We want them to dress nice and meet Sunday to have dinner and discuss life, the Bible, and community service,” he said. “I want them to get out of the house looking sharp and feeling good about something they are going to be doing.”
Alexander is new to the Belton-Temple area but was ready to take on the role as a mentor for these kids. He is currently taking online classes and plans to finish his schooling starting next semester.
“I see a lot of myself in those guys. I know that when I was small I wished I had a brother figure to do things with me. I feel like God put me in a good position to be able to help these guys,” Alexander said. “As a mentor I just want to curve their way of thinking and get them out of thinking ‘this is it’ and get them focused on their behavior and skills.”
The three have big hopes for this house and that the organization can continue to grow and help young boys see the potential in themselves.