Big Hearts: Sweetwater Couple Helps Keep Students Out of Trouble

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) - "I'd probably be going home and sleeping, doing nothing," says Chloe Jones, a 6th grade Sweetwater High School student.

"I'm not sure. Probably out runin' the streets," says Ria Hill, an 11th grade Sweetwater High School student.

Instead, these students have a safe place to go. Every Tuesday and Thursday during the school year and every weekday of the summer, they're welcome at the SHOP; Sweetwater House of Peace.

"They can go home and their parents don't have to worry about feeding them," says SHOP Director, Becky Acuna.

Richard Acuna, a SHOP volunteer adds, "It's more than that. It's about building relationships. It's about serving."

Sweetwater couple, Becky and Richard Acuna at Trinity Baptist Church recognized a need.

"A lot of the kids would get in trouble after school because they didn't have anywhere to go or their parents work and they just needed somewhere to be. So they're here," adds Becky Acuna.

"It's a sense of trust. It's a sense of security," says Richard Acuna.

The Acuna's with the help of many volunteers dedicate their time and money, "The community. The community has really stepped up," says Becky Acuna.

They help look after the children and work to instill good values.

"It teaches a lot of responsibility and a lot of words so we'll know what to do in the world," says Hill.

Becky Acuna adds, "The kids, they clean up the building.  They do the work outside, any device projects they do, they get points. When they accumulate enough points, we take them on special trips. They have to earn it."

They're going to have a sense of peace. That's why we call it Sweetwater House of Peace.

The Acuna's are working to turn the SHOP into a non-profit organization in order to be eligible for grant money to offer more opportunities to the students.
 


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