Big Hearts: Eastland Man Helps Keep Children out of Trouble

Published 07/03 2014 09:54PM

Updated 07/03 2014 10:26PM

They're on a mission in Eastland to keep children out of hospital.

"This is a safe place, a positive environment,"says Dustin Tatro, Outgoing Director of the eCenter.

"I think it's pretty cool," says Seth Campbell, a student.

The eCenter was birthed back in the summer of 2011 by myself and our then youth director," adds Tatro.

The idea to create the eCenter followed a deadly accident involving a local high school student, "A student posted on Facebook, maybe we wouldn't be getting in trouble and getting hurt if we had somewhere safe to go," says Tatro.

Shortly after that post, the First United Methodist Church stepped up to make it happen.

"Several business, several other churches provided gifts and financial contribution to begin this ministry," Tatro says.

From the beginning, everyone could count on Troy Jones, "I'm getting really involved in the church and I thought this would be a good testimony for the kids to help out down here and show them what volunteering is all about."

Tatro says, "Six hours a week, six nights a week, almost for three years. So, you can put the math together of how much time he's put in volunteering. He has a very big heart."

While it may look like all fun and games, Troy Jones knows he has a big responsibility, "Being around the kids, make sure that they're taken care of and have someone to communicate with."

The children aren't just coming the ecenter for the free activities

Campbell says, "I just play pool a lot. They got XBOX's and just talk to Troy."

"I just love doing it and being in the community," Jones says.

Together the students and their mentor find understanding and acceptance.

"It's amazing how good kids treat people that have disabilities," adds Jones.

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