Even a pandemic can’t stop a tradition of giving.

Woodland Baptist Church, in Austin, recently donated $7,000 to Buckner RGV to help 10 families with their bills and monthly expenses during the COVID-19 crisis.

“That’s pretty amazing because a lot of our families are in a really tough financial situation given that a lot of them lost their jobs, or they are unable to go to work because of stay home orders,” said Diego Silva, director for the Buckner Family Hope Center in Peñitas.

Woodland has collaborated with Buckner in mission trips, home building and volunteering at the Buckner Family Hope Center for the past 10 years. The church canceled this year’s mission trip with Buckner due to the pandemic and raised money for the 10 families they helped build homes before.

“This shows that communities that are hundreds of miles apart can come together and work together in times of need,” Silva said.

“On behalf of the families we serve, thank you to Woodlawn,” said Samuel Hutchinson, manager of domestic missions and construction for Buckner International. “Their generous pledge will help vulnerable families see hope shine in times of uncertainty and instability. The overwhelming level of hardship brought on by the pandemic is being felt by many families in our community.”

Buckner Rio Grande Valley, based in Mission, is a faith-based nonprofit ministry dedicated to transforming the lives of vulnerable children, families and senior adults. It is an extension of Buckner International, founded in 1879 in Texas, which today serves people in the United States and internationally.

“Our program is about family strengthening and family unification,” Silva said. He also said that Buckner RGV provides an array of services such as block parties, after school programs, literacy classes, financial education and family coaching.

Silva added Buckner offices are closed, but are still providing online services. Any families that need assistance can call (956) 519-3100.