April showers bring May flowers …
It’s springtime at Nexus! The campus has been abuzz with springtime cheer. After February’s sudden winter storm, everyone is ready to enjoy warmer spring weather, sunshine, and spring flowers.
This month’s issue features an interview with Charles Betts, our new Director of Operations, and a special thank you to our Junior League of Dallas volunteers, who have contributed hundreds of hours this year in service of our mission. We are also excited to share the story of Victoria Morris, a former client now in long-term recovery, and her daughter, Tiffani Lewis, who has founded a nonprofit that provides basic necessities for those in need in Dallas.
You can support Nexus by ordering a Mother’s Day bouquet which will be available for pick-up at our Pop-Up Flower Shop drive-through experience, hosted by the Auxiliary of Nexus. Read all about this socially distant fundraising event below.
This month, we are excited to welcome and feature Charles Betts, the new Director of Operations, who joined Nexus in February 2021, and has jumped into his role with energy and enthusiasm. In his new role, he oversees the day-to-day operations of our 24-hour residential facility, including facilities management, which includes the maintenance and upkeep of the buildings and grounds of our 11-acre campus; transportation; and campus security and safety.
Originally from Fort Worth, Texas, Charles enjoys spending time on his small farm and ranch outside Corsicana, where he lives with 3 of his 5 children and 30 cows. He has also been a member of Camp Gladiator, a fitness group that meets at 5 in the morning to workout outdoors, for the past two years. In addition to his physical activities, Charles is a big fan of history, especially Texas history, and is a proud supporter and donor of PBS.
He is also a college football junkie, having spent his undergraduate years playing football at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He coached football for several years at Cisco College in Cisco and Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma. Later, he returned to Cisco College as the Assistant Dean of Students. He eventually landed at Navarro College in Corsicana where he served as the Director of Housing and helped its housing facilities grow from 300 residents to over 900. After 25 years in this role, he was ready for a new challenge.
“Working at Nexus is challenging because it’s a residential facility that operates 24/7, 365 days a year,” says Charles. “I’ve been here for a month and I have not slowed down at all. When I come to work, there’s no telling what I’m going to walk into. Our facilities are older. Some of our buildings were constructed in the mid-60s, so they require a lot of time and attention.”
He has quickly fallen in love with Nexus’ mission and loves seeing it work every day. As the Director of Operations, he ensures that staff are in a position to help fulfill this mission and serve women and children in need. “I’m amazed [at what our staff do here],” he says proudly. “I’m just so happy to be here. I mean that.”
Nexus is truly appreciative of the support the Junior League of Dallas (JLD) has provided our organization this year. We were awarded a financial grant and assigned 10 volunteers and 1 project coordinator to lead our 2020-2021 Work It Out Program. Through this year-long partnership, volunteers from the Junior League of Dallas were to provide workout and healthy living classes for clients in our Adult Women residential program. Because of the pandemic, our program faced many challenges and it was ultimately suspended in December 2020 in order to maintain the safety of both our residential clients and our JLD volunteers.
In spite of this, JLD volunteers have continued supporting Nexus over these past few months by helping with various projects around campus that allowed them to socially distance. In December, JLD volunteers made bracelets and recovery journals for our residential clients who were in treatment during the winter holidays and helped assemble these and other gifts for clients and our essential staff. In January, they cleaned out and helped pack up our business office to make room for our Recovery Support Services, which provides case management and support for women after completing treatment. Volunteers also helped with early spring cleaning efforts on our main campus by sorting and organizing administrative files as well as our Clothes Closet. “We are truly thankful for all that the Junior League has done for Nexus and our clients,” says Beth Hunter, Community Engagement and Volunteer Coordinator. “The volunteers’ enthusiasm and dedication to our mission is awe-inspiring and they are an absolute joy to work with.”
In February, the Junior League began leading virtual health and wellness classes for our Adult Women program that focused on healthy eating and self-care. The classes were so well-received that a weekend life skills and a financial literacy class were added in March. “The Junior League has truly served and supported our clients through this most challenging year. Their mentorship and guidance has been instrumental for women in the early stages of recovery and for that, they should be commended,” says Kira Casimir, Adult Women Program Director.
Thank you, Junior League of Dallas, for your support and service this year!
This month, we had the chance to visit with a former client, Victoria Morris (formerly Harris) and her daughter, Tiffani Lewis. Victoria celebrated her 53rd birthday and 11 years in recovery in March. She is now happily married and has 3 adult children and 7 grandchildren.
Victoria’s recovery journey has not been easy. She struggled with amphetamine use disorder for years and her relationship with her children and mother was fraught. The second and last time that she admitted into Nexus, she weighed 79 pounds and was near death. “I was tired. I was done. I was at a point in my life where I was basically too scared to live and too scared to die,” reflects Victoria. “I knew then that it was time for me to do something for myself. I wanted to live, so I went back to Nexus.”
She is appreciative of the treatment, counseling, and care she received while at Nexus. She was diagnosed with a co-occurring mental health disorder and received medication alongside treatment for her substance use disorder. She also received counseling and learned how to pinpoint triggers that fueled her addiction. “It’s a program that I’ll never forget…It saved my life,” says Victoria. “If I wouldn’t have went there, I’d probably be dead today.”
Today, Victoria spends most of her time on the road with her husband, who is a long-distance truck driver. She helps him plan his routes and oversees the accounting side of their business. Together, they have travelled throughout the country, although her favorite place is still her native state of California. Victoria moved to Texas when she was in middle school and has called Dallas her home ever since. In addition, she has a seat on the Board of Directors of her daughter’s nonprofit, Value Her Life, which was founded in January 2020 and recently received its IRS determination as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Tiffani started her nonprofit to honor her mother, who faced many struggles and was finally able to overcome them with the help of organizations like Nexus. Value Her Life is dedicated to supporting and uplifting women across the Metroplex by providing moral guidance, distributing basic necessities, and offering emotional support.
To the donors and staff who made her recovery possible, Victoria says, “Thank you for saving my life and thank you for giving me the chance to be a mother and a grandmother. I couldn’t have done it without you.”
Just in time for Mother’s Day and in honor of all the mothers at Nexus Recovery Center, the Auxiliary of Nexus is hosting a Pop-Up Flower Shop, with curated bouquets of colorful blooms and opportunities to support the women of Nexus.
North Texans are invited to pre-order their Mother’s Day bouquet online and then drive-through Nexus on Saturday, May 8 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm to pick-up their arrangement. In-person, day of orders will also be available at the Pop-Up Flower Shop drive-through experience. In addition to bouquets purchased, individuals may also sponsor a gift basket for a mother currently on campus in the Nexus recovery program, and/or donate to the organization in their mother’s honor. All the proceeds of the bouquets and donations will go straight back to the empowering mission of Nexus.
Prior to the pandemic, the Auxiliary hosted an annual spring luncheon to generate funds and awareness of Nexus and its mission. With precautions still in place, the Auxiliary has elected to host a socially distanced Pop-Up Flower Shop event. Auxiliary members and Nexus clients will gather outdoors Friday, May 7 to assemble each handcrafted bouquet.
Whether the flowers are ordered ahead of time online, or in-person day of, each arrangement must be picked up via drive-through on Nexus’ campus (8733 La Prada Drive, Dallas, TX 75228) on Saturday, May 8 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm.
For more information on the Nexus Mother’s Day Pop-Up Flower Shop, sponsorship opportunities, and how to reserve your floral arrangements, please visit nexusrecovery.org/mothersday.