Today, we celebrate Starla Huebner. For the past 7 years, she has volunteered at our annual conference, A Future & A Hope. If you’ve attended, you’ve probably seen her! Her hard work and passion make her a valuable member of our volunteer team and we greatly appreciate her work.
1. Tell us a little about yourself! What is your name, where are you from, and how did you become familiar with Fostering Hope Austin and its mission?
Hi! I’m Starla, wife to Greg and mother to 4 blessings. We are native Texans, growing up in Houston, making a pit stop in College Station for a few years, and then on to Austin and Dallas. I learned about Fostering Hope Austin 8 years ago during a Women’s Bible study with the founder, Julie Kouri.
2. Why did you start volunteering with Fostering Hope Austin? How has your volunteer work with us translated into you helping others?
I began to volunteer with Fostering Hope Austin after hearing of the needs in Travis county. Believing every Christian has a responsibility to serve the orphans and the widows, I simply asked, “How can I help?” The immediate need was to volunteer at an annual conference called “A Future and A Hope”. So, I said yes. The 2020 conference season was my 7th year to volunteer. Through the years, I’ve been able to bring my husband and children into serving as well. From our oldest to our youngest child, each volunteer in various ways as we prepare for the conference and on conference day. Our time with Fostering Hope Austin has allowed our family to see just how important it is that we come alongside families who have adopted or fostered. They need our support and prayers.
3. Why do you keep volunteering with Fostering Hope Austin?
I continue to volunteer for a number of reasons. First, Fostering Hope Austin continues to support the foster and adoption community so faithfully. It is an honor to serve FHA as they serve others. Second, I’ve learned that although our family hasn’t personally adopted or fostered, we can absolutely come alongside those that have or are in the process of discerning. Third, I’ve learned throughout the years that this call isn’t easy. Helping to make a conference run smoothly and providing a day geared to caring for and informing families is well worth every minute of our volunteer time.
4. How has volunteering with us positively impacted your life?
Volunteering has absolutely impacted my life and my family’s life. We continue to learn how to support the foster and adoption community in very tangible ways. As we’ve become more knowledgeable and widened our circle, we’ve learned that the number of families choosing to foster and adopt is growing and the need for families to come alongside them. One of the most impactful ways we can support foster and adoptive families is simply by knowing more about the process, engaging with them in conversations and encouraging them through prayer. As the relationship grows there are opportunities to serve: financial support, babysitting, delivering meals and clothes.
5. Why do you think it’s important for people to volunteer their time to support those in the fostering or adoption space? Any practical tips for those who want to get involved helping others but aren’t sure how to get started?
Since I’ve begun to volunteer with FHA, our family has been blessed with a niece and a nephew through adoption. What we’ve learned as volunteers with FHA has helped us to support our extended family better. As you consider volunteering, the needs can seem overwhelming but understanding that each of us can play a small part that absolutely makes a difference is the single most important reason to ask “How can I help?”. The most practical tip to get involved is to ask what the needs are and then say yes to something.
Thank you Starla for your hard work!