Monday, April 19, 2010

A Culture of Community...

The culture of The Home was one of creating a family. The long-standing culture of Fort Worth is and always has been one of taking care of its citizens. Today the buildings at The Masonic Home stand in semi-solitude, mostly boarded up on the remaining acreage, waiting in turn for renewal as the campus evolves into serving the needs of the city's community of children and families through the non-profit entity, ACH Child and Family Services, which is also going through a time of change as it looks for better ways to serve its purpose.

Could the magic of The Home and the story of the Twelve Mighty Orphans have happened elsewhere? Other than Fort Worth, Texas? It isn't just Texas swagger -- Texas thrives on connections.

Fort Worth has fostered a personality of caring, an attitude of looking out for others, a business of making compassion its character, action its purpose.

When the city needed a place for fatherless children, Masons stepped up. When a runty scrawny orphan team needed a place to hold their cheering fans, Amon Carter built a stadium. Roll the clock up with this way of doing things and you'll see leaders who left legacies of long duration in matters of heart and soul. Life is short, but the life of a community can have a continual beating heart. Art is long and so is this idea of purpose and spirit; legacies have left tentacles, including the idea that you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps and make a difference.

Same Kind of Different As Me is a recent book about a real story with true characters in recent times in Fort Worth. Compared to the Depression-era story of the Mighty Mites, it is a new story but is part of a long continuum of creating a community through caring for others.

The still empty buildings today, at The Home, are just the bones of something that continues evolving to stay relevant in the chain of caring -- the Fort Worth Texas way.

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