Kite Festival raises proceeds for Deep East Texas’ Helping House organization

Helping House has served over 150 children and their families through multiple programs since...
Helping House has served over 150 children and their families through multiple programs since the organization opened in 2008.(all use)
Published: Apr. 3, 2022 at 5:20 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 3, 2022 at 6:08 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The Helping House organization in Nacogdoches hosted their 11th annual kite festival at A.L. Mangham JR Regional airport Sunday. Helping House’s founder and director Amanda Johnson said this year was a little different.

“Because SFA has the new flight school, and they built a hanger right here, we had to be responsive and kind of move our event,” Johnson said.

Johnson said they had to follow FAA regulations and apply this year to host an event at the airport. She said the changes are worth it because of the good the proceeds bring to the community.

“We have a private school, and it’s a resource for families in our area, so we are able to offset the cost to make it more attainable financially for families in our area to access our services,” Johnson said.

Helping House has served the community for the past 14 years and helps to ease the transition for autistic children on the spectrum as they go into public school.

“We have up to 12 students enrolled in our day program. Our summer program is usually about 25 kids,” Johnson said. “We have a social skills group that usually has between 6 and 10 kids in it. We have a parent support group that meets once a month.”

Robert Kuban has been volunteering with Helping House for eight years, He said he’s seen firsthand how the organization can aid autistic children.

“I’ve grown to be able to not be able to go without doing it,” Kuban said. “I do it several days a week and every chance I get. I try not to miss. The kids are just so dear to me. I’ve gotten so much more from them than I’ve ever expected.”

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