For the Wachs family of Castle Hills, giving knows no boundaries. Deb and Steve Wachs, residents of Castle Hills in Lewisville, have chosen to be part of the Metrocrest Services mission for more than 35 years and have made volunteering at Metrocrest Services one of their most-treasured family traditions.
“Back then, they only had nine staff members,” Deb remembers her beginnings with the young agency. “I was chair of missions at my church, and that’s how I got introduced to Metrocrest Services. We did Easter baskets and the holiday family adoption program,” she said. “That’s how we got started.”
That involvement expanded into being part of the team running the agency’s holiday store, participating in back-to-school shoe programs, winter coat drives, volunteering for the Sack Summer Hunger initiative, and more. Deb also served on the Metrocrest Services Board of Directors, and Steve joined Deb in chairing the Metrocrest Services 50th Anniversary Golden Gala in the fall of 2021.
Introducing Their Children to Volunteerism
“Volunteering through Metrocrest Services is a way to introduce a generational change in your kids in giving back – not just with money but also with your time,” Steve explained that it develops a different person who is more conscious of those around them and how one person’s philanthropy – via time or money given – can help someone in need.
Throughout their service, Deb and Steve have benefited families in need and brought new traditions and perspectives to their own family. “It was important to us to introduce our kids to the experience of giving back. Metrocrest Services provided that environment in which to learn, and it’s something our children carry with them throughout their lives,” Steve said.
“As our children grew old enough to be involved, they would just come with me,” Deb said of her daughter Stephanie and son Jeremy.
The kids would spend hours helping Deb arrange the toys in the holiday store for families in need to come and select during the holiday season or gather and organize coats for the winter coat drive, for example.
Steve, owner, and partner of Legacy Consulting Group, a wealth management firm in Plano, is committed to creating sustainable change that will far outlive any of us. “We just really encourage our friends to teach their kids the art of giving,” Deb explained.
“Even when they would come home from college, they would bring friends to introduce them to the Metrocrest Services mission. We’ve done many things, but we’ve always tried to integrate others into everything we do.”
Steve and Deb’s daughter Stephanie turned her commitment to giving into a career and is now serving as a licensed clinical social worker in Atlanta, Georgia. The Wachs’ son Jeremy lives in Justin and works in the audio/visual field. He recently put his specialized skills to work for Metrocrest Services, volunteering to run the A/V for the Golden Gala that the Wachs chaired.
Making a Generational Difference
In addition to growing a new generation of volunteers, Deb and Steve also have chosen to support a new home for Metrocrest Services through the Building Our Future capital campaign. The campaign’s goal is to raise the funding needed for a new facility for the agency in the heart of the Metrocrest Services’ service area. In addition to personally supporting the campaign, Deb and Steve Wachs also volunteer their time on the capital campaign committee.
“We’ve always talked about the perfect location of Belt Line and Josey roads in Carrollton would be — the fact that we’re in that location now was truly meant to be,” Deb said. “It’s been a dream for many for a long, long time.”
That exposure to the inner workings of Metrocrest Services revealed to Deb that she always knew they needed a better location and a better facility – and also knew they wouldn’t find an existing facility.
The new home for Metrocrest Services, slated to open in 2023, will combine all of the agency’s many services into one efficient, custom-built space that will provide convenient access for clients and also a great place to work and serve volunteers and staff. “The dream was always to have our own space where we could offer these programs and have space to add other services and programs,” Deb said. “Now we can see it.”
“At Metrocrest Services, it’s a hand up rather than simply a handout, so Metrocrest provides job training, interview skills, and other support services that will empower families to move on to that next step of self-sufficiency.” Steve points to wrap-around services like these and others that support clients as they better their lives for themselves and their families. Helping individuals as they learn and grow to meet their own family’s needs often opens up doors for their children they might have always assumed to be impossible to open. While the Wachs continue to add to their family’s tradition of giving back, they also help mentor others in creating a legacy for themselves through volunteerism and philanthropy.
“It’s all about building it out to make a generational difference in people’s lives,” Steve said.
Deb agreed and added, “If there’s any heart of giving in there, if they do it once, they’ll do it again.”