Grow – May 2022

Day program: sprouting enrollment in spring

For the first time in New Danville’s history, there is now a waiting list for enrollment in the Wrangler 2 program that is for clients with more challenging needs. At the current pace of growth for the day program, a waiting list may be necessary well before the end of 2022 as growth in headcount and client-days continues. There has been a waiting list for Meadowbrook, New Danville’s residential community, for years. To Bryan Gill, program manager, all that is good news.

“There is so much positivity,” Bryan said, “on the team, with our guests and visitors. It is great to see, and we see it in our numbers. Enrollment is up 20% in the first four months of the year.”

Bryan shared the story of a family who moved from Pearland (70 miles away) to get their loved one closer to New Danville so he could easily attend the day program often. Another new client decided on her first day that she wanted to change from three to four days per week of day program attendance. Another client from Huntsville (25 miles north of New Danville) now wants to attend five days a week and was disappointed that the day program is not held on Saturday and Sunday, too.

Growth shows in many areas. For example, New Danville has added Huntsville to its transportation route. New clients are joining, former clients are coming back, current clients are adding more days: “It is a fun time,” Bryan said.

“We used to have two tours (for prospective clients) per month,” Bryan said, “and now we are doing from six to ten per month. The good word is spreading.”

For more information about New Danville programs and services or to request a tour, contact Bryan Gill, program manager, at 936-534-9111 or Bryan.Gill@NewDanville.org.


Grow – April 2022

Expanding expression in song

“Then, out of nowhere, he began to sing to the music. He is usually just quiet in class, but he came out of a shell and sang. He did it on the bus, too,” Debbie Rigsby, Direct Support Professional (DSP), said.  Debbie works with New Danville’s Wrangler 2s who need a bit more attention and assistance than the day program Wranglers.  “Patrick and Sebastian both found singing.”

Randy McCaffety, also a DSP who recently began working with the Wrangler 2s, agreed. “It is not every time, but fairly often when we play some rockin’ songs during class, they will dance and sing. This is new for them.”

Finding new forms of expression and joy is a sign of growth.

“We look at all growth steps, large or small, as something to celebrate. Progress can be inconsistent, but progress is progress, and singing for someone who usually doesn’t communicate much verbally is a big deal. Everyone in the class celebrated the new singing voices,” Debbie said.

Randy concurred. “Sometimes you just have to catch it on a good day.  That’s okay. Every positive step is to be applauded.  Everyone in class applauds for those who sing, dance and show they are happy. Mutual support is everywhere.”

Eva Aguirre, president and CEO of New Danville, said, “Early in my career, a speaker at a conference said something I will never forget when it comes to the population we serve. He said, ‘All joy is equal.’ That is what I get out of growth like that of Patrick and Sebastian…joy. The joy they feel for that accomplishment is like the joy others may have for landing a big contract, catching a big fish or finishing a marathon. All joy is equal, and all of us share in the joy of Wrangler accomplishments.”


Grow – March 2022

Bringing seasoning to life

“We never make guarantees when it comes to gardening,” volunteer Mike Bodman said with a laugh. “It is an iffy business.”  

Mike has been behind New Danville’s aquaponics program since its inception. Direct Support Professional James Scott oversees the gardening classes.  Their shared goal is to have herbs available for sale at the upcoming Spring Thing event’s Marketplace. Jazzy Junque also sells New Danville herbs when they are available.

Wranglers work with a variety of fruits, vegetables and herbs, propagating plants in different ways. The greenhouse and outside gardens become home to lettuce, collards, tomatoes, bell peppers, cabbage, strawberries and much more, including herbs such as basil, cilantro, oregano, garlic and others. The produce is also shared through the on-site General Store for residents.

“There are other ways that plants are becoming part of Spring Thing,” Mike said. His wife, Ginnie, is painting butterflies from the seed pods of butterfly vines. “You’ll see the ‘butterflies’ in the Marketplace. We hope to see you there!”


Grow – February 2022

A job growing to the size of her heart

Wranglers are not the only people who grow at New Danville; so do team members. For program coordinator, Nicole Martinez, her professional growth here enabled her to find a role equal to the size of her heart.

“I have always had the heart,” she said, “and this role enabled me to grow into it. This is what I should have done all my life. I know that I would have appreciated life more if I could have found a way to work in this field sooner.”

She started at New Danville several years ago as a part-time assistant who worked the phones at the front desk in the Classroom Building. Her heart drove her interest which inspired her curiosity; the rest is, as they say, history.

“I watched the Wranglers and our Direct Support Professionals. I wanted to be more involved so I offered to help with classes. My boss gave me a chance to help as a substitute art teacher.  I’m no artist, but the class and I had a great time.”

Nicole became curious about the various guidelines and processes required to operate an agency for special needs.  She researched files, notes and anything else she could find.  Her knowledge grew as did her commitment to the clients. “I wanted to know more about the Wranglers and their stories.”

Then-new president and CEO, Eva Aguirre, offered her a new position as program coordinator. “I realized I had the skills and the knowledge to help,” Nicole said, “but I was afraid.  I did not want to screw up and let the clients down. The world is mean enough. They didn’t deserve someone dropping the ball.”

Instead, Nicole ran with the ball and has been instrumental in developing a variety of new classes and programs. Not only has Nicole grown, but so has New Danville’s ability to empower Wranglers to live, learn, work and grow.


Grow – January 2021

Looking forward to growing in 2022

George Eliot said, “It is never too late to be who you might have been.” Central to the poet’s message is growth.

Wranglers LeeLo, Jayden, and John shared some thoughts about growth; they all spoke about what they might be in the future, thanks to growth in 2022.

“I want to be more independent,” LeeLo said. He explained that to be more independent would require him to grow physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Physical development is his top priority because mobility challenges most impede his sense of independence, he said. “I would love to be able to run someday,” he said.

John plans to grow in his maturity because he wants to be seen as a role model someday. He also hopes to continue to grow and develop as a person who someday lives at New Danville. “I would like to be able to say in the future that ‘I grew at New Danville and now I live there.’”

Jayden wants to grow and develop his skills and knowledge to better take care of the miniature horses and miniature donkeys that are part of the animal program at New Danville.  “I learned to love horses because of the ones my grandfather had,” he said, “and I want to learn a lot so I can help with the horses when John (Massey) can’t.” (John Massey is the Direct Support Professional who oversees the animal program. Read his story here.)

Every growth phase faces challenges of some type along the way. It takes wisdom to think ahead about the challenges to identify them and to resolve to take action against them.

“I don’t want to stumble,” LeeLo said, ”but if I do, I will get up, dust off, and keep going. I need to be patient with it all.”

John suggested perspective as a challenge and solution. “You can’t lose perspective,” he said. “Look back at times when you were younger and don’t necessarily do again what you did then.”

Jayden echoed LeeLo’s message regarding patience. “Be patient. Be patient. With all that is going on.”

It sounds like Wranglers will be doing some special growing in 2022.


Grow: Dec 2021

What was started by a couple of concerned parents who wanted to help the residents of Meadowbrook, New Danville’s residential community, have access to household goods has grown, and grown some more. The assistance began in 2011 and the past ten years have shown ongoing development of an important service—a pantry known as the General Store.

After several years of being supported by parents, the TLC Food Pantry in Willis stepped up to help stock the pantry with food products to complement the household items the pantry maintained, according to Jennifer Mauboules who oversees the pantry among her various roles at New Danville.  Twelve Sunday School classes from Crossroads Baptist Church in The Woodlands provide non-food items, each class covering one month of the year. A Sunday School class at First Baptist Church in The Woodlands provides items in November and December, or whenever it is needed.

Early in 2021, the pantry moved to The Cabin, one of our original buildings. It currently serves as a classroom on one side and the pantry on the other. About that time, Keep US Fed of Montgomery County became a partner and introduced Jennifer to Kroger. “Because of that relationship,” she said, “we’ll soon partner with the Montgomery County Food Bank, too. With the help of Keep US Fed we’ve been able to add food products to our inventory, too. Occasionally we get fresh vegetables donated or from our gardening class.”

Colt and Marlon, residents of Meadowbrook, like to help on the trips to get donations, as well as load and stock items into the pantry. While Colt likes ordering his groceries from Kroger and having them delivered to his home, he understands how important it is for the pantry to serve other residents. “It is good that we have the pantry. There are always long lines when we open,” he said. Tuesdays are pantry days. Marlon concurred, “A lot of people come.”

Of the 34 residents, 25 utilize the pantry, according to Jennifer. “The others have other means of assistance, but anyone who lives here can utilize the pantry,” she said.

The pantry is also on the radar of the New Danville’s Job Readiness and Support Program. President and CEO Eva Aguirre said, “Our goal is to employ a couple of our clients to manage the pantry. We are close to being at that stage of development.”


Grow – November 2021

“When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.”
 Maya Angelou

Among the many things that have experienced growth at New Danville is gratitude. Despite the challenges of 2020 and 2021, New Danville has much to be grateful for.

Maya’s quote will appear on our new Gratitude Wall that will be used to acknowledge the many donors who make what we do at New Danville possible. Of course, we hope to see your name on the wall.

We are indeed blessed that so many give cheerfully:  donors of their resources, volunteers of their time and talent, team members of their skills…all of which we accept humbly and gratefully.

We will also introduce a new donor appreciation event for all donors of $100 per year, or more. The event will be held in the spring as a warm, comfortable gathering for New Danville to say thank you and for donors to have a “family reunion,” so to speak.

Our intention is to not only honor the levels at which our donors support the work at New Danville, but also to acknowledge the manner in which they give, e.g., monthly automatic payments and planned giving. Quite simply….thank you.


Grow – October 2021

People grow at New Danville, and New Danville’s range of services grows to meet the needs of those who need us. A recent growth step includes the addition of respite service for the community of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Does your family member need to get away and spend a night or a weekend in an idyllic country setting? Or perhaps you need to go out of town for a night or two. New Danville is proud to announce its revived respite program to the community for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities!

You will enjoy staying in a fully furnished “cabin” on the beautiful New Danville campus. Stays can be booked for a night, a weekend, or longer. The cabin is fully furnished with a twin bed, dining area, TV, and washer and dryer. Guests can also elect to participate in the day program for an additional fee. All guests must be able to take care of their basic needs without staff support.

New Danville takes pride in providing a safe, caring, and professional environment. Come for a visit, and stay for the night!

For more information and pricing, contact us at office@newdanville.org, or call Bryan Gill at 936-534-9111.


Grow – September 2021

You can’t grow a garden without seeds and you can’t harvest without someone to tend the plants. The same goes for projects, like the aquaponics garden at New Danville. What Mike Bodman and his family planted as a project has been maintained by Wranglers under the guidance of Direct Support Professional, James Scott, and the efforts of Wranglers and many volunteers.

James & Mike

Mike’s middle son is a Wrangler, and in his involvement with New Danville, he saw that a great greenhouse was being greatly underutilized. A sequence of actions moved from concept to construction of a hydroponics garden and aquaponics operation.

“The Wranglers love it,” James said. “And I do, too. I’ve learned a lot from Mike and his volunteers, and sometimes I get advice from my uncle who is a great gardener. Some Wranglers get bored quickly, but others love to get dirty and work hard. Personally, I love being able to grow something that becomes food for others to eat. My grandfather was a farmer too; this is in my blood.”

Mike said that there are plans for doubling the fish tank volume and quadrupling the planting area. “When we reach this scale we hope to be reliably producing enough fresh produce to sell to local businesses and employ a few Wranglers to operate the system on a daily basis. Already the system is supplying herb plants for sale at Jazzy Junque. The great part is that the Montgomery County Master Gardeners Association Aquaponics team and other Master Gardeners have come to visit New Danville and like what they see. As COVID restrictions ease more MG’s want to get involved as volunteers at New Danville. They have some interesting ideas for Wranglers to become involved in.”

New Danville may not be pushing the Green Giant out of the valley anytime soon, but over time it will become better known for its tasty produce.


Grow – August 2021

Friendships and physical activities are a big part of our growth. 
Earlier this month, our friends at Bridgewood Farms helped us meet both of these needs. 

The Friendship Day included sending 25 Wranglers and staff for a fun-filled morning of volleyball.  Not sure who won, but the folks at Bridgewood Farms get extra points for their hospitality.  After working up an appetite on the volleyball court, everyone was treated to a wonderful lunch.   Looking forward to hosting our new friends at New Danville later this fall.


Catch and Release

A new addition to the list of activities available to Wranglers is storytelling. Okay, it’s not storytelling. It is fishing, but that’s the same thing, right?

Blue spincast reels and red tackle box

Thanks to the generosity of our neighbor, Ranger Oilfield Products, the Wranglers can now learn how to fish at the beautiful, stocked, easy-to-access lake on the company’s campus. The class is called Catch and Release, and the first fishing trip occurred in early June.

Adults with disabilities enjoying fishing

Colt is already hooked on fishing, all puns intended, even though he has not yet had a chance to take one of the trips. His taste for angling in pursuit of Micropterus salmoides (largemouth bass) now whetted, he proudly announced, “I got a new fishing rod. It is long, six-foot eight, and has a camouflage pattern. I will let others borrow it if they want.”

There will be plenty of opportunities for him and others to use it. According to Nicole Martinez, day program coordinator, “We have had to juggle our schedule a lot because of the rain and muddy conditions, but there is a lot of interest among the Wranglers to wet a line.” 

Adults with disabilities enjoying fishing

Debbie Rigsby, a direct support professional who works with our Wranglers IIs (clients who need more assistance and attention), took them on the first fishing trip.  “Even with their short attention spans, they had a lot of fun. We enjoyed taking fish off their hooks for them and rebaiting because we knew they were about to have fun catching another soon,” she said.

Several more fishing trips are on the schedule for the summer. As the trips continue, the stories of the ones that got away will certainly become more and more creative. Matt Harughty, director of sales for Ranger Oilfield Products, assured that there are some beauties in the retention pond turned catch-and-release fishing lake. “I hope I’m there the day a Wrangler gets a really nice one,” Matt said. “I’m sure the expression on their face will be priceless.”




Join Our Mailing List

For updates about New Danville events, store specials, and more

We respect your privacy.