​​







 
Wilfredo Ocasio, Executive Director/Board Advisor:

After caring for almost a hundred children from the foster care system, we decided that it was time to take our love for children to the next level. The need for homes for displaced children is tremendous. With 11 years experience in managing a full time home for 12 children, different behaviors, situations, characters, daily routines, meals, laundry, school, medical appointments, therapy, church, sports, and entertainment... we feel we are ready for the challenges ahead. 
 
 Morris “Anthony” Smith, President:

I am a father of 6 and a retired veteran of the United States Army. I have worked in the community in which I lived since I joined the U.S Army. I have worked on mentoring teams, as a football coach, and martial arts camps. Due to my affiliation to Masonry and the Shriners organization I have participated in fundraising events for breast cancer, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, soup kitchens and homeless shelters. I believe that it is my responsibility to help each community that I am apart of in any shape, form or fashion. My reasoning for volunteering with Garden of Hope. It is a very unfortunate event for children to be taken from their homes and siblings through no fault of their own. I understand what a child experiences at a young age has the potential to be beneficial or detrimental to the child’s future. I believe that Garden of Hope can and will provide a child with a safe and nurturing environment until they are placed in a new home. I cannot think of a more noble cause than providing children with this opportunity and that is why I want to get our shelter operational as soon as possible.

  

Serina Joyce Jones, Vice President/Events Coordinator: 

A mother of 2 children. Serina has been working in the community doing volunteer work since she was a teenager. Whether it is working in nursing homes, in soup kitchens, hospitals, raising money for the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, the American Heart Association, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, she has always believed that giving back to the community is very rewarding. That is her reasoning for volunteering with Garden of Hope. Children are our future and what better way than to help a child in need. To know that several children are without homes and are looking for someplace they can call home is the reason why I want to get our shelter up and running.  
  
 

Dawn Amato, Secretary:

Dawn has a
 BFA in Fine Arts and Education. In the past 6 years, she has devoted her heart to adoption and foster care of children. She has worked with Shaping Destiny Mission, MA DCF, Generations Adoptions, Arrow Child and Family Ministries, Texas CPS, and her church’s Foster and Orphan Ministry. Recently her husband and herself completed an international adoption and are in process of a foster to adopt a little girl. When she has a moment of peace, from caring for her family of seven, she snaps photography, quilts, creates art, reads and enjoys dance parties in her living room. She is excited to join the Gardens of Hope Board as they begin this adventure!
Wilnelia Smith, Treasurer: 
  
I am a mother of 2, a wife, a daughter, and an Army Veteran.  I was born in Jamaica and adopted by an American and Jamaican family.  I know first hand how the kindness of strangers can change a life and I strive every day to do my part in bettering the lives of others. I was raised in the church where I was first exposed to serving the community.  I have participated in feeding and clothing the less unfortunate. I have spent several years cleaning and beautifying our community.  I have also participated in health and fitness awareness programs.  Currently, I am a full-time student at Central Texas College.
  
 

Cindy Crebo, Member at Large:   
  
Cindy is a transplant to Texas from northwestern New Mexico. She graduated in 2013 from San Juan College in Farmington, New Mexico, and has worked as a Physical Therapist Assistant at Metroplex Outpatient Rehabilitation Center since June 2013. Some of the other hats Cindy wears at Metroplex are Spiritual Ambassador and CREATION Health Coach for the rehabilitation department. Cindy served as the Director of Cross-Cultural Ministries and as a house parent in a long-term residential program for single mothers and their children at Navajo Ministries, Four Corners Home for Children from 1996-2006.  She has been married to Earl for over 30 years. Health and wellness, hiking with her dog, Daisy, reading, and playing with her grandchildren light up her life.