Food was continually missing from the kitchen at the Lee & Beulah Moor Children’s Home. No one knew where it went until a general cleanup.
“We found hordes of food in one child’s room,” Renee Tanner, CEO of the children’s home, said. “The child was food insecure. At one time, he never knew when he’d have a next meal. He was protecting himself.”
She made a deal with him. A bowl of fruit would be put outside his bedroom so he could access it any time of day or night until he didn’t need it.
“Eventually he put it back in the kitchen himself," she said.
Tanner thrives on all the successes of her family at Moor Home, which cares for children who are orphaned or don’t have appropriate adult support.
“Often children have a parent, uncle or a grandparent who, for whatever reason, cannot meet their needs on a daily basis,” Tanner said. “Our primary goal is always reunification.”
Lifelong friend Lynn Kobren said Moor Home is lucky to have her: “She is totally devoted to whatever she does.”
Tanner has been involved in starting a separate non-profit program to help young people once they age out of her program at 18. The MacGuire Center is supported by Betty Lee Moor MacGuire, board president of the Moor Home.
The idea came after attending the graduation of one of the Moor residents. He was sobbing. When asked about it, he admitted he had no place to go since he had aged out of the home.
“If you don’t have housing, if you’re couch surfing, it’s hard to be successful in a vocational or university setting,” Tanner said.
So, the MacGuire Center was born to provide apartments for those, like that young graduate, who need support.
The center, which was to open officially in late August, also provides a food pantry, tutoring, a place to do laundry, movie and game nights and a place to hang out.
Tanner also lends her expertise to a Juárez orphanage and supports the trap-neuter-release program for cats.
All Tanner’s work centers around her motto:
“Live every day with purpose no matter who you are, where you’ve been, or where you’re going. Pay attention, not to the point of arrival, but to the process. Those important moments can make a major difference in someone’s life.”