McKenna Foundation seeking input from local childcare providers

The Mckenna Foundation is seeking support and participation from local early childcare providers to push forward in creating an ambitious yet practical future for our youngest learners.

Seniors are struggling in Comal County: Donate to Meals on Wheels today

Residents of New Braunfels and Comal County, especially our elderly and homebound neighbors, are facing significant challenges in meeting their basic needs.

New Braunfels Youth Collaborative over halfway to $15 million initiative

The New Braunfels Youth Collaborative (NBYC) has raised 65% of the funds needed for a $15 million renovation to the historic New Braunfels High School, located at the intersection of Mill Street and Academy Ave.

Herald-Zeitung: Hill Country MHDD in New Braunfels works to reduce stigma during Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Hill Country MHDD is working to reduce stigmas and start conversations about the mental health challenges that minority communities face.

Meals in Comal County cost more than SNAP benefits

While SNAP benefits assist thousands in Comal County, the cost of a modestly priced meal often exceeds what these households can afford, leading to persistent food hardship and increasingly tight budgets.

Herald-Zeitung: EdenHill completes first medical equipment drive

EdenHill Communities and Project MEND organized a successful donation event for gently used medical equipment and collected various items such as walkers, wheelchairs, and crutches. The equipment will be refurbished and distributed to individuals in need.

Mckenna Foundation awards rural partners in first grants of 2024

In the first grantmaking session of the year, trustees voted to distribute a total of $575,000 in funding to 12 nonprofit organizations. A portion of this funding, amounting to $130,000, will be allocated specifically to assist rural partners.

New at McKenna Children’s Museum: Water table and mural

The museum recently introduced the interactive water table, complete with a Gruene water tower, a tube shoot, and a spot to go fishing.

NB Housing Partners seeking professional design services

NB Housing Partners requests the submission of qualifications statements, which will lead to the possible award of a contract.

Mental Health Awareness Month 2024: Get involved

With Mental Health Awareness Month underway, now is the time to get involved and help spread the word that mental illness is something everyone should care about.

Mental Health Awareness Month 2024: What to know

First observed in 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month kicked off on May 1 and is a national effort to not only provide hope but to reduce stigma and promote public education surrounding mental illnesses.

Brauntex Theatre to screen doc exploring the impact of social media on children, effects of technology on the brain

On Feb. 27 at 7 p.m., the San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Awareness will host a screening of “LIKE: A Documentary About Finding Balance in Our Digital World” at the Brauntex Theatre in New Braunfels. This film encourage us to contemplate the effects of social media and technology on our lives. It offers strategies for achieving balance and wellness.

New sauna amenities ready for seniors at 7Ten Activity Center

The new sauna at the 7Ten Activity Center is a relaxing feature that is available to seniors, veterans, and disabled adults who are members of the Comal County Senior Citizens Foundation.

Herald-Zeitung: New Braunfels ISD unveils renovated Gateway building to help serve special ed students

New Braunfels ISD and the Rock Haus Foundation have cut the ribbon unveilling a newly-renovated building to serve students in school district’s Gateway program.

AP: A record number of Americans can’t afford their rent. Lawmakers are scrambling to help

The latest data from the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, released in January, found that a record high 22.4 million renter households — or half of renters nationwide — were spending more than 30% of their income on rent in 2022.

Texas Tribune: In the Texas Panhandle, a nonprofit is fighting rural child care deserts

The Amarillo Area Foundation is funding new day care facilities in Friona and Claude after the towns found that a shortage of child care is making it harder to fill job openings.

Your voice matters: McKenna Foundation invites public input on community needs assessment survey

The McKenna Foundation invites the public to share their views on the needs of New Braunfels and Comal County by participating in a community needs assessment survey. The deadline for participating in the survey has been extended to Feb. 23.

McKenna Events Center accommodates over 900 events, Children’s Museum attracts nearly 125,000 visitors in 2023

In 2023, the McKenna Events Center in New Braunfels became a hub of activity and impact, hosting over 900 events and welcoming nearly 125,000 visitors to the Children’s Museum.

Herald-Zeitung: New Braunfels First Footing housing program moves into new shelter

A former New Braunfels fire station has been revitalized with the purpose of serving those experiencing homelessness.

Texas Tribune: Homelessness in Texas on the rise amid high housing costs, federal estimates show

Homelessness rose last year across nearly every demographic group, but strides were made to connect people with new housing.

Homeless Coalition seeks compassion bag donations for annual Point-in-Time count

The public is invited to assist the Comal County Homeless Coalition and Texas Homeless Network later this month as the organizations prepare for the annual “Point-in-Time” count by donating items for compassion bags for distribution to individuals experiencing homelessness.

Seals named Philanthropist of the Year by New Braunfels Community Foundation

Gary Seals, a local businessman, entrepreneur and philanthropist, was named as the New Braunfels Philanthropist of the Year by New Braunfels Community Foundation on Dec. 5.

Texas Tribune: How the Texas vision for seamless mental health care fell apart over 60 years

A lack of private providers, a swamped community mental health system, and low insurance reimbursement have cut off many in Texas from basic mental health services.

First Footing community center near completion, guests get first look at refurbished facility

NB Housing Partners’ First Footing program is near completion of a years-long journey to provide a permanent community space to serve New Braunfels residents experiencing homelessness.

NORAD is Ready to Track Santa’s Flight for the 68th Year

The North American Aerospace Defense Command is ready to track Santa on Dec. 24, for the program’s 68th year. NORAD monitors and defends North American airspace 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. On Dec. 24, NORAD has one additional mission: tracking Santa Claus as he makes his way across the globe, delivering presents to children.

McKenna Foundation marks 15 years of grantmaking

Community members, partners and friends gathered earlier this month to join the McKenna Foundation in celebrating a milestone – 15 years of grantmaking to nonprofit organizations in Comal County.

Following veterinary exam, Santa’s reindeer cleared for Christmas flight

Santa’s reindeer are healthy and all clear for their magical Christmas Eve journey.

Communities In Schools, RecoveryWerks! receive year-end McKenna Foundation Impact Grants

Communities In Schools and RecoveryWerks! each received an unrestricted $10,000 Impact Grant from the McKenna Foundation, highlighting the end of a successful 2023 grant-gifting season.

Inaugural Tree of Angels ceremony honors local violent crime victims, families, friends

Families and friends of victims of violent crime gathered at the McKenna Events Center on Dec. 6 for the Tree of Angels ceremony, a meaningful Christmas program held explicitly in memory and support of victims of violent crime.

Herald-Zeitung: New Braunfels City Council approves sale of land to San Antonio Food Bank

The New Braunfels City Council has approved the sale of 2.5 acres of property from the city of New Braunfels to the San Antonio Food Bank.

McKenna Foundation seeks community input to determine Impact Grant recipients

The McKenna Foundation plans to culminate a great year by gifting two nonprofit partners with unrestricted $10,000 Impact Grants. And the Foundation needs your help.

Herald-Zeitung: Former New Braunfels ISD admin building to become Mill Street Youth Center

The New Braunfels Youth Collaborative will be using the building to house its programs, returning the building to its original purpose of serving students. They have finished the schematic design phase of the building renovations and are looking toward construction.

New Braunfels Police Department invites families, friends of crime victims to Tree of Angels ceremony

The New Braunfels Police Department and the local criminal justice community invite families and friends of a victim of crime, along with the public, to participate in the inaugural Tree of Angels ceremony on Dec. 6.

McKenna Foundation CEO Alice Jewell

JEWELL: Moving toward community mental wellness

From the beginning, we started asking a lot of questions and we maintain the same level of curiosity today. Which community needs are being met? Where are the gaps in resources? Do we have nonprofits operating with the capacity to meet those needs? Who needs to be part of our conversations?

New Braunfels Food Bank invites families, individuals for inaugural Thanksgiving meal event

The New Braunfels Food Bank, in collaboration with the McKenna Foundation, the Rotary Club of New Braunfels and St. John’s Episcopal Church, invite the public to celebrate Thanksgiving and partake in a holiday meal event.

Mental health nonprofit offers tips to cope with global conflict, distress

People across the world may find they struggle with their mental health during times of global conflict. This does not affect only those in active combat — these are humanitarian crises, impacting an entire community or region and beyond.

McKenna Foundation awards $200,000 in funding to strengthen local family relationship programs

The McKenna Foundation awarded $200,000 in grant funding to eight nonprofit organizations in Comal County in this year’s third and final round of grantmaking.

Herald-Zeitung Opinion: New Braunfels’ commitment to selfless organizations should be commended

Over the past several weeks, New Braunfels has hosted groundbreaking ceremonies for numerous organizations, including Connections Individual and Family Services and the Spirit of Sharing (SOS) Food Bank.

Herald-Zeitung: City of New Braunfels aiming to ease emergency response demand with new mobile health program

The city of New Braunfels will soon begin a new program — the mobile integrated health (MIH) program to accomodate super-utilizers of the 911 system — those who call two or more times per month.

McKenna Foundation CEO Alice Jewell

JEWELL: McKenna investment realized through NBCF

This year marks 70 years of McKenna in the community; a milestone our namesake most likely never thought would include not only a hospital operation, but also supplementary medical support businesses, a grantmaking foundation, a children’s museum and an events center. The constant amongst each of these efforts, however, was the catalytic energy Howard McKenna first embodied that powered the creation of these service lines by, for, and alongside community partners.

October IDEA Forum meeting to focus on community mental health response efforts

The public is invited to attend the next New Braunfels IDEA Forum general meeting to hear about area mental health response efforts on Oct. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the New Braunfels Police Department headquarters at 3030 W. San Antonio St.

Herald-Zeitung: New Braunfels City Council votes to renew utility assistance pact with McKenna Foundation

Utilities aren’t cheap, and some wouldn’t mind a helping hand when their bill is a bit more costly than they can handle.

Nonprofits gearing up for The Big Serve

The 2023 edition of The Big Serve is coming up this weekend, Oct. 14-15, an opportunity for local churches, volunteers and nonprofits to link arms together and serve the community.

Connections breaks ground on new 28,000-square-foot facility

Connections Individual and Family Services has taken the next step in its mission to support at-risk youth, breaking ground on a new 28,000-square-foot facility that will expand its service capacity.

NB Housing Partners’ First Footing program could move into new permanent facility as soon as December

Workers are progressing to transform a former fire station into a permanent facility to serve New Braunfels’ homeless population. NB Housing Partners’ First Footing program hopes to move into the new digs, possibly as soon as December.

Big Brothers Big Sisters recruiting volunteer mentors in Comal, Guadalupe counties

Big Brothers Big Sisters helps children realize their potential and build their futures. And they need your help.
With 20 children in Comal and Guadalupe counties awaiting a match, volunteer mentors are needed more than ever.

McKenna Foundation offers ‘Match Minutes’ during The Big Give

The McKenna Foundation plans to offer The Big Give participants two opportunities to potentially double their donations to their favorite local nonprofit agency during the event later this month.


September 8, 2023 Nearly half of Texas youths being treated for depression or suicidal thoughts reported at least one suicide attempt, and 90% had experienced suicidal ideation, according to a study led by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers. Read more here.

Herald-Zeitung: Comal County Habitat for Humanity celebrates 30 years of giving back

September 8, 2023 Since its doors opened in 1993, Habitat’s impact and community reach has grown immensely, with multiple ongoing projects each year. As of now, it has built 54 homes with deserving families and repaired 154 homes in the community. Read more here.

Suicide prevention organization founder comes to NB Sept. 13 for Brauntex event

September 7, 2023: On Sept. 13 at 7:30 p.m., New Braunfels and the Brauntex Theatre will welcome Sam Eaton, author of “Recklessly Alive: What My Suicide Attempt Taught Me About God and Living Life to the Fullest.” He’s a powerful voice, dedicated to eradicating suicide deaths worldwide. In 2011, Eaton gave himself an ultimatum — …

RecoveryWerks! readies for National Recovery Month; Sept. 15 Open House

September is National Recovery Month, an observance promoting and supporting new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the nation’s recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and communities who make recovery possible. The 2023 theme is “Recovery is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community.”

JEWELL: Cultivating a community of caring

August 31, 2023 The beginnings of an organization that would become the McKenna Foundation go back more than 70 years to a time when industry was emerging in what was a farm and ranch community and population growth prompted the need for a full-service hospital. Two attempts in the late 1940s to establish a county-funded …

McKenna Foundation awards $759,852 in funding to 18 Comal County nonprofit organizations for health, education programs

August 30, 2023: The McKenna Foundation awarded $759,852 in grant funding to 18 nonprofit organizations in Comal County in the second round of 2023 grantmaking. The Foundation awarded a $20,000 grant to first-time recipient Acacia Medical Mission, which provides health care to uninsured and underinsured people in western Comal County through a faith-based clinic. The …

McKenna congratulates Herald-Zeitung on receiving Texas Treasure Business Award

August 29, 2023: The McKenna Foundation congratulates the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung on receiving the Texas Treasure Business Award, created by the Texas Historical Commission in 2005, to pay tribute to the state’s well-established businesses that have been in continual operation for at least 50 years. The newspaper business in New Braunfels began in 1852 with …

Community-based care model provides increased chance of foster children remaining in the community

August 28, 2023: Through the Community-Based Care model, a new way of providing foster care and case management systems, children who have been removed from their homes due to experiencing suspected abuse and neglect have an increased chance of remaining in their community with families who have answered the call to open their hearts and …

Comal County commissioners issue proclamation recognizing September as Hunger Action Month

August 25, 2023: Comal County commissioners have issued a proclamation recognizing September as “Hunger Action Month” to bring attention to community food insecurity and engage the public in action, including volunteer shifts, social media shares and donations to end hunger one helping at a time. Representatives from the San Antonio Food Bank, New Braunfels Food …

Texas Homeless Network: Affordable Housing Out of Reach in Texas for Low-Wage Workers

August 22, 2023 For too long, low-income renters in America have struggled to afford housing. Even before the pandemic, rents were increasing much more quickly than wages, putting pressure on millions of renters. With the arrival of the pandemic, low-wage renters were hit with sudden job losses that posed unprecedented threats to their financial security …

Herald-Zeitung: New Braunfels Food Bank, city working on 51-unit apartment project

August 21, 2023 Projected cost is $12 million; CEO says build would likely take 1 year. Read more here.

National Nonprofit Day commemorates nonprofit organizations’ ongoing efforts to serve community

August 17, 2023: Today is National Nonprofit Day, commemorating the Tariff Act, which the U.S. Congress signed into law in 1894. The Tariff Act taxed corporations but excluded nonprofits in honor of their unique importance and significant societal contributions. Thank you to all nonprofits for your tireless work and dedication to making a positive impact …

AP: Suicides in the U.S. reached all-time high in 2022, CDC data shows

August 14, 2023 About 49,449 people took their own lives last year, an estimated 3% increase compared to 2021, according to provisional findings from U.S. death certificates. Read more here.

Communities in Schools marking 30 years of supporting South Central Texas students

August 7, 2023: Communities In Schools of South Central Texas is marking 30 years of supporting and changing the lives of area students. Communities In Schools South Central Texas began its mission by the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce to assist students in grades K-12 to achieve in schools, graduate and experience success throughout …


Do you want to help shape the future of New Braunfels? Take the Strategic Plan survey. The City of New Braunfels has begun the process of creating its next Strategic Plan, which will lay out the City’s guiding principles, strategic priorities, mission and vision for the future. A strategic plan serves as a blueprint for …

Herald-Zeitung: New therapy program aims to help at-risk youth in Comal County

July 31, 2023 A new therapy team will soon begin work across Comal, Hays and Uvalde counties to help at-risk youth. Program funding comes from the Texas state legislature’s mental health response to the 2022 Uvalde school shooting. Read more here.

Crisis Center of Comal County settles into new location after devestating 2022 fire

July 25, 2023: In April 2022, the Crisis Center of Comal County lost its emergency shelter and residential facility due to a fire. Now, the Center is settling into a new home on Landa Street in New Braunfels. But the agency’s mission hasn’t changed: to provide crisis and prevention services to victims of domestic violence …

Community Impact: Homelessness in Comal County increased by 10% this year, survey reveals

July 25, 2023 The results of a homelessness survey suggest that there are about 10% more people in Comal County without a permanent roof over their heads this year compared to 2022. The results of the 2023 annual snapshot count identified more individuals in Comal County are self-reporting as experiencing chronic homelessness compared to prior …

Texas Public Radio: 988 mental health crisis line gets 5 million calls, texts and chats in first year

July 24, 2023 Read story here. If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available 24/7. Call or text the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 or chat Call the Mobile Crisis Outreach Team of Comal County for local support at 1-877-466-0660 or text 741741. Confidential crisis support …

McKenna Children’s Museum hosts Kinderbash Aug. 11 for soon-to-be kindergarten students

July 21, 2023: The McKenna Children’s Museum will host Kinderbash from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 11. This fun-filled event will feature special back-to-school activities aimed toward getting kindergartners prepared and excited to enter their first year of school. In addition, pizza and ice cream will be provided. “Kinderbash is a thrilling occasion that …

Herald-Zeitung: Data shows 10% rise in homelessness over past year in Comal County

July 19, 2023 From the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung: On the morning of Jan. 26, two-person volunteer teams conducted surveys of people experiencing homelessness in select areas of Comal County and passed out supplies to individuals. The Homeless Coalition’s 2023 Point-in-Time (PIT) count identified an approximate 10% rise in people experiencing homelessness in Comal County this …

Child’s Advocacy Center plans new building to expand agency’s family counseling and investigator training programs

July 17, 2023 Helpers sometimes need help. Plans for a proposed building expansion project are in the works that would allow the Children’s Advocacy Center of Comal County (CACCC) to offer specialized training and group support for multidisciplinary team members who work on child abuse cases. CACCC got the okay from the New Braunfels City …

Area nonprofit offers ‘Tech Fundamentals’ training program for people seeking technology-oriented careers

A national nonprofit organization offers people from the New Braunfels Central Texas area an opportunity to participate in a new tuition-free “Tech Fundamentals” hands-on, introductory training program starting early next month.

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month observed in July

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is observed each July to bring awareness to the unique struggles that racial and ethnic minority communities face regarding mental illness in the United States.

Encampments Springing Up around Canyon Lake as Comal County’s Homeless Population Increases

In the woods around Canyon Lake there are homeless encampments.

Point-in-Time 2023 count identifies more homeless individuals in Comal County compared to previous counts

July 5, 2023 A homelessness survey conducted during a cold January morning indicates more people in Comal County may not have a permanent roof over their heads this year compared to 2022. Local agencies and organizations annually conduct a Point-in-Time count as a snapshot of the number of homeless persons on a single day. The …

NBTX Young Life celebrates 30 years supporting New Braunfels area teens

June 30, 2023: NBTX Young Life is celebrating 30 years of supporting New Braunfels area teens in their journey searching for hope, meaning and belonging. Brought to New Braunfels by Tom Bluntzer and Anna Lisa Bluntzer-Tamez in 1993 as a program tasked with introducing youth to Jesus Christ with about 30 New Braunfels area teenagers, …

7Ten Activity Center: a new address for seniors, veterans, disabled adults

June 26, 2023 In October, the Comal County Senior Citizens Foundation moved its senior citizen activity facilities to the former YMCA building from its prior location across the street. Now called the 7Ten Activity Center, named for its new address – 710 Landa Street — efforts to transform the more than 20,000-square-foot building into a …

NB Invites Residents to Participate in Transit Development Plan Survey

June 20, 2023 Part of that effort is a survey of residents designed to gather information about travel patterns and preferences. This brief 14-question survey will help city staff as they make recommendations about public transportation options in the future. “We’re exploring which transit options are most appealing to New Braunfels residents, what they would …

Comal County IDD Center, Rock Haus Foundation campus expansion underway

June 19, 2023 The building at the corner of Veramendi Avenue and North Street in New Braunfels, which houses the Comal IDD Center, represents a fair share of the history of a city that’s been around for more than 175 years. In 1934, the school served segregated Hispanic students as the Stephen F. Austin School, …

McKenna Foundation awards more than $1 million in grants to Comal County non-profit organizations

June 8, 2023 The McKenna Foundation awarded more than $1 million in grant funding to 12 organizations in Comal County in the first round of grantmaking the organization will undertake this year. The Foundation awarded $300,000 to the Rock Haus Foundation to assist with improvements, renovations and construction for a planned multi-phase expansion project at …

Big Brothers Big Sisters recruiting volunteer mentors in Comal, Guadalupe counties

June 7, 2023: Big Brothers Big Sisters helps children realize their potential and build their futures. But we can’t do it without volunteers. With 31 children in Comal and Guadalupe counties awaiting a match — 23 of those Little Brothers — volunteer mentors are needed to step up more than ever. Some kids today are …

Brauntex Theatre to host suicide prevention event in September

June 5, 2023: The Art Deco-styled Brauntex Theatre in Downtown New Braunfels is well known for hosting various events, including films, musical and theatrical productions. But in September, the Brauntex will host an educational event on a critical community mental health topic: suicide prevention. In 2011, Sam Eaton gave himself an ultimatum — on Christmas …

Area nonprofit offers ‘Safe Space and Language Matters’ workshop

May 30, 2023 An area nonprofit agency is offering an opportunity to learn about LGBTQ+ identities, gender and sexuality as well as examine prejudice, assumptions and privilege. Thanks to a generous grant from USAA, the Thrive Youth Center, which provides emergency shelter, housing, street outreach and resources to homeless LGBTQ+ young adults in San Antonio, …

NB Housing Partners’ First Footing program serves more than 400 individuals in its first 22 months of operation

May 30, 2023: NB Housing Partners’ First Footing program has served 409 unduplicated individuals between the start of operations in February 2021 and November 2022. Additionally, the program has provided 19,599 nights of shelter during that time. Program staffers also diverted 150 individuals were diverted to other resources. The First Footing program has been leasing …

Mobile outreach team ready to respond, offer support to individuals experiencing mental health crisis

May 24, 2023 No matter the situation, there is always hope, and there is always help. Members of the Hill Country Mental Health and Developmental Disability Centers’ Mobile Crisis Outreach Team, also known as MCOT, are trained professionals ready to respond to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis and needing immediate support. MCOT is available …

Comal Commissioners issue proclamation recognizing Mental Health Awareness Month

May 23, 2023: With representatives from local mental health care providers and other agencies such as Hill Country Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Centers, River City Advocacy and Counseling Center, First Footing and CASA of Central Texas looking on, Comal County commissioners on May 4 issued a proclamation recognizing May as Mental Health Awareness Month …

Texas Suicide Prevention Symposium 2023 coming to New Braunfels

May 23, 2023: New Braunfels will host the Texas Suicide Prevention Symposium 2023 this summer. The Symposium, slated for June 13-15 at the New Braunfels Civic and Convention Center, is one of the largest gatherings of mental health community partners, providers and stakeholders nationally and regularly attracts a variety of subject matter experts. In 2022, …

McKenna Children’s Museum breaks one-day visitation record, admitting more than 1,500 guests on St. Patrick’s Day

May 1, 2023: St. Patrick’s Day was a lucky charm for the McKenna Children’s Museum. The Museum, overseen by the McKenna Foundation, admitted 1,547 guests on March 17, breaking the one-day record for visitations. The previous record before last week was 1,088 visitors, set on March 17, 2022. The Museum broke the one-day record twice …

McKenna Children’s Museum breaks visitor records in 2022

February 9, 2023: The McKenna Children’s Museum in New Braunfels, overseen by the McKenna Foundation, saw a year of record-breaking visitors and sales in 2022. The Museum admitted 111,965 visitors in 2022, surpassing the previous top mark of 91,427 in 2017. Admission sales also broke a record, with $523,221 in 2022, surpassing the 2018 mark …

McKenna actively provides services to enhance the health and well-being of the greater New Braunfels community, serving as a partner and resource to others who share our goals — now and for future generations.


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