KELLER — A dozen children enthusiastically gathered on the floor Monday morning and cheered, as the Dallas Mavericks officially unveiled a new Mavs Foundation sensory room at Christ’s Haven For Children in Keller. 

In the background, splashed in vivid colors, stood the words “Follow your heart and reach for the stars” alongside a Dallas Mavericks logo. 

The message is a perfect reminder for the youth to always know that their local NBA team cares about every child who walks through the doors.

Christ’s Haven provides a trauma-informed, family-based model of care, encouraging children and teens to heal from their past abuse and neglect to envision and embrace a bright future.

Katie Edwards is the Dallas Mavericks’ senior vice president of external affairs and president of the Mavs Foundation. She said the room received a fresh coat of paint, a brand new mural, and various sensory toys and objects to aid in therapy and help kids learn emotion regulation.

“Christ’s Haven is an official grant recipient of the Mavs Foundation,” said Edwards. “As our board looks at our grants, they’re always looking for unique ways and innovative opportunities to help families in our area. We do a lot of reading and learning centers, and we do a lot of computer labs, but this sensory room was a great way for us to give back in a way that’s a lot different. This room will be able to help kids who might have sensory issues in a space that they can enjoy, too.”

The Mavs Foundation supports nonprofits and programs across North Texas, with a reach extending as far as 150 miles from the greater Dallas area.

Grant applications for the 2022-23 season will close on Tuesday, July 26, at 11:59 p.m. Organizations can click here to learn more. 

Christ’s Haven For Children is a nonprofit organization located in north Fort Worth in the Keller area. As a voluntary placement organization, they provide children and families with an option outside of traditional foster care, often when a caregiver has exhausted all efforts to care for a child.

“We’re so excited to give them a new, bright, happy space,” said Edwards, “where it’s full of resources and tools and things they can touch and feel that make them feel safe and comfortable when they might be feeling anxious. We provided them ways to have fun while they’re at Christ’s Haven.”

Whether a child stays with them for six months or sixteen years, Christ’s Haven For Children seeks to utilize that time to instill normalcy, dignity, and hope into their lives.

“This is exciting today,” said Jason Brown, Christ Haven’s director of therapy and training.

“These kids can come into the sensory room, and we can use the space for counseling services for our kids dealing with trauma and other issues. We can also use the room for children who are going through angry times or any trauma. There’s are all sorts of new equipment and tools in there that they can use. So it’s really beneficial for the kids.”

Dallas Mavericks mascot Champ and members of the D-Town Crew dance team and ManiAACs joined team employees for Monday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The kids received new Mavs Foundation t-shirts and other branded goodies to celebrate the sensory room opening. The children also participated in an activity together to make glitter jars.

“I see multiple kids walking around with Mavs gear on,” Brown said. “I love the fact that the (Dallas Mavs and Mavs Foundation) are reaching out and supporting, so the kids get to see people doing wonderful things who care about them.”

Emily Luth with The Dallas Mavericks and Mavs Foundation spoke to the children during the official dedication ceremony. She reminded the kids how much they are loved and adored by people in the community.

“Welcome to your new room,” Luth told them. “We are very excited at the Mavs Foundation. We are glad to put this sensory room together for you. We have a bunch of arts and crafts, places for you to sit in, like a new swing to sit and balance. It is awesome. We’re excited for you to have this new space.”

If you would like to donate to Christ’s Haven or learn more about how to donate to the food pantry and other opportunities, click here.

The organization collects donations year-round to help offset grocery bills for all of those living in neighborhood of homes. They welcome donations from families, school groups, churches, companies, and anyone who would like to help.

The Mavs Foundation is dedicated to building a stronger community by empowering youth, women and families in need. Established in October 1996, the Mavs Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private foundation affiliated with the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team.



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