Buckner Children and Family Services of East Texas is a ministry grounded in Christian principles with a commitment to provide a safe and loving home environment for at-risk children and orphans. Buckner believes foster care and adoption are a profound way to change a child’s life forever.
As a volunteer for Buckner, Thomas W. “Tuck” Kemper, is actively involved in the upcoming 14th Annual Sporting Clays Challenge to be held at Prairie Creek Ranch in Gladewater. This is the largest fundraising event for Buckner and will begin on Thursday, July 11, with a junior tournament and continue Friday, July 12, with the twilight event. The final day will be Saturday, July 13, with the early riser event.
“The sporting clay challenge goal this year is $150,001,” Mr. Kemper said. “Every penny of that money raised stays right here in East Texas. It will be used to help families in crisis, whether from domestic abuse, child abuse, or to help get every child in foster care in a loving home. There’s so much more that Buckner does, but changing lives and helping people is at the core of all they do.”
In addition to his commitment to Buckner, Mr. Kemper is a member of the Longview-Greggton Rotary Club and has served as emcee of the annual Longview Christmas Parade since 2004. He also travels overseas for medical and dental mission trips.
“We live in the most prosperous nation on earth, and in a community full of people with a giving heart,” Mr. Kemper said. “Volunteerism is feeling passionately enough about something to become involved in raising the funds to meet a need, or to devote enough sweat equity to make a difference. Most of the time it’s a lot of both! To volunteer is special, but it doesn’t make me special. Hopefully, it makes an eternal difference in someone’s life.”
Mr. Kemper was born in Marshall, Texas, and graduated from Marshall High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, and his master’s degree from South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota. Mr. Kemper served our country as a pilot in the United States Air Force. He is a member of both the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association and the Pedro Rescue Helicopter Association. Mr. Kemper is an associate vice president with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. He and his wife, Sally, have been married for 45 years and have two adult sons, a daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren. Mr. Kemper teaches the young adult class at Arp Emmanuel Baptist Church.
“I’ve been privileged to live literally all over the world, but East Texas is the greatest place on earth to live,” Mr. Kemper said. “Volunteering is making a difference in people’s lives. People go through life and are constantly having others ‘take things out of their buckets.’ Volunteering is a way to put something back in someone’s bucket once in a while.”