3 Albert Road, Poughkeepsie, New York 12603
(845) 473-7849 
brennaenglefoundation.org                                                                                                                                                                    

History

The Foundation was established following the death of Brenna Engle in a tragic automobile and truck accident in February 2005.  After Brenna's death, her parents, Rich and Donna Engle, requested that in lieu of flowers, financial donations would be made to the Tabitha Children's Program in Lutsk, Ukraine.

Donna and Richard were familiar with the work of the Tabitha Program and believed that sending donations there would be a fitting memorial to Brenna and a worthwhile cause for the hundreds of people who responded to Brenna's untimely death with an outpouring of emotion and support.

The Tabitha Children's Program in Lutsk, was started in 2001 by Victor Melnychuk and Valya Yankovska at Resurrection Church.  It began with feeding four small children and expanded over the years to provide educational programs and a daily hot meal for more than 60 children.  Tom and Michele Weight and their family went from Hyde Park, NY to support this work and additional programs through Resurrection Church in Lutsk.

In the city of Lutsk there are many children living in the street, or in tiny flats with abusive and alcoholic parents, or with relatives unable to properly care for them.  Through the Tabitha Program, the children are fed a healthy lunch six days each week.  For some of them it is their only good meal of the day.  The program has resulted in much improved general health for the children who attend.

During the winter of 2004-2005, a brother and sister in their early teens showed up at the Tabitha Program.  They were very withdrawn and would not make eye contact.  The early signs of frostbite were visible on their hands,  Their parents were alcoholics, and the family had been living in a house with no heat, electricity, or running water for at least two years. After the parents agreed, a room at Resurrection Church was converted to a temporary bedroom with beds, blankets, a desk, and games for the two children.  The Ukrainian church leaders, along with the Weights, felt moved to establish a foster-style "home" for children in similar dire circumstances, but lacked the funding to proceed.

After Brenna's death, the donations to the Tabitha Program in her memory were much more than expected, and were sufficient to provide the seed money to lay the financial foundation to support such a home.  Donna and Richard were pleased with the idea, as was Resurrection Church.  "Brenna's Home for Underprivileged Children" became a reality shortly t
hereafter.