Today we’d like to introduce you to Ruth Calzada.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Ruth. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
When I was 12 years old, I went to my very first missions trip to Detroit Michigan and knew then and there that I wanted to make a difference in the lives of people in the Inner City. Fast forward to June 1993. I stepped into the Stop 6 projects with a team known at the time as Youthquake Metro. I was HOOKED!!! I began volunteering regularly with Youthquake. In 1994 the director resigned and another organization took over. They asked me to help head up the Fort Worth division during that time. I was still a volunteer, but it was so important to me! In 1996 I met my husband and he began to volunteer alongside me. We married in May of 1997. In August of 1997, I was hired on as the full-time divisional leader of Fort Worth Metro. My husband was hired in January of 1998. We both quit our full-time jobs and went to work for Metro Full time living on peanuts it seemed. But we knew we were right where we needed to be. In 2000, the Dallas organization that was overseeing our Fort Worth side of things met with us and asked if we wanted to dive in as the official Executive Directors. We had just had our first baby and we were living on faith honestly. With their help, we acquired our own 501(c)(3) and began to take full responsibility of all of the ins and outs of Fort Worth Metro.
Twenty-six years from the very first time I stepped into Stop6, we are still there and we are in many other communities, reaching out to inner-city children and families. We are bringing hope and resources to many families that oftentimes feel forgotten. Two kids and lots of blood sweat and tears later we have seen God do some amazing things and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
NO WAY!!! In the beginning, we relied solely on faith! Honestly! It was a lot of trial and error. We were so young and inexperienced. We basically operated off of our love for people and the support of some amazing people who believed in us.
One of the personal things I struggle with is that I think often times people don’t realize the intense need and poverty level that is right under our noses. Having done this for 26 years, I think people often think, “it’s their poor choices that make their lives this way.” While yes, this is true to some extent. I see young kids, tiny kids, being raised in environments outside of their control. It’s so much more than a kid getting a new bike for Christmas. It’s about kids being hungry and not clothed right here in the city of Fort Worth! I struggle with getting the word out there about it!
We are kind of a mom and pop ministry. Even though we have been in operation for so long, there are still so many people who have no idea who we are and what we do. Sometimes I get so caught up in doing the work, that I forget that I need to put myself out there so people know about the work.
The biggest struggle is almost always financial. We are not a big name, non-profit. We rely solely on financial support from individuals, churches and businesses. Sometimes the money is there and sometimes it’s not. But God is always faithful!
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Fort Worth Metro – what should we know?
Fort Worth Metro is an inner-city outreach program that works with children and families in Fort Worth. Whether it’s toys, clothing, food, or simply joy in the midst of tough circumstances, we want to provide a way for families in the inner city to experience God’s hope and peace.
Our mission is to impact the city of Fort Worth with hope and bring lasting change to generations!
METRO stands for Mobile Effort To Reach Our city! We are mostly known for our unique 24 foot sound and stage trailer. With the use of that, we travel throughout all areas of the city bringing hope and resources to families in need.
We provide groceries, clothing, school supplies, toys, turkeys at Thanksgiving, bikes, and any other resources that our families may need. We go out every Monday and Tuesday to the same two neighborhoods. We also partner with the Fort Worth Police Department with any type of community outreach program they have going.
I think our core values set us apart as well. Mobility allows us to meet the people right in the neighborhoods they are in. Consistency makes us a solid resource in their lives. The fact that we have been in operation for 26 years gives us an impact over generations.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
We have a few key players that have been crucial in our lives. Pastor Clay Wallace, the director of Dallas Metro, was a big mentor in the beginning stages. He guides through the ins and outs and helped us get our own 501(c)(3). Pastor Darius Johnston @Christ Church Fort Worth, has been our number one fan and supporter from day one. He helped us get started and is and has always been our number one go-to in every new chapter and circumstance. He has mentored us both personally and in ministry. This may seem silly, but my mom and dad, Pat and Jr. Romo have always been our biggest fan! They have supported us financially, emotionally and spiritually. They have been a sounding board for me on so many occasions I lost count.
For at least the last ten years, we have had the incredible support of the Aaron family. Sherri Aaron is a realtor, she’s also the owner of Fort Worth Electric and the wife of Mansfield chief of Police. She wears so many hats and has her hands in so many things, but with the help of her son and daughter in law, Alyson and Justin Aaron, they always are on the frontlines of everything we do!
We are fortunate to have a daughter named Gabby, who is now 19 and a son named Dash who is now 15. They were raised in the ministry. We homeschooled them and they have been our number one workers from the day they were old enough to work. They help with all the things and do it without a single complaint!
- Website: ftwmetro.org
- Phone: 817-480-1916
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fortworthmetro/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fortworthmetro/