Families of the Year - The Crenshaws

The Crenshaw family
The Crenshaw family

Written by: Valorie Lawson - bio | email
Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

SELMA, AL (WSFA) - You could say a selma family has a "soft spot" for helping others. They've turned their house into a home for several children considered at risk, many from their own neighborhood.

The doors to the Crenshaw family's home are always open.

Danny Crenshaw knows how to sink them in the game of pool, but it's the game of life where he and his family are really winners.

"We've always had a household full of people," he said while his wife laughed. "My wife tends to find children from somewhere and bring them in off the streets...and we bring them in and love them."

The Crenshaws have long dedicated their lives to helping others, especially children they consider 'at risk'. Although they have only two biological children, their house has become a home to so many other children.

"They say I don't follow a pattern of going to apply for foster kids, I just go by the house and if I see them alone or I see they need some food or care I call them outside and say 'Come on, go home with me...,'" explained wife Bennie Ruth Crenshaw.

Infact, their household has consisted of not only foster children, or those abandoned, but those of relatives. "I can recall up to about 3 to 4 cousin living with us at one time," remembered daughter Shayla Crenshaw." Growing up...I never had a bed alone."

And if you want to know the impact this family has had on children just ask brothers Byron and Breon Hogan. After losing another brother in a shooting the Crenshaws are helping them get back on track. "They're known for helping a whole lot of people out," admited Breon. "They don't hate nobody."

"Before I came here I was like immature, crazy, liked to play around a lot, but now I've learned I've got to be a young man at times, be more respectful to people...," Byron said. "I love school! I'm going to go to college to be a pyrotechnologist."

The Crenshaw's have simple advise for others: Use your heart to make every child feel at home. One of their most successful stories is about a young man in their community who was about to drop out of school. They took him in and now he's a sophomore in college.

The Crenshaws are one of five families to be honored by the Family Guidance Center of Alabama as "Families of the Year.

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