It is recognized that some people are put on this earth to make a difference, and Bob “BJ” Harkins, co-founder of Harkins House in Humble, was one of them. Harkins died peacefully in his sleep on May 1, as spring illuminated all of the greater Lake Houston area, much like his efforts brightened the lives of many young women who were helped through the services of Harkins House. A memorial service was held in his honor May 7 at Grace Church in Humble. “He loved all of us even when we were broken – he put us back together and just loved us the way we are. That is how we remember him,” said Harkins’ daughter, Valerie. Harkins and his wife, Shirley, co-founded Harkins House in 1996. They felt it was their calling to help bring hope and support to young women who encountered unplanned pregnancies. Harkins House has helped more than 100 young women through a very difficult journey in their lives. In addition to caring for the young women during their pregnancies, Harkins House also provides an AfterCare Program with life-skills development to assist them in becoming successful, productive citizens. BJ and Shirley started the mission to give girls an alternative to abortion. They wanted to create a safe environment for unwed mothers ages 16 to 26. Harkins House is a nonprofit organization located in Humble where clients are provided social services, counseling and education such as parenting classes, childbirth classes, health care, nutrition and domestic skills. “Currently there is one pregnant Harkins House resident, and young women are still in aftercare. Shirley will be moving forward in the ministry,” a family spokesperson said. To move forward, Harkins House requires donations from the community in order to support the young women who are facing an often frightening time in their lives. For more information or to make a donation, call 281-446-6461 or visit the Web site at Photo: Shirley, left, and Bob “BJ” Harkins founded Harkins House in 1996.

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