Sam's Heart

The Character of a Society is Revealed in How it Treats its Children.

_____________Nelson Mandela


Our services will also include a residential treatment home for Child Protective Service (CPS) wards, abused and neglected children who will be empowered to grow up to be happy, confident, productive, caring, and critical thinking adults. UCEC is an advocate for tomorrow’s future.

UCEC intends to provide as a residential treatment home for Child Protective Service wards.  The home will be called “Sam’s Heart” named after the founder and Executive Director’s grandmother Savantha “Sam” McCary. Sam’s Heart has purchased its property and is set to be operational by Spring 2024. Knowing that there is 378% increase of children currently without placement in Texas (Houston Chronicle, December 13, 2021), we have learned that not only is the “Foster Care Crisis “Out of Control’ in Texas.” We’ve learned that both children and staff are in danger.

Children deserve to be safe and protected.  UCEC’s goal is to serve those most adversely affected by the system, not as foster care, but a treatment home offering nurturing guidance that will put them on the path for a successful future.

Sam’s Bio

Savantha Walthall was born on January 24, 1927 in East Texas to Elaine and Edwin Walthall, one of 7 siblings. Third from the youngest, Savantha had a thirst for knowledge early on and was the first to finish high school at the age 19. Because winters could be harsh, there were parts of the year that she could not attend school. She prevailed and upon finishing school, she went to work alongside her mother (Miss Elaine) who worked as midwife and child care for Dr. Perry Priest. Dr. Priest after witnessing her skills and attention to detail, gave her an opportunity that would have been impossible in her circumstances. Dr. Priest, a white man, believed in her and sent her nursing school for “coloreds” where he paid her tuition and a stipend. His reason. He believed that by giving her the gift of education, she would be able to take care of her mother, someone Dr. Priest admired and respected.

Savantha 3rd from the left

Savantha would go on to become a registered nurse, serving as nurse on college campuses, and working in hospitals for more than 45 years. During that time, she married professor Henry McCary, and they had 5 children. During the course of her life, she helped others to live up to their potential, supporting those who wanted an education. Today, UCEC’s founder Eryon McCary, her beloved granddaughter, honors the legacy of her grandmother by offering hope and education to others.

Sam's Family and History

Please know that we still have lots of families without power throughout communities. Our prayers go out to those communities and will keep you posted as we overcome this aftermath of Beryl.