Q&A: Nonprofit CEO Abbie Maberry helps many in the New Braunfels area

Abbie Maberry, center forefront, has served her community in the New Braunfels area through multiple platforms. (Courtesy Abbie Maberry)
Abbie Maberry, center forefront, has served her community in the New Braunfels area through multiple platforms. (Courtesy Abbie Maberry)

Abbie Maberry, center forefront, has served her community in the New Braunfels area through multiple platforms. (Courtesy Abbie Maberry)

Guadalupe County resident Abbie Maberry wears many hats. Though at times she will describe herself as a stay-at-home mother, the term belies the other roles she fills. She is a City Council member in the town of Marion just south of New Braunfels, runs a social media group with more than 20,000 members called Moms of New Braunfels and is the CEO of a nonprofit organization called Light Work 316 Inc., which distributes money to people who have crippling medical bills. Maberry spoke with Community Impact Newspaper about her roles within her community. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

As a long-time resident in the New Braunfels area, what is it that makes you feel the need to help as many people as you do?

The simple answer is I love people. My world is most at peace when I’m doing something to make the life of someone around me a little better. I am incredibly blessed by a family and our closest friends who feel the same way and are ready and willing to jump into any idea I might have and work right next to me to make it happen. In the last several years as Light Work 316 Inc. was becoming a reality, we have seen so many people in our community join our team to help make some of the most incredible things happen. Without them, I would not have been able to or continue to be able to do any of it.

For people who might be in a position to help those who’ve suffered heavy financial setbacks due to medical issues, what advice do you have?

One of the meanings behind the name Light Work 316 Inc. comes from a saying my grandma and mom said to me all my life: “Many hands make light work.” Sometimes we feel that if we can’t make some huge donation or a grand sweeping gesture, then what we can offer is not good enough. I can promise anyone who sees this that whatever you can offer is more than enough. Light Work 316 Inc., and most organizations like us, welcome any donation amount, whether it be a one-time donation or a monthly partnership. If you’re unable to financially donate, sharing fundraisers, helping at events, helping spread the word about our purpose—all of those things make a huge impact.

Are there any similarities between running a large social media group and running a nonprofit?

Absolutely. I think that social media has really been instrumental in opening our eyes to the struggles of the people around us. A simple post highlights things and needs that we may not have been aware of before we entered this world of constant connection. In running Moms of New Braunfels, and in running Light Work 316 Inc., my focus is on how I can make the day of the person I’m talking to better. If there’s an opportunity for me to step in and help in even a small way, I feel that’s what I should do.

Have you noticed the issue of mounting medical costs to be a growing problem in the New Braunfels area?

The cost of insurance, tests, treatment, travel and every other expense that comes along with receiving a life-altering medical diagnosis is climbing. Many of the families we help are in a dark zone for any state or federal assistance. They may have an income level that exceeds maximum limits for that, but the cost of living and housing in our area is already [exceeding] their budgetary threshold. The addition of what can only be described as astronomical medical bills is crushing for many of them. Light Work 316 Inc. is need based, not income based. By structuring that way, we are able to offer help where some other options may not be available.

Do you find it challenging to balance your many positions in politics, social media and nonprofit work?

I am usually pretty busy, and we have a family joke that sleep is a waste of time, but I wouldn’t change any of what I get to do. One of my favorite quotes is John Wesley’s: “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” Each of the things I dedicate my time to have to fit that model.
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018.


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