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‘Tis the season to spread cheer — and to give back to our community. Empire is proud to give back to the cities and towns we build in, and earlier this year, we partnered with HomeAid Houston to construct a cottage on the Boys and Girls Country in Hockley, Texas, near our Dellrose community. Together with this non-profit organization, Empire helped give eight young boys a place to call home.

 

Of course, we aren’t alone in our endeavours in making Houston one of the best places to live. There are countless organizations across the city that strive to do better for people of all ages and walks of life. Read on to discover some of the organizations that are making a difference this holiday season, and how you can get involved.

Houston Food Bank

The Houston Food Bank works to provide assistance to thousands of individuals each week, including low-income seniors, at-risk children in schoolschildren in after-school meal programs and working families that don’t have access to their neighborhood pantry. The Houston Food Bank is America’s largest food bank, distributing 104 million nutritious meals to the 18 southeast Texas counties it serves, and helping to feed over 800,000 individuals each year.

 

How to give back: There are plenty of ways to give back to the Houston Food Bank, from donating funds or food, or volunteering at one of their food banks, special events or leader programs. To learn more about how you can give to this organization, visit their website.

Star of Hope Mission

A faith-centered community dedicated to supporting homeless men, women, children and teens across Houston, Star of Hope Mission encourages positive life changes with programs in education, employment, spiritual growth, life management and substance abuse recovery. The mission aids approximately 1,000 people daily.

 

How to give back: Star of Hope Mission is always looking for new volunteers to help meet the needs of Houston’s homeless. Those looking to aid the organization can also make a monetary contribution (donations will be matched dollar for dollar), purchase a gift from their Christmas catalog (presents include the gift of a good meal and the gift of fresh clothing), or visit their website for other ways to give back.

Houston Children’s Charity

A non-profit organization, the Houston Children’s Charity is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Greater Houston’s underprivileged, abused and disabled children. For over two decades, the charity has provided program services for over 300 agencies and more than 3.5 million children, pledged over $2 million dollars in relief aid, provided over 30,000 children with gently-used clothing and shoes, and given more than 40,000 children basic school supplies. Their goal is to give all children a positive outlook on their future and help them grow into successful adults.

 

How to give back: Houston Children’s Charity’s Christmas program helps make miracles happen. Those looking to give back can partake in the Adopt-a-Family program, which allows sponsors to purchase items, clothes and more needed for their family, or get involved with Toys for Tots, which organizes and distributes toys to over 20,000 kids in time for the holidays. The organization is always looking for more helping hands; volunteers can register online for office support or day-of-event volunteering opportunities.

Houston Humane Society

A veterinary clinic and animal shelter, the Houston Humane Society is dedicated to ending animal cruelty and abuse and providing the highest quality of life for animals brought to their care. The shelter has dogs, cats and other animals that are ready to be adopted into their forever homes, and provides new pet owners with services that includes a low-cost spay/neuter wellness clinic.

 

How to give back: While there’s nothing better than saving a life and welcoming a new furry family member into your home, there are a number of other ways to give back to the Houston Humane Society. The organization is presently running a holiday fund drive, where gifts and donations made to the shelter are matched, providing pets with greater access to safe shelter and care. Additionally, new volunteers are always welcome.

Toys for Tots

Toys for Tots is dedicated to collecting new, unwrapped toys to distribute to less fortunate children at Christmas, giving them a message of hope through the gift of a new toy. The organization has been supporting children since 1947, having helped over 258 million kids and handing out over 566 million toys. The program also enjoys a special connection to beloved movie maker Walt Disney, who designed Toys for Tots’ miniature three-cart train logo as a special favor to charity founder and personal friend Bill Hendricks.

 

How to give back: Visit their website to make a toy donation, apply to be a volunteer or to become a toy drop-off site.

 

Images courtesy of Houstonia (food bank); Star of Hope via Twitter (mission); Houston Children’s Charity (charity); Chron (humane society); Houston Children’s Charity (toys).

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