" 7 Ways to Give Back to the 713"- March

Last month, our own Monica Jones kicked off her new series for Day & A Dream, ‘7 Ways to Give Back to The 713.’As a champion of philanthropic causes herself, Monica knows there’s no better feeling than serving your community. But for 2018, the self-anointed “Born CEO” is challenging ALL Houstonians to step it up and do something to serve the city.

If you’ve always wanted to help out but didn’t know where to start, you have no excuses now. Plus, we’re certain Drake’s “God’s Plan” music video still has everyone wanting to do SOMETHING to extend a helping hand. If you decide to partake in one of these initiatives, by the way, feel free to tag it on your social media using the hashtag #7Ways.

We’ll let Monica take it from here.

This year, I’m encouraging you to take your gifts where they are needed most. Spring is officially upon us, and March is the perfect time to “spring” into action by getting involved in the Houston community. There are plenty of ways to make an impact in the H this month; and below, I’ve tracked down my 7 Ways you can do your part and Give Back to The 713 in March.


1. Take pride in your community by volunteering for The Lyons Avenue Renaissance Festivalan annual celebration of the history and culture of Houston’s Fifth Ward. The Festival, now in its fifth year, takes place on Saturday, March 24th, from 12 to 5 PM, and they’re in need of volunteers to help set-up and engage residents over the course of the festivities. Sign up to volunteer either the day of or in the days leading up to the Festival by registering here.

2. Link up with the Fresh Arts team by volunteering at this year’s Bayou City Arts Festival, taking place March 23rd through the 25th at Houston’s Memorial Park. You can help out at The Fresh Arts Kids Zone, where volunteers will assist young festival-goers with creating their own beautiful works of art based on the works of a local Houston artist. As a bonus, those who volunteer with the Fresh Arts team will get a free t-shirt and free admission to the Arts Festival for the entire day of their shift! Sign up to volunteer here.

3. Use the upcoming Easter holiday season to spread cheer to Seniors in Nursing Homes. This is an excellent opportunity to let the elderly in need know that they haven’t been forgotten, and to brighten their lives by brightening their day!

4. Be A Mentor! The Houston Alumni and Youth (HAY) Center is looking for Transition Coaches for youth. The HAY Center firmly believes that one of the most important factors in predicting a young person’s success is a committed, caring adult. Therefore, you can sign up to be matched with a youth, aged 16 or older, to assist them in developing their transitional goals and to offer additional support for them outside of the foster care system. Transition Coaches are required to meet with their youth a minimum of two times per month in the youth’s current placement. Find out more about becoming a Transition Coach at the HAY Center’s website here.

5. Got Social Media Skills? Then put them to work for a good cause! The Houston Food Bank is looking for Social Media Ambassadors to help spread awareness for all that the Houston Food Bank does – and, more importantly, to make others aware of how they can help. Media-savvy professionals interested in helping further the Houston Food Bank’s mission of leading the fight against hunger should consider applying. Find out more about becoming a Social Media Ambassador here.

6. Contribute to March For Our Lives. The grassroots movement, which was organized by teens in the wake of the Parkland tragedy last month, will make its way to Washington, D.C., on March 24th. Consider donating money to sponsor a teen’s travel accommodations from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on to D.C.; or you might want to organize your own demonstration locally, at your child’s school, to demand a change in the nation’s gun laws. You can donate and learn more about March for Our Lives at their website.


7. It’s Crawfish Season! So consider fusing food and philanthropy by hosting a charity crawfish boil in support of your favorite local cause and/or organization? Want to up the ante at your fundraiser even more? Make it a full-on crawfish cook-off.

Source: http://www.dayandadream.com

"7 Ways to Give Back to the 713"- February

With every New Year, it seems like we always start out with goals and resolutions that we have every intention of honoring. You’re going to lose weight. You’re going to get that summer body right. You’re going to finally invest in stocks or property. You’re going to wear less and go out more… or go out less to save more money.

In 2018, the best resolution you can make as a native Houstonian is to give back just a little bit of your time every month to the place we call home. There are so many opportunities throughout Houston where people can volunteer with local non-profits who could use an extra helping hand. Or, if you’re ’bout that life, you can start up your OWN initiative to directly impact your community. I promise, giving back is the easy part – it’s finding somewhere to START, that’s poses a challenge.

But you’re in luck. This year, I’ll be starting a new monthly series for Day & A Dream, entitled “7 Ways to Give Back to the 713.” I’ll track down 7 things you can do each month to engage the community. So go ahead – pick a social cause; gather up a few of your friends; and make it your mission to be a blessing to someone else!

Here are my “7 Ways” to get active in the 713 for the month of February:

1. February is National American Heart Month. If you’re a registered nurse or a doctor, consider donating some of your time and/or skills to educate your friends and community on the ways they can help combat heart disease.

2. Let’s be honest: we all treated January like a trial run, and our new year REALLY started this month. It’s a New Year and you deserve a fresh start, so it’s time to toss out the old and bring in the new. Clean out your closets and consider donating any of your gently used professional items to local organizations geared towards the less fortunate. Dress for Success and Suits For Sons, for example, are both Houston-based groups who rely on donations to provide professional wardrobe options for less fortunate individuals who are preparing to enter (or re-enter) the workforce.

3. Oh, you “Got Gains” now? I know you’re proud of your Instagram likes! Now, take an opportunity to help others get their weight up, too. Host a complimentary “Boot Camp” amongst your friends for those of you who made a New Year’s Resolution to get rid of that pesky holiday weight.

4. It may be 2018 for us all, but many throughout the city are still reeling from the effects and rebuilding after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Consider rallying up some of your buddies to help out and participate with the Houston area Habitat for Humanity’s upcoming building projects.

5. Harvey wasn’t the only natural disaster that did damage in 2017. In fact, places throughout the world – like Puerto Rico – were also hit by natural disasters and are still trying to recover, with desperate need for medical care and supplies. Project C.U.R.E. in Houston is one organization that sends donated medical supplies and equipment to developing countries in need. You might consider stopping by Project C.U.R.E. to offer your time in assisting them with sorting out their inventory; or you can visit Houston-area hospitals and see if they would be willing to donate supplies that could then be given to Project C.U.R.E.

6. Buddies, Books & Brunch is a dual celebration of Black History Month and literacy. The organization’s mission is to enhance community partnerships and student awareness of Black History, while also building diverse classroom libraries. This year’s Buddies, Books & Brunch will be hosted at the PK Woodson K-8 campus in HISD; and while registration for that event is closed, the organization relies on fundraising for all its operations. You can contribute to them by attending Cocktails for A Cause this Saturday, February 24th, at Lucille’s in the Museum District. RSVPs cost only $10. It’s a great opportunity to mix and mingle with locals Black professionals and possibly win a raffle prize, too. More importantly, you can take pride in knowing that all proceeds from the social will go towards purchasing Black-authored books to be donated to PK Woodson and other Houston area schools. RSVP for the mixer here.

7. Homelessness is still one the most pressing issues in our hometown. The City of Houston is continually looking into new ways to address the more 3,500 individuals who live on Houston’s streets at night. Donate some of your free time to a Houston-area shelter and assist them with managing the influx of individuals coming in off the streets due to this cold and rainy February weather.

Source: http://dayandadream.com/