Katherine von Haefen is a long-time United Way Greater Houston staff person. She was at United Way when I was in high school, and she was in charge of the Kids Way Program then. Kids Way was most definitely the thing that taught me to love volunteering in high school, and really instilled in me the idea of lifelong volunteerism. Fast forward to today, and Katherine’s high school aged daughter, Alison, volunteered for Camp Buckaroo for the first time this summer. Alison had a wonderful time and is now thinking about making working with people with disabilities her career, as many of our amazing teen volunteers do. She’s already reached back out to Kenzie Richard, Easter Seals Camp Program Coordinator, to ask about volunteering during the school year! It’s neat to think that Katherine was around when I discovered my love for volunteering, and now I’m around when her daughter’s making the same discovery – totally coming full circle.
Christine Ellery, Program Director Easter Seals Greater Houston.
*Easter Seals Greater Houston is proud to have been a partner of United Way GH since the days of it being called The Community Chest… a very long time! UWGH has enabled ESGH to serve so many more clients – thousands and thousands – through their and their donors support allowing us to ensure family stability, create growth, independence, and more.
This holiday season, Zeta Tau Alpha Houston Alumnae Association (HAA) partnered with Easter Seals of Greater Houston for a Holiday Toy Drive. Easter Seals of Greater Houston assists over 6,500 children and adults with all types of disabilities and their families a year, 70% of them living below the poverty level and mostly because of medical and caregiver issues. Every year, Easter Seals’ therapists who are in the homes and see first-hand the need, nominate the families that they know are especially in need and so nominate their most neediest of families for holiday adoption. With HAA’s generous donations, Easter Seals is able to provide a brighter holiday for these 41 families in need. As we begin to deliver our toys and donations to the families in need, it’s never too late to start thinking of next year. Maybe you and your friends and family would like to do something. My own son was very moved when he helped deliver toys to a family in need so for his next birthday, we will be doing a “Pajama Jam” collecting pjs instead of gifts. Mom really wanted to do a “sock hop” and collect socks but he informed me that wasn’t “cool”! Those are just a couple of ideas and the possibilities are endless. Some of the things you can collect in addition to toys are blankets, diapers and wipes, and gift cards.
I know firsthand how much this means to the families. The looks on the children’s faces are priceless but the emotional responses from the parent’s are what get me every time. I know it’s such a hectic time with lots of holiday activities going on but it just amazes me how generous all of our donors are at this time of year and always! I really want to thank the wonderful women of Zeta Tau Alpha Houston Alumnae Association (HAA) for partnering with Easter Seals for their holiday toy drive! If you would like more information on adopting a family, #PJDAY, Toy & blanket drives etc, please contact the Easter Seals Development Department.
ESGH would also like to thank North Highland, VCS, Prosperity Bank, our Board of Directors, our staff, Anadarko, The Cruise Center, Century21, Memorial Lutheran School, St Marks Episcopal School, Newmark Homes, Blinds.com, the Texas Rangers Baseball team and many many more!
Sonia Salas, Assistant Director, Easter Seals Greater Houston