D uring the holidays, it is easy to get absorbed in expensive gift giving and lose sight of the true meaning of the season: giving back. This year, instead of investing your time and money in retail stores, consider investing in a charitable organization or a family in need.
Here at Houston Methodist, employees shape the greater Houston community through the
I CARE in Action program by volunteering their time and providing their expertise and passion to assist others at organizations like the Houston Food Bank, Houston’s Children’s Charity and the Houston SPCA. This year-round program demonstrates Houston Methodist’s I CARE values of Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence.
These local organizations support Houston families throughout the year and need your support this holiday season.
1. Houston Children’s Charity: Every year, Houston Children’s Charity receives thousands of applicants seeking adoption at Christmas and each year individuals and corporations throughout the city step up to the plate and adopt families of varying sizes. Sign up with a group of friends, family members or co-workers and sponsor a local family in need. (Volunteer opportunities available for Houston Methodist employees through the I CARE in Action program.)
2. Houston Food Bank: Many Houston-area children eat one meal a day – their school lunch. During the holidays, many families struggle to pay bills and put food on the table for children who normally eat at school. Fortunately, organizations like the Houston Food Bank are able to provide support for these families in need. Last holiday season, with the help of many generous Houstonians, the Houston Food Bank was able to provide 1,627,115 nutritious meals for children, adults and seniors who struggle with hunger. Join them in the fight against hunger this holiday season and throughout the year. Volunteers are essential to the mission of the Houston Food Bank so they are always in need of more volunteers, but will also accept monetary or non-perishable food items donations. (Volunteer opportunities available for Houston Methodist employees through the I CARE in Action program.)
3. Michael E. DeBakey Houston Veterans Administration Hospital: Houston’s DeBakey VA Hospital brings greatly needed programs and services to thousands of military veterans in our community. Help them lift the spirits of America’s heroes this holiday season by donating an item from their wish list to ensure that every in-patient veteran receives a gift.
4. Eileen Murphree McMillin Blood Center: The Eileen Murphree McMillin Blood Center at Houston Methodist transfuses more than 50,000 components each year to support the needs of patients with cancer, blood disorders, and a host of other conditions, as well as those undergoing surgical procedures. This holiday season, share the gift of life by making a donation at the Eileen Murphree McMillin Blood Center. When you make one blood donation, you can save up to three lives.
5. Houston SPCA: The Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal’s mission is to promote commitment to and respect for all animals and free them from suffering, abuse and exploitation. Help them continue to carry out their mission by donating items such as newspapers, towels, pet food and pet toys. If you want to add to your family this holiday season, consider fostering or adopting a pet. (Volunteer opportunities available for Houston Methodist employees through the I CARE in Action program.)The time volunteers spent giving back in 2013 was worth an estimated $163 billion Click To Tweet
“It is great to volunteer during the holidays, but it is more important to give your time throughout the year,” said Ryane Jackson, community benefits manager at Houston Methodist, who oversees the Houston Methodist I CARE in Action Program. “Unfortunately, people’s needs are not confined to a single season. There are so many different ways to give back – people just have to take the time to find where their passion lies. Whether it’s helping children, the homeless, cancer survivors or abandoned animals – the possibilities are endless, and there are plenty of people in need of support.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the time volunteers spent giving back in 2013 was worth an estimated $163 billion. Additionally, the value of volunteer time combined with private giving accounted for just under half a trillion dollars. Whether you decide to donate time or money, you will be making a huge difference in someone’s life.