Arlette Rangel is a UT graduated and AmeriCorps member. She is the first person in her family to go to college and she tells us how her father framed the importance of her achievement: since he is not rich, he cannot hand down money or property but he can leave his children with an education. Their mother was also present for them during their formative years and the siblings are achieving their potential.
This is in big part possible because of Ann Stiles who is the executive director of Project GRAD Houston and Melissa Martinez, their director of College Success. Their Org is reaching out in underserved schools to help children graduate from high school and go on to more important degrees. You can find out about their programs on their website: www.projectgradhouston.org
Elizabeth Vallette is the director of USO Houston and a former captain with the U.S. Army. We talk about the place of women warriors, especially since the Marine Corps is advertising the graduation of new female recruits. We also discuss the unfair difficulties soldiers face reintegrating society after deployment and the small creature comforts that matter to servicemen while they travel and when they’re abroad. This is where we can help by donating goods or cash. All donations to the USO Houston go to help their operations here in town. It is a worthy donation to think about as we head into the giving season.
Go to their website for more info and to get involved: www.uso.org/houston
Steve Lufburrow is the president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Houston and Will Lufburrow is their manager of development and special projects. It’s been another busy year for one of Houston’s best non-profits with new stores opening and therefore, more people getting employment and training. Because their overhead is less than 5%, when you donate a dollar to Goodwill, about 96% of that gift goes directly to help people. It’s this financial “tour de force” that makes this org as successful as it is. It is a pillar of Houston’s community and we ought to be proud of it.
Find locations to drop off gently worn items or to make a donation online, go here: www.Goodwillhouston.org