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Are you doing enough?

Posted by Texas Education on December 2, 2008

Yes, yes, I know, I know, I have not posted anything since just after Thanksgiving. Readership has dropped, but new and exciting blogs and Texas websites and national websites are joining/reciprocating. But, I just figured everyone was super busy eating turkey. I’ve been working the last few days, and have had a hard time figuring out just what I should focus on. I know times are tough, and many are struggling just to make ends meet, but you’ve got to figure, there are many out there who are a lot worse off than you. I was at TMS (Timberwood Middle School) today, and a few of the classrooms are collecting for HAAM and are overflowing their boxes. That’s the good news. One thing I do know for sure, though, our toy drive is down this year. Way down. We need to dig deeper and bring ourselves to help. Print out the flyer and post at your work, your school and join in, please!!

haamtoy081Humble Area Assistance Ministries needs your help – toy donations needed by Dec. 12! Once again we are asking the generous families and businesses of our community to dig deeper and help HAAM help Santa. Humble ISD is partnering with the Tribune, Homewood Suites, Memorial NE Hospital, Kingwood Medical Center, the Humble Area Chamber of Commerce, Deerbrook Mall, and other community businesses and organizations to conduct a first, and hopefully annual, community-wide HAAM Christmas Toy Drive. It will take 3,500 toys to bury the tree, so please consider participating in this effort!

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HAAM is starting their Christmas Toy Drive

Posted by Texas Education on November 11, 2008

We need your help more than ever! Humble Area Assistance Ministries

Our Kids, Our business, Our Mission

Seems that Santa’s workshop has been hit by the economy and has to cut back this year.  Santa has told HAAM that this year he will need their help more than ever to provide a joyous Christmas morning for every child in our community.

So, once again we need to ask the generous families and businesses of our community to dig deeper and help HAAM help Santa.  Last year the tree in our lobby was almost buried under the toys.  Won’t you literally bury our tree under an avalanche of toys?  It will take 3,500 toys to bury the tree!

To provide the toys needed we are setting up a workshop annex in the hotels’ lobby, and are looking to hire a few good elves to help us.  All you need to do to be hired is to bring two unwrapped new toys and place them under, or over, the tree.  You compensation will be a free breakfast or dinner at the hotel for every two toys delivered.  That is a $12.50 value so would appreciate the toys being worth $5.00 each.  If you would like to be hired as the elf manager just bring twenty toys and you will be compensated with a free night at the hotel (a few restrictions do apply) that has a value of $189.  We need the toys by December 12 so HAAM can get them to Santa in time for him to load on the sleigh.

This flyer can be found at http://www.homewoodkingwood.com/toyflyer.pdf Please e-mail it to everyone you know!

On behalf of the kids whose Christmas you will make memorable, the staff of Homewood Suites says thank you!

23320 Highway 59 North ·Kingwood, TX 77339·Tel 281.358.5566 http://www.homewoodkingwood.com Between Loop 494 and Highway 59 just north of Kingwood Drive.

Vernon Reed of Paralegal Services Unlimited stopped by Homewood Suites in Kingwood on November 11 to purchase the first certificate for a one night stay at the hotel from owner Philippe Cras.  The entire purchase price of $100 goes to HAAM to purchase toys for children in our community that would otherwise not have toys under the tree on Christmas morning.  Cras said “we have 99 more to sell to reach our goal of raising $10,000 for HAAM and the kids in our community.  The normal rate for a one bedroom suite is $189.”  Reed was inspired when he read about the toy drive in the Tribune.  He said “I hope my fellow business owners will follow my lead and purchase a certificate.  They make great rewards for employees or customers.”

Contact Ted Mandel for more information about purchasing a certificate at tjmandel@aol.com or 713.515.6712.

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Community places to give school supplies

Posted by Texas Education on August 2, 2008

This should be filed under FYI. Please give to these worthwhile causes. Even if you are struggling, think of those less fortunate than you. Please do contribute.

Homewood Suites invites community to ‘Fill the Bus’

Homewood Suites Hilton – Kingwood Parc will kick off their fourth annual drive for school supplies Aug. 8. The hotel’s “Fill the Bus”campaign benefits Humble Area Assistance Ministries, which in turn distributes much needed school supplies to children from low-income families in the Humble and New Caney school districts. The hotel’s supply drive is the largest source of school supplies for HAAM’s “Back to School 2008” campaign. Owner Philippe Cras invites area businesses and individuals to participate in the annual drive by filling backpacks with supplies and bringing them to the hotel, located at 23320 Highway 59. An Humble ISD bus will be parked at Homewood Suites from Aug. 8 – 10. Cras will start the ball rolling with a donation of 25 backpacks.

Homewood Suites Hilton – Kingwood Parc is located just north of Kingwood Drive between Highway 59 and Loop 494. For more information, contact Ted Mandel at 713-515-6712.

To encourage donations, Cras is offering two certificates, each good for a complimentary breakfast or dinner at the hotel for donating one filled backpack. For every five backpacks donated, a certificate good for one free night at Homewood Suites will be awarded. After placing backpacks on the bus, rewards can be claimed at the hotel’s front desk. Donations will also be accepted prior to Aug. 9.

Cras challenges other local businesses to match his donation, noting that certificates can be passed on to employees or customers.

“I ask my fellow business owners to match my personal contribution of 25 backpacks full of school supplies,” said Cras.

Cras, recognizing the budget constraints of Humble ISD, will also pay for the cost of the gas to transport the bus to the hotel. Basic supplies needed are pens, pencils, erasers, markers, highlighters, map pencils, bottled glue, glue sticks, pocket folders, wide-ruled filler paper, spiral notebooks, dividers and binders. Wish list items include Kleenex, construction paper, manila paper and pencil boxes.


Operation ‘Back Pack’ is under way

Although many families are still in ‘summer mode,’ it is not too soon to start thinking about helping students get the back to school supplies they need. For the past four years, May Community Center has been providing school supplies to assure that every student shows up on the first day with the supplies they need.

“Initially, we provided school supplies for the younger students only,” said Debbie Pierce, director of the Harris County Precinct 4’s May Community Center. “Last year, a large donation from Kids R Kids allowed us to also provide school supplies at the junior high and high school.

Pierce said the May Center Volunteer Advisory Committee decided it was a great idea and future drives will benefit all the students in the district.

The school supply drive began July 11 and continues through Aug. 20. Recommended supplies include: backpacks, writing tablets, black and white marbled composition books, map pencils, No. 2 pencils, scissors, pencil bags, 2- and 3-inch binders and pocket folders in red, yellow, green or blue.

A complete list of supplies is available at the Center, which also serves as a drop-off spot.

“Volunteers at the Center collect the supplies and create an even distribution among the schools. When the final sort is done, if we receive an overabundance of pencils, but are short on scissors, for example, the Advisory Committee uses cash donations to make up the difference,” said Pierce.

She said the funds are raised by the Advisory Committee each year at the Center’s ‘Pumpkin Patch’ event held in October.

“Commissioner Jerry Eversole wants to make sure citizens see the Center is a place for everyone,” Pierce said. “The fundraisers benefit our veteran programs, our senior programs and our children’s programs.”

She said some of the supplies for ‘Operation Back Pack’ are provided by children enrolled in the May Center Summer Kids’ Program. Each year, those children are asked to bring school supplies to help their fellow students.

“The last day of the Summer Program is our splash day,” said Pierce. “It’s a really fun day with shaving cream art, splash pools for the little ones, and this year, we will have two large water slides for the older ones.”

She said although it is a fun day for the kids, it was also a way nice for them to remember that other children are not having as much fun and even worry whether they will show up for school without the items they need for class.

Often, she said, families come to the Center to get supplies, but she wanted to remind parents that although the Center collects the supplies, they do not distribute them. Supplies and cash donations are delivered to the schools, where principals or counselors make the decisions regarding distribution.

For information, call 281-324-3373.


HAAM begins school supply drive

Schoolhouse doors will not be swinging open for the new school year until August, but now is the time for the community to join “Back to School 2008.” It is an exemplary, annual program of Humble Area Assistance Ministries, to provide basic supplies for children in schools in which more than 50 percent are from low-income families needing assistance.

“Parents are coming in to enroll their children and may continue throughout the summer.

They need proof of residency that the child lives in Humble ISD or New Caney ISD and a birth certificate,” explained Diana Garbis, executive director. “Last year we served over l,800 children from 737 families that couldn’t afford to give their children what they need to succeed in school.”

With helping hands and ongoing support, many churches, schools, clubs, businesses, civic organizations and individuals have begun to plan their contributions of supplies and monetary donations so the children will have what they need to start school on the right foot.

To make sure volunteers are able to collate and distribute packages in a timely fashion, Garbis said basic supplies should be dropped off at HAAM, 1302 East First Street, Humble, up to and including Aug. l:

• Pencils, pens, erasers

• Markers, map pencils, highlighters

• Rulers

• Bottled glue, glue sticks

• Wide-ruled filler paper

• Pocket folders, spiral notebooks

• Dividers

• Binders

On the wish list are construction paper, manila paper, pencil boxes and Kleenex.

Even though HAAM supports this program financially, their support alone is not enough to thrust this worthwhile service forward. Monetary donations can purchase one school supply package for one child as follows: elementary – $35, middle school – $45 and high school – $45.

Joining in the spirit, with community support, the staff at Homewood Suites will sponsor its fourth annual “Fill the Bus” drive, and will announce plans to deliver a school bus full of backpacks and supplies in plenty of time for the first day of school.

To learn more, call Millie Garrison, HAAM coordinator, at 281-446-3663 ext. 121.

Photo: Millie Garrison, left, and Diana Garbis will coordinate community participation in Back to School 2008.

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