The word charity conjures up Dickensian ideas of people struggling. Small street urchins in newsboy caps or little red-headed orphans singing their heart out. It’s not our favorite word. Not because the sentiment isn’t spot on—it is. The idea of charity is based on an Old French word, charité, meaning “benevolence for the poor.” It’s a beautiful thought: To be charitable is to be kind. To be kind is to care for your neighbors. And to care for your neighbors? There’s no more Houstonian trait than that. But the word “charity” itself comes with a lot of baggage. Like TSA, we’re here to open up that luggage, unpack it and repack it with a deeper meaning.
It is clear from the over 20,000 nonprofits located in Houston that there’s a lot of work to be done right here and plenty of people who are game to help get it done. As we saw at last night’s ChaChaCha (silly name, serious sandwich), there are many opportunities to give back and no shortage of good folks looking to help. Each ChaChaCha has a theme that our selected nonprofits fit within. This time? Empowerment. It’s more than just confidence, it’s the development of agency—the idea that you are in control of your own destiny. There is no better resource for helping people help themselves than local nonprofits that center on giving people the tools to rise above their circumstances with support and guidance.
After hearing a quick, three-minute pitch from our featured nonprofit speakers, attendees had a chance to mix and mingle with them, learning how they can be involved. That’s the best part: ChaChaCha lowers the barrier to entry for people who are curious about how to get involved, getting them directly connected to organizations needing their skills, talent, gusto and support.
Miss out last night? Here’s your crib sheet.
Dress for Success Houston
Empowering women to get out in the world and grab economic independence for themselves, Dress For Success provides a network of support, professional attire and developmental tools to help women thrive in work and life. It doesn’t matter if you’re unemployed, a recent grad, a veteran, mother or maybe all of the above, this agency is working day and night to create systemic change by equipping you with the resources you may need to attain long-term employment and success.
Prison Entrepreneurship Program
The folks over at PEP are incredibly servant-minded leaders on a mission to transform inmates and executives by unlocking their real human potential through entrepreneurial passion, education and mentoring. Their results? A return-to-prison rate as low as 5%, an employment rate of 100% in 90 days and almost 300 businesses launched by our graduates.
The Women’s Home
Second chances give people hope for a new future coming down the pike. For 60 years, The Women’s Home has been dedicated to helping women and their families to build (and rebuild) their entire lives in a safe environment. Working collaboratively with clients, they fight to break the cycle of addiction, manage the challenge of mental illness, overcome the effects of trauma and KNOCK down barriers to inclusion. By inspiring them to reconnect to their personal wholeness and restoring their dignity and self-esteem, The Women’s Home lifts vulnerable Houstonians out of poverty, and as a result, they become productive, positive forces in the community—moving from despair to hope and thriving in their new, more independent lives.
Houston Literacy Center
Education is the foundation for a better Houston and stronger citizens who feel empowered to get things done and press into unknown places. The Houston Literacy Center strengthens providers of adult education who then can provide necessary skills for underemployed citizens to fulfill their potential and become economically self-sufficient. They envision a city where every adult is equipped with the basic skills they need to qualify for jobs that will allow them to support their families and thrive as prosperous, independent, successful members of our society.
A global organization that serves locally to break the cycle of generational poverty, Attack Poverty’s mission is to strengthen under-resourced communities through spiritual growth, education, revitalization and basic needs. They do this in partnership with the local church, residents, businesses and community leaders by adopting pockets of poverty and making long term commitments to go deep—and care about the things that community cares about.
Grace Under Fire
Women veterans can help themselves—they’re incredibly capable people. Sometimes they just need a little help along the way! And that’s when Grace Under Fire comes in, committing to assisting in the veteran’s transition back into family life, achievements in the workplace and their pursuit of happiness. With private and enthusiastic donations funding their programs, they make significant changes in women veterans’ paths to personal discovery. It’s never done by putting a Band-Aid on the wounds of post-traumatic stress, military sexual trauma, depression or substance abuse—but by giving time and space for women veterans to listen, connect and heal with one another.
Are you waiting for someone to wink in your direction with some ways to get involved and make change in a city that’s desperate for your attention? Well, this is it. We’re the folks who are pretty convinced that you’re the perfect person for the job. Reach out to a nonprofit that gets your fires burning and mark your calendar for our next Champagne Charity Chat in July. Date TBD. Impact guaranteed.