At each of its 31 area locations, the YMCA of Greater Houston pursues a mission to bring health, wellness, and personal growth to communities. Kids leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to a teen Youth & Government program that stirs up confidence and leadership abilities in students, preparing them for mudslinging student-council campaigns.
Zumba, ballroom dance, and Les Mills group exercise classes shake up adult workout routines, as complimentary childcare frees up parents to pursue fitness goals. Meanwhile, adult sport leagues such as basketball and racquetball result in friendly competition and hyper-literate team names inspired by obscure philosophers.
While working as a secondary-school educator, Jarvis Daughrity saw that her students faced immense challenges on their paths to adulthood. She founded Pink Defying Gravity, Inc. to help young women in difficult situations to actuate their abilities and strengths through conferences and mentoring programs. Pink Defying Gravity’s programs include the Gen One! high-school mentoring program, young women’s leadership conferences, and Pink Girls Rock! pods, which help girls develop new philanthropic ideas.
PCO is geared to helping the youth Ages 5-12 of North Houston to have a fun, safe, and educational summer. We have set up a summer day camp program that your children will enjoy and parents will love because we keep the children’s minds working all summer long and prepare them for the next grade. All while having fun.
Through customized coaching, regular workouts, and inspirational camaraderie, Team In Training readies bodies for races and benefits medical-cure research. Certified coaches tailor each three- to five-month conditioning program to participants' individual abilities, helping ambitious athletes increase their speed, endurance, and confidence when faced with human-size hamster balls. Adhering to monthly exercise calendars, groups of trainees assemble one or two times a week (usually on weekday evenings and Saturday mornings), pushing each other toward top potential. Clinics held on nutrition and injury prevention supplement workout regimens, and provided Team In Training apparel prepares racers to run straight onto runways after crossing the finish line. In addition to athletic training and stylish swag, participants receive fundraising support and incentives (fundraising requirements vary based on the event).
Friends for Life plans to open a new, LEED-certified animal shelter in spring 2012. The organization would like to create a comfortable Senior Kitty room for elderly cats that reside at the shelter, providing them with a safe, loving environment to aid in both their mental and physical well-being. The older cats will be able to roam freely and safely in the room, which the staff hopes to furnish with soft beds, climbers, and toys.
Theater should be accessible for all. That's the belief espoused by UpStage Theatre, a non-profit, volunteer-run company that welcomes everyone from experienced attendees to newcomers who still expect Godot to show up. Each season places an emphasis on works that are as professional in their staging as they are family-friendly in their content. To that end, UpStage produces children's plays—which have included Alice in Wonderland and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown—alongside all-ages classics such as On Golden Pond and Blithe Spirit.
Child Advocates raises funds for its charitable kid-advocacy mission with a four-hour chili-cook-off competition that hosts popular area restaurants and their chefs. Nine eateries compete in this year’s spice-off, including Zelko Bistro, Haven, and BRC Gastropub, stuffing the roster with more VIPs than a continually updated list of spelling-bee champions. Guests can taste the chili concoctions that emerge from the competition, assessing their favorite flavors and knowing each bite supports a positive local cause. The chili cook-off raises funds to help curtail child abuse, universally considered a better way to support kids than firing chili-filled canons over elementary schools.