For Meredith McCord, looking at a piece of pottery brings back decades worth of memories. McCord started The Mad Potter in 1998, and since those early days, she's used her kiln to immortalize countless special moments. She traveled to hospitals to capture the footprints of newborns, helped a young man create a dessert plate with the words "Will you marry me?" emblazoned across it, and auctioned off items for charity. Yet some of her fondest memories center on the day-to-day interactions with customers, specifically when they return to pick up their fired pieces and utter three words of amazement: "I did that?"
The Mad Potter has since expanded into three Houston-area locations, where children and adults come to paint their own works of art or create replicas of their ancient ancestors' garden gnomes. More than 500 bisqueware items line the shelves of each studio, including coffee mugs, plates, and figurines. Staffers then help visitors select from more than 54 available colors of paint and supply them with everything else they might need, including brushes and stencils. The staff can even take things over and create more intricate designs—while still consulting closely with the customer. Whatever route a person chooses, there's always time for a sip of wine or beer; the River Oaks location sells wine and beer while Bellaire and Woodway maintain a BYOB policy.
Midtown Veterinary Hospital's Dr. Richard Clive, alongside his wife Janelle and staff of registered vet techs, helps animals live long healthy lives. Inside the hospital, pets can curl up in the sun, which filters through the reception area's large windows, or enjoy such comforts as a padded exam table. Their bipedal counterparts, meanwhile, appreciate cushy, white chairs set on dark hardwood floors, cookies to balance on their noses, and vibrant animal prints that decorate the office.
Owners keep their pets up to date with an array of services, including regular check-ups, vaccinations, and dental exams. They can also rest easy knowing that should pets ever need further treatments, such as digital radiology or surgical services, Midtown's facilities are well prepared with an onsite lab and a heated surgical table that staves off chills as pets get their coats dry-cleaned. The hospital also sports a pharmacy that supplies owners with medications to prevent such maladies as fleas, ticks, and heartworm with next-day prescription filling and an online, home-delivery pharmaceutical service. :m]]
Founded in 1893, Sheltering Arms Senior Services has devoted more than a century to providing Houston’s elderly population with care, advocacy, and community support. Despite its long history, the nonprofit organization is only looking forward. Between 2011 and 2012, it provided seniors with 128,658 hours of personal-care assistance—including meal preparation and housekeeping—and fed 2,182 seniors a nutritious meal. And their specially designed Adult Day Center, which provides top-notch care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Factor in the organization's more than 20 Houston-area senior centers, where staffers offer recreational activities, health education, and legal advocacy, and it is clear that Sheltering Arms is only building upon its 120-year foundation.
Sheltering Arms' mission begins with its committed corps of staff members and volunteers. Certified nurses’ aides customize and implement home-care plans that include light housekeeping, meal prep, and medication reminders. Social workers advocate for members at risk of being institutionalized by managing their financial and health casework. Volunteers make daily safety checks on seniors who are living alone and organize arts-and-crafts classes, game nights, and dances.
Jennifer Buergermeister is very flexible. She not only moves from job to job—she's an entrepreneur, independent filmmaker, spiritual healer, and app designer—but also from pose to pose while teaching yoga. She has created two yoga DVDs and has a third coming out in November. She's also the owner of Jennyoga, where she works with a deep bench of fellow yoga teachers, offering a variety of classes for all levels. These include Sunrise and Awakening, Hatha Flow, and Deep Relaxation and Restorative yoga classes.
The team at Jennyoga strives to make coming to the studio easy. They built a Jennyoga app for mobile devices that allows students to schedule classes on the fly. And they run an in-house store, where visitors can pick up any yoga gear they might need before heading into one of the studios. They even made a short film to inspire attendance, a sort of narrative commercial about the beneficial effects of yoga in our noisy, modern world where neighbors rev motorcycle engines and fire alarms scream in delight whenever you get home.
As noted on CBSDFW.com, Gene Simmons and longtime partner Shannon Tweed hosted a live-music event coordinated by The Aces & Angels Foundation, which was later featured on Simmons's A&E reality show. The party was just one of many fundraisers that the nonprofit organization has created to provide assistance for active-duty and former members of the United States Armed Forces. They visit US military installations with a cadre of famous musicians, Hollywood celebrities, and athletes, doing their part to boost morale and the instances of excited, high-pitched screaming within the armed forces. They also organize charitable, star-studded events such as poker tournaments, VIP parties, and chili cook-offs.
Proceeds from the events benefit charities such as the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps veterans recover from physical and mental injuries, and The Gleason Initiative Foundation, which raises public awareness of ALS and provides equipment and services to individuals with muscular diseases or injuries.
Chris Green's passion for basketball has led him from the courts of his high school to the major arenas where he played with the ABA West All-Star Team. Though he was bestowed with many awards and accomplishments throughout his career, Green realized that his life's calling was not with basketball, but with helping people improve their lives through fitness. Eager to use his athletic talents to make a difference, he graduated with a degree in kinesiology and became certified in personal training through the International Sports and Science Association.
Today, Green combines the athletic prowess he cultivated on the basketball court with a positive, yet intense style of training during six-week boot camp programs, personal training sessions, and motivational coaching sessions. Dedicated to propelling students towards their fitness goals—whether those goals include losing weight, toning muscle, or squeezing into child-sized giraffe costumes—he supplements training sessions with regular motivational videos. Green also conducts regular self-improvement seminars on nutrition and body image.