Charity & Grassroots in University Place

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At the Holcombe House, each guest room includes two queen-size beds and one full bath, plus guests can access free laundry facilities, WiFi, and fully stocked kitchens. The approximate cost of housing a family at Holcombe House is $142 per night, and Holcombe House relies on private donations to cover accommodation costs. Families are asked to donate $25 each night, but no one is ever turned away for an inability to pay.

1907 Holcombe Blvd
Houston,
TX
US

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.

2401 Portsmouth St
Houston,
TX
US

This outdoor gallery features work by 300 artists in 17 mediums, including brisket, with the downtown skyline serving as a backdrop. This year's featured artist, Vic Lee, defies categorization or easy interpretation, blending religious narrative with dark colorations and demure, distorted figures. There will also be ongoing events, including music and dance provided by the Houston Arts Alliance, an interactive creative play zone for children, and a plethora of wine cafés and restaurants to pique what few senses remain untouched by art.

1418 Sul Ross St
Houston,
TX
US

Supporting the Texas Center for the Missing, Champions for Children presents benefactors with an evening of hilarious standup and delectable cuisine while helping fund the Center's philanthropic mission of missing-child prevention and recovery. Guests dig into toothsome chow, choosing from a variety of vegetarian and meat-laden dishes while chortling at hilarious standups and mad libs whispered to the comedians by the servers. After an opening set from Cliff West, nationally recognized laughmeister Bob Smiley headlines the event, bringing his manic energy and quirky physicality to anecdotes on relationships, raising kids, and everyday life. Live and silent auctions offer further opportunities for charitable largesse, and an event-wide raffle gives guests the chance to win fabulous prizes and impress dates with their raffle-fixing abilities. Attendees' vehicles can eagerly listen in on the show from free parking spots.

3311 Richmond Ave
Houston,
TX
US

Through Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, people of diverse faith traditions connect to serve the greater community. Volunteers representing 10 different faiths—including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism—join together to help seniors, refugees, and others in need, all while maintaining their separate religious and cultural beliefs. The group's four main areas of service are Meals on Wheels programs, refugee services, interfaith relations, and disaster preparedness and response. More than 3,000 volunteers work to provide these services, delivering food to seniors, manning clothing-donation drives, and leading youth programs.

3217 Montrose Blvd.
Houston,
TX
US

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.

3838 Aberdeen Way
Houston,
TX
US