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.
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.
Since it was founded almost three decades ago, Child Advocates has developed and maintained a team of court-appointed advocates, guardian ad litems, who support individual kids in cases of abuse and neglect and advocate for these children in court. After sending volunteers through 30 hours of specialized training where they learn about the court system and how to tell when a gavel is banged sarcastically, the nonprofit organization links each guardian with a youngster who's in foster care and in need of a permanent residence. By assigning each advocate to only one child or sibling set, Child Advocates provides individualized attention that caseworkers and court-appointed attorneys can't always deliver.
Trees for Houston has been dedicated to planting, protecting, and promoting trees for more than a quarter century. In that time, the organization has helped more than 420,000 trees spread their roots in the Houston community. Its mission is to use the benefits of lush vegetation to improve air quality, slow storm-water runoff, reduce urban heat, and reestablish the connection of people with nature.
Volunteer projects educate communities about urban forestry and reforestation. In addition to planting at schools, parks, and medians, Trees for Houston's volunteers donate seedlings at events, and work with third- and fourth-grade students to impart the importance of trees.
Goodyear Auto Care's mechanics, certified by the institute for Automotive Service Excellence, slip under car hoods and undercarriages to perform tasks from routine oil changes to intricate engine replacements. Tools let out pneumatic whines as they install new tires from brands such as Michelin and Goodyear, and the complete list of services includes brake adjustments and state inspections. They also pick up and drop off customers by appointment and provide loaner cars when needed. Tow trucks rumble out of the lot en route to get patrons unstuck from ditches or give third graders an idea for their thesis papers.
Aspiring to bring high-quality, affordable, and family-friendly theater to area residents, the non-profit UpStage Theatre packs the proscenium stage at Lambert Hall with original performances of musical, mystery, and comedy productions. Enjoy a family-friendly afternoon of musical and mischievous dog-antics with the upcoming production of Too Many Beagles, written by Ann Richie with music created by Arnold Richie. Theatergoers can opt for a nighttime dose of the self-touted "Agatha Christie meets Monty Python and Abbott and Costello" with UpStage's production of Jack Sharkey's The Murder Room opening in May. The historic Lambert Hall, built in 1927 using mortar mixed with the superfluous tears of fledgling actors, is a compelling canvas for dedicated theater-artists to paint compelling, custom, and locally made theater-art for all ages of spectators.