Pre-race activities and number assignments begin at 6 a.m., with the pavement-pounding commencing at 8 (8:10 for walkers—strollers welcome). The pack heads out from the Stafford Centre. Partake in a springtime run or stroll while helping women find the same health you currently enjoy, then relax at the fantastic after-party. You can also visit the Total Body Expo at the Stafford Centre, where a percentage of all booth sales also benefit Pink Door.
When Southwest Houston Adventure Boot Camp’s owner and head trainer, Stacy Agee, chose her team of certified personal trainers, she knew she would need a deep bench. As a former college and semipro basketball player and a two-time MVP on the Houston Energy women’s football team, she understood the value in building a team with diverse skill sets that play to the strengths of the others. To that end, she recruited Kim, a veterinarian turned certified trainer and rehab specialist; Darrin, a father, marathon and triathlon runner, and boxing instructor; June, a yogi and tai chi practitioner; and TJ, a trainer with a love of plyometrics.
These coaches draw from specialized backgrounds in personal training, Pilates and yoga instruction, massage, and mixed martial arts to design a range of workouts that change constantly, much like every encyclopedia once time travel is invented. In each of their four-week outdoor fitness programs, comprised of 20 one-hour sessions scheduled for early morning, mid-morning, or evening, they train participants of all genders, ages, and fitness levels. They foster a noncompetitive, support group atmosphere with a personal training feel.
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.
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.
Amigos volunteers—mainly high-school and college students—live and work in a host community in Latin America for six–eight weeks. Volunteers work with the community to identify potential projects, build community awareness about the selected project, and organize local fundraisers to offset project costs. Past projects have included painting schools, establishing wool cooperatives, and laying new pipe to bring in clean water. In addition to improving communities, the projects help improve volunteers’ confidence, problem-solving, and public-speaking skills. To set the work in motion, Amigos covers the majority of the costs through private donations.
Literacy Advance provides free classes that teach adults in the Houston area English as a second language. In 2010, Literacy Advance developed stronger literacy skills for 3,416 people and trained more than 360 new tutors. Volunteer tutors teach five students in each class how to read English with the use of picture dictionaries and textbooks, focusing on the skills necessary for gaining employment, utilizing health-care access, earning an education, finding housing, and navigating street maps. Literacy Advance provides training, books, and supplies for students in its ESL classes, but more than 350 people are currently on the waiting list to attend, stretching the organization's budget.
The male and female massage therapists at Touch of Health Massage soothe aches and pains deep inside muscles using a variety of massage modalities. Deep-tissue massage loosens up muscles with finger pressure and slow strokes. Trigger-point massage alternates between gentle and firm pressure to target the branching channels of pain that spread throughout the body. Thai massage combines traditional massage techniques with stretching to ease musculoskeletal ailments, increase joint mobility, and tame muscle spasms. Therapists also soothe pain-racked jaws by gently massaging clients from the shoulders to the scalp, or by convincing the upper teeth to stop fighting with the lower teeth.