In Houston, it’s usually difficult to tell exactly when summer ends and fall begins. The arrival of fall isn’t signaled by green leaves turning into spectacular shades of red, gold, yellow and orange. Nor do we break out our jackets, turtleneck sweaters and plaid wool blankets for Friday night football. For most Houstonians, the arrival of fall is little more than a note on the kitchen calendar.
But the staff and clients at Star of Hope know exactly when fall begins. It begins with the arrival of outstanding volunteers wearing bright red and white ExxonMobil t-shirts. Our partnership with ExxonMobil spans more than a decade and their volunteers share in each client success.
I am happy to report that Fall 2010 has definitely arrived! Red and white shirted ExxonMobil Global Services volunteers spent two days helping out at all three Star of Hope campuses.
Volunteers assisted the kitchen staff with chopping veggies, making sack lunches, cleaning and serving lunch. A few volunteers even braved arctic temperatures in the freezers to ensure they were clean and well organized.
The entrance of our Transitional Living Center got a facelift as volunteers spruced up the landscaping in several areas. While one group worked outdoors, another group of volunteers taught computer skills and conducted mock interviews with clients in the Personal Development program. Not only did the ExxonMobil volunteers help clients sharpen their skills, but they also gave clients the confidence they need for successful interviews.
As we work for national accreditation of our childcare program, ExxonMobil volunteers helped ready the childcare center at our Transitional Living Center for inspection. They painted both the infant and pre-k classrooms a lovely pastel shade of creamy yellow and installed new cabinets. They even built special scaffolding to reach the high ceilings. As if that weren’t enough, they custom-built child-size picnic tables so our little ones can enjoy lunchtime outdoors.
Over the years, ExxonMobil volunteers have worked to make our facilities more inviting and comfortable for Houston’s homeless men, women and children, as well as providing for the direct needs of our clients. Thank you, ExxonMobil, for the many ways you continue to bless our mission!