by Elizabeth Hatler
It’s been a year since I received the first e-mail from Jeannie Eisenhart. Jeannie works for Crowley Maritime in Florida and is on the Board of the National Business Travel Association.
NBTA members include airlines, hotels and resorts, travel agents and corporate travel departments, food service companies and temporary corporate apartment homes – just to name a few. Their 2010 international convention & exposition was scheduled for Houston, and for the first time ever, NBTA wanted the agenda to include a community service project. After the Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau recommended Star of Hope and NBTA executives from Washington, D.C. toured our facilities, an amazing partnership was born!
NBTA featured Star of Hope on their website and urged each member’s support. Without a track record, NBTA did not know what the response would be. But they wanted to provide members with a variety of ways to help Houston’s homeless men, women and children:
· * As members completed the convention registration form, they were asked to make a $10 donation to Star of Hope.
· * NBTA members were given a list of needed items – such as toiletries, towels, sheets, clothing and canned goods – and asked to make an in-kind donation.
· * And members were asked to sign-up for a project at our Transitional Living Center – painting client apartments and other living areas, writing notes of encouragement for client mailboxes and assisting in the kitchen.
Deliveries arrived from across the country – large and small boxes of donated items. As our Women & Family Emergency Shelter slept a growing number of adults and children in overflow during the dangerous summer heat, these donations were a special blessing.
We worked with the incredible NBTA staff for almost a year, planning for every detail. And there was a lot of work happening behind the scenes. NBTA secured cash donations from ADTRAV and Continental Airlines. Someone from Lowe’s contacted Werner & Co. on behalf of NBTA. Werner generously donated more than 50 ladders for the painting project. And Aramark donated drinks and snacks for NBTA volunteers.
After such a tremendous team effort, I was eager to meet all of the people from across the country who worked so tirelessly to bless Star of Hope. I wanted to put faces with the names and personally thank each one of our new friends. Project day could not arrive soon enough!
Make plans to serve Houston’s homeless men, women and children.
Call 713-440-5322 or 713-440-5301 to discuss volunteer project options for your group.
Community Volunteer Opportunities Houston