by Star of Hope Friends
Our Red Hat Society Chapter Divas With Hattitude began volunteering in November of 2011 and returned in 2012. We volunteer one Saturday every November at the Star of Hope Women and Family Emergency Shelter.
We start our day by celebrating our chapter members November birthdays at a restaurant, and conclude with dinner service at the center. We help prepare and serve the meals to the many residents residing there. We also collect
toiletries items for the families and hold a toy drive every December to donate to the children residing at Star of Hope.
I personally know some people who have been helped by Star of Hope and quickly refer anyone standing in the need. We look forward to our service day this year. Hats off to all of the employees who supply a service to the many in need. See you November and December 2013. God Bless!
Star of Hope Volunteer
My husband and I have been financial supporters of Star of Hope for many years. I have always been impressed with the strong Christian work that Star of Hope has provided to thousands of people in need.
Once our youngest child received her driver’s license (lots of prayers said!), I felt it was time to donate my time to Star of Hope as well. I went to a volunteer orientation class and waited for them to find the right fit for me.
I received a call that the Women and Family Emergency Shelter needed a toy store volunteer to help organize and hand out toys to new arrivals at the shelter. I was hooked immediately and have been serving there for nearly four years.
I’ve never considered myself a “fund raiser” type, but I decided that joining the Trees of Hope Guild would give me an opportunity to find out more about the organization. Having attended several Trees of Hope fundraisers in the past, I thought it would be a good idea to devote more of my time and finances to an organization that is so dear to my heart.
I can’t wait to see what the coming year brings!
Star of Hope Mission Volunteer
Trees of Hope Guild Member
The temperature may be dropping but not our hopes for filling the freezer at the new Star of Hope Donation and Distribution Center. In fact, we could not be more excited about our up-coming event with partners KSBJ, NGEN Radio and Kroger. With their help, we are planning to pack the freezer with 20,000 pounds of frozen food.
If that sounds like a lot of groceries, then check this out. We serve 23,000 meals every week to homeless men, women and children. And with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays upon us, we need every single pound.
So here’s a shout-out of thanks to KSBJ, NGEN Radio and Kroger for joining us in the cause. And to you, our amazingly generous friends and supporters, a plea to pick up an extra bag or two of frozen vegetables or fruit---even an extra turkey or ham, when you do your holiday shopping at Kroger, and donate it to Star of Hope.
The big Fill the Freezer event will be held on Tuesday, November 20, 2012, from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. We will be accepting donations at two Kroger locations:
- In Sugar Land, at 4825 Sweetwater Blvd.(77479)
- In Cypress, 17455 Spring Cypress (77429).
This is a win/win deal, because when you give to us, KSBJ and NGEN Radio will give a gift to you.
Don’t leave us in the cold! Come out to these Kroger stores and help us Fill the Freezer!
There are lots of ways you can help…
One of the questions I hear over and over from folks in our community is this: "How can I help the homeless?” When we see someone on a street corner begging for money, or hear about someone struggling to pay their bills and about to lose their housing, we feel compelled to help. Yet we almost immediately feel helpless as to what’s the best thing to do.
When I hear this question, here’s my response. The streets of Houston are not a safe place for ANYONE to live. The best thing you can do is to encourage the person to come to one of Star of Hope’s emergency centers to get help. Visit our website for addresses, phone numbers and maps for Men’s Development Center and Women & Family Emergency Shelter locations. You can also get specific help by calling Star of Hope at 713-748-0700 or by sending a request through our website.
In the first six months of this year, the demand for our emergency services at Star of Hope has RISEN 33% from 2011…and this is the fourth year in a row we have seen increases. There is clearly great need in our city! Annual surveys are done each January to do a “one time count” of individuals observed to be homeless on a particular night, and these numbers fluctuate year to year. In addition to those counted on the streets, we see hundreds of others come to us from marginal or dangerous housing situations seeking emergency shelter and help every day. We call these the “hidden homeless.”
The good news is that Star of Hope is here to provide, thanks to you! And we don’t turn anyone away who comes desiring our help. More good news…once they are here, they can engage in life recovery and skills building programs designed to help them find a new hope in living and new abilities to live a successful life as a productive member of our community.
But we need your help today to serve the large and growing numbers who are coming! You can donate now…financially if you are able, or by conducting your own donations drive and then delivering to Star of Hope.
Just look at what these special young people have done just recently to help the homeless of our city.
If you’re interested in conducting your own drive, please learn about all the types of items we need as donations or explore other volunteer opportunities with Star of Hope.
So no need to wonder about how to help, just check out these resources and come join us as we serve!
Our good friends at TV 11 are reaching out to the community to help Houston’s homeless with Star of Hope. We have an urgent and ongoing need for simple toiletries to give the 80 – 100 men, women and even children sleeping on our shelter floors waiting for a room and a bed. Help us help them.
by Scott Arthur
This week two major radio corporations are featuring an Entire Day dedicated to helping Star of Hope make this a Summer of Hope for our clients.
Thursday, June 28, beginning at 6 AM until 7 PM, Clear Channel’s top rated SUNNY 99.1 will run commercials talking about Star of Hope’s summer efforts and asking listeners to go to our website and make a donation. As an added blessing, Houston Area Toyota Dealers are giving their support to our Summer of Hope campaign by generously matching gifts up to $15,000! This is a great chance to DOUBLE your donation. Star of Hope commercials will also run on KTRH 740 and KPRC 950 radio.
Friday, June 29 is an entire Day Of Hope on Cox Broadcasting’s 93Q Country and 97.1 Legends. Staring at 6 AM until 7 PM each radio station will run Star of Hope commercials and have large banners on their websites giving listeners a chance to support us.
Most people don’t realize that in the summer Star of Hope has more homeless men, women and children in our shelters than at any other time of the year. Reasons for this include: the extreme heat, an increase in domestic violence, more mouths to feed because children are out of school and loss of jobs. We turn no one away – and we want to try and keep it that way. Visit your favorite radios stations’ websites or go to sohmission.org to help us make this a Summer of Hope for Houston’s homeless.
I have been a volunteer at the Star of Hope Women & Family Emergency Shelter for almost a year. I am going to tell you how I came to Star of Hope.
My husband and I lived in Singapore for 5 years and were relocated to the Houston area. My 4 children were all grown and I wasn't sure about what to do with the next chapter in my life. I prayed that God would show me what to do. My focus came from Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God."
After reading about SOH, I donated for holiday meals and different needs they had, but didn't think much more about it. I prayed for 2 years and then one of my friends loaned me a book Same Kind of Different as Me. It was like God slapped me up side of the head. This is it! So, I contacted SOH and here I am.
I volunteer 2 days a week and absolutely love it. The employees are so sincere and loving with the guests. We have some pretty amazing guests as well! They come from all walks of life, but at the end of the day they all have one thing in common and that is that they are God's children and our brothers and sisters through Christ. We all need help at different times in our lives...so until my next post... take care and God bless.
Star of Hope Volunteer
by Scott Arthur
Eleven Houston Area Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants will collect diapers for Star of Hope’s toddlers the weekend of March 24-25. The popular sports-themed eatery is calling the 2012 diaper drive “Homeless Babies – Help Us Cover Their End Zone.”
Cathy Camp, Regional Marketing Director for the chain, has announced that locations in Spring, Wallisville, Cypress, Rosenberg, Conroe, Richmond, Victoria, Tomball, Baytown, Lufkin and Katy will be participating. “We love the work that Star of Hope does for homeless men, women and children. Last year the organization put 55,000 diapers on little homeless bottoms – we want to do our part to help the babies, who are just innocent victims.” she said.
Selected locations already have donation boxes set up and will collect diapers of all sizes through Sunday, March 25.
The first pic is from many years ago and the second is more current! The parallels touched my heart in that, while years have passed, there are still the less fortunate in our city, who really need our help. Every day, Star of Hope helps over 1,000 persons, about 1/3 are children. The more I work in this homeless Christian Ministry in Houston, the more I am concerned for the children, the next generation. Last night the Star of Hope Women and Family Emergency Shelter on Dowling had 63 persons sleep on a pallet on the floor because the 74 rooms were filled! Please pray for these persons, that they will find their way in our world! If you can help, you can donate today. Also, you can find out how you can volunteer, and learn more about homelessness in our city!
Thanks for your prayers. They become the catalyst for life change! God bless.
BTW, don’t miss our annual banquet, February 2nd, at the Hilton Americas. It will be a great night to learn more about Houston’s homeless! Make reservations now and bring a friend or neighbor, or both!
May God richly bless you and your family during this Season of Thankfulness!
Discover ways to give and help Houston's homeless with Star of Hope Mission.
Visit Donation Opportunities Houston.
There are only a few weeks now until Thanksgiving and whatever plans we are making, they most certainly will include a gathering event focused on food! Fortunately for most of us, we’ve never really had to wonder where our next meal, or our Thanksgiving meal, was coming from.
Recently, a mother and her three teenage children staying at our Women and Family Emergency Shelter expressed deep gratitude for the meals provided by our generous supporters. She was moved to tears when talking about the compassionate care they were receiving at our Shelter.
She told us that before coming to Star of Hope, they were literally starving. One night, her three children shared one can of tuna fish, while she had to go without food. They decided to come for help, and she was so grateful to have good food for her kids and herself!
This Thanksgiving…when you pray the Lord’s Prayer and ask God to give you your daily bread, why not also include a prayer for families who you are helping feed during this holiday season? You can make a tremendous difference in the lives of families like this mom and her three teens, by giving what you can to provide meals to them.
Every year at this time, we are amazed and humbled to see how God uses so many of us in our community to come together to feed and care for our neighbors in need. Join us now, by making a gift and include them in your hearts and prayers during the Thanksgiving holidays.
Blessings to you and yours this Thanksgiving!
Visit Food Donation Houston.
Thanksgiving is a time we all count our blessings, and I want you to know that hundreds of Star of Hope’s residents and graduates are thanking God for you!
In our special Thanksgiving edition of The Light, we’ve included some heartfelt thank-yous from three ladies whose lives were completely transformed by the food, shelter, spiritual support and long-term care you help provide . . . like Michelle.
Michelle arrived at Star of Hope in deep grief after the loss of her mother. For a while, she’d tried to “medicate” that grief with addiction, but she knew that could only lead to more heartbreak, so she humbly asked for help at our Women & Family Emergency Shelter downtown.
With homelessness on the rise among Houston families, we didn’t have a room for her right away, but Michelle was grateful just to sleep on a clean “overflow” mat for a few days. She knew it was the first step to stability. You won’t want to miss her inspiring words about her journey . . . or the other stories and photos of lives you’ve changed.
Thank you for being part of stories like Michelle’s through your ongoing support and prayers. These are difficult days for many in our city, and your help really matters!
Discover ways to give with Star of Hope Mission.
Visit Donating to Charitable Organizations Houston.
I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that every day now, we are confronted with a new, major crisis in our world. Here at home in Houston, we have all dealt with the excruciating heat and lack of rain for four or five months now. Texas wildfires are all around us, forcing hundreds from their homes and destroying their property.
For thousands in Houston, the severe weather and drought along with economic or domestic crises, have driven them to homelessness this year. Star of Hope has been here….serving already this year over 1,000 MORE men, women & children who have become homeless than we did last year.
Sometimes life’s greatest blessings rise out of tears, and for many we have served this year, God’s blessings have poured down in their lives, even though the rains for Houston have not. When we go through a period of great loss, we all tend to stop in our tracks, paralyzed and unable to move. Many of us LOOK UP in such times, to seek God’s face once again. True life change happens when we confront our past head on, confess our sins, and seek God’s help and guidance once again in our lives.
2 Chronicles 7:13-14 tells us clearly God’s requirements for blessings: Humility, Prayer, Devotion, and yes, Repentance. I believe with all my heart that the miraculous life change we see every day at Star of Hope comes from true humility and repentance before the Living God, who is still in the forgiving and healing business, thankfully!
Roberto’s story is a wonderful example of this:
We invite you to Save the Date: February 2, 2012, for the 2012 Star of Hope Banquet – Above All. Plan to come and celebrate with us what God is doing in lives that were parched and dry, and have found His Blessings once again. Join us for one of the greatest Christian celebrations held in Houston each year, as we celebrate God’s great Work in the lives of so many in our city!
Star of Hope Mission - Houston Homeless Shelter
Discover ways to give at Donation Opportunities Houston
This exciting plan is set to the backdrop of ever growing homelessness in Houston. We are now experiencing as a community our 3rd year of record, serious overflow at our Women & Family Emergency Shelter at 419 Dowling, and something must be done! Our city, state, federal budgets are strapped and doing all they can, and we already work closely with over 100 health, housing, recovery, education, job training, and independent living partners in our city. VISION 2015 will take us to the next step.
It’s important to remember WHY we should serve those who have lost their way. God’s Word, in Jesus’ own words, teaches us in Matthew 25:31-40 that it is our duty and calling to love, feed, clothe and care for those in need, and in so doing, we are serving Christ himself. In our service, He changes lives! Watch this video of how a family has been restored; I know you’ll be as moved as I was:
And thanks to Bryan Bullington of the Pearland Chick-fil-A for hosting a donations drive and outdoor event at his store earlier this month.
If you want to serve on a long term basis, there is no better way than making a Legacy Gift to the Star of Hope. We all need to plan for our financial futures, and as you do, we want to invite you to consider including the Star of Hope in your estate plans. In this way, you can leave a lasting "Legacy of Hope" Gift to help accomplish the work Christ commanded us to do, for years to come.
If you’re interested in learning more, we have a new website with a WILLS PLANNER for your use. Visit sohlegacy.org. Review the various topics there, and click: “Plan Your Will” to get started. Also, we are having our 2nd Annual Planned Giving Advisory Council Luncheon coming up September 13th. Get more information and register today for this complimentary and informative luncheon. We hope to see you there!
The only place for them was on the floor on a mat, but they were grateful and came anyway. Thirty five families with their 55 children and 51 single women all came needing safety from the city streets and the heat. Can you imagine if the best thing in your day is finding a mat on the floor in a homeless shelter?
Well, they came to the right place! They are safe, loved, fed nutritious meals, had a bath and received new clothes (if they needed them)… even a toy or a book for their children. And today they will find a listening ear and a welcoming staff who will help them stabilize from their trauma, receive medical attention through the on-site Harris County Hospital Clinic… and as a private room opens up, a modest room for them and for their family.
Most importantly, we will help them to look UP and to hear once again something they haven’t heard or believed in many years… the truth that God loves them and has a very special plan for their lives. Only He can forgive their past, heal their heart’s wounds and bring light and joy back into their lives!
A former guest of Star of Hope posted on our Facebook Wall last week: “I am so grateful not to be sleeping on that floor tonight, but I am also so grateful that floor was there for me to sleep on at the beginning of my journey to recovery.” Watch this video from KHOU News 11 to see what inspired this comment.
Within the next few days of their stay with us each adult will be helped to evaluate their situation, develop a plan for this week… then next week, then for the month to come. They will be counseled for personal needs, their children will have a safe place to play and receive love and encouragement, and help with their own needs in the midst of family homelessness.
Star of Hope’s Women & Family Shelter is the largest emergency facility in Houston serving families and single women in our five county area who have become homeless. We try not to ever turn anyone away. For two years now, the shelter has functioned at near capacity every night, and has experienced significant winter and summer peak overflow needs. Last night was the highest night of need on record. We are working on broader solutions to the growing issue of homelessness in our city, and our vision is to grow from serving 1,000 homeless people per day as we do now, to serving 2,000 per day, by 2015.
Want to help? You’ll be glad you did!
Give today at Supporting Houston Homeless Shelters
So what is Star of Hope doing about it? A LOT! This past Friday, we launched our SUMMER OF HOPE Initiative, to lead our community in reaching out and serving those who are homeless, so that we TOGETHER help them get back on their feet. Last year, Star of Hope served over 6,500 individuals during the year, about half the daily number we have today, at a rate of 1,000 people served per day. And this year so far, we have already served almost 30% MORE individuals and families who have come for help.
Star of Hope Mission has always sought to provide not just safe shelter, but proven programs all around our city, to help those who have lost it all, to find HOPE and a reason to live once again, to feel God’s love in their lives, and to once again achieve successful, independent living as productive citizens.
YOU can help us with your ONLINE GIFT right now, as we mobilize key initiatives to beat the heat and serve those on our streets!
Star of Hope’s “Love In Action Van” continues with additional daily routes around the city to distribute cold water and encouragement to street homeless, and transportation to Star of Hope for shelter. And we thank the I Am Waters Foundation for providing the 2,834 cases of water this will require.
As these come in for services, Star of Hope’s Program and Referral Staff are busier than ever serving this 30% larger population, helping them:
- meet their immediate needs
- get medical and family services partner referrals
- work through issues to restore their lives, income and a place to live
Can you help us today, with significant increase in needs in Houston this summer? Summer is when we need your help most, with the extra expenses of 300 children home from school we serve each day, and so many more adults needing help... all at a time when our donations are at an annual low due to summertime.
Most importantly, please keep us and all of these who come in your prayers. And make this a summer someone will remember as their SUMMER OF HOPE!!
OF THE LEAST OF THESE BROTHERS OF MINE, YOU DID FOR ME.”
-- spoken by Jesus Christ, as recorded in Matthew 25:40
I am very confident in saying that 90% of the world’s most passionate and hopeful people are 25 years and younger. Look at college campuses during a presidential election year or the energy of a high school pep-rally. Revolutions are started by young people who have heard their parents talk about tyranny for a life time and have the hope and courage to start change. Here, at Star of Hope young adults are leading the way in fighting against poverty, abuse, addiction and homelessness with Star of Hope.
If your cynical side is throwing thoughts around your brain like young adults haven’t become jaded from world experiences or they are too naïve to realize the world is unchangeable, silence it. “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa. Wake up Houston and do a small thing with great love. Follow the example of the teens across Houston.
Here are a couple of examples:
Boy Scout Troop 924’s David Reeves delivered with his father, Rick Reeves, 11 well crafted, handmade benches. David had independently contacted a representative at Star of Hope about a service project, he then independently arranged for a group of Boy Scouts to construct the benches and he then personally delivered them. These benches will serve as a great resting spot for mothers and fathers to sit as their kids take advantage of the spring sunshine.
Every Wednesday from 11:30 – 12:45 Heidi Hartung, Chloe Espenan, Anna Buvens, Sahar Yazdanfard and Katy Wefelmeyer from Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart walk into Star of Hope Women and Family Emergency Shelter as if they are employees. They go straight to the kitchen was their hands, put on their apron and hairnets, and start serving lunch to the Star of Hope clients. After volunteering once a week for almost 8 months they practically are employees.
These young adults are doing what they can passionately and are making a difference by helping non profit organizations in Houston. On behalf of Star of Hope I would like to thank them for their passion and hope that blesses and inspires their community!
If you are interested in donating time or money to charitable organizations Houston, Star of Hope Mission has many opportunities!
Last year, 8.774 men, women and families served 31,892 hours. 128 individuals donated 13,601 hours of specialized skills - and that saved Star of Hope $466,000!
Volunteers are part of our foundation. They save us time and money and set good examples and create good will. From individuals to church projects and corporate outreaches, we are blessed with people who are in the habit of donating to charitable organizations. If you are one of them - on behalf of 200 employees and thousands of homeless men, women and children, thank you.
If you've never volunteered, there's no better time like the present. The very fact that you thought about helping your fellow man makes you qualified. Contact us at 713-748-0700 and we'll show you the way. And - thanks in advance.
For more information on helping the homeless with Star of Hope Mission go to
Supporting Homeless Shelters Houston.
Star of Hope can’t save the world, but it can give Houston’s Homeless men, women and children some healthy consistencies no matter what stage of life they are in. Most importantly Star of Hope teaches its clients they are valued and after their time here how to create stability making hope a reality.
Last week I had the privilege to talk with an amazing Star of Hope Virtual Volunteer. Her spirit is as beautiful and unique as she is. She is vulnerable. She is strong. She is courageous. Zan grew up in an inconsistent home environment living with several different family members during varying stages of her life. At age 17 she found herself homeless with a new born son. Desiring more consistency for her son than she was able to give she sent him to live with other members of her family.
Zan personally continued wandering in and out of homelessness into her 20’s. I wish I could tell you that she found Star of Hope early on and everything changed…forever. I wish I could tell you that we made a difference in her life or that I made a difference in her life. However, nothing I did nor did anything I am affiliated with change Zan’s life. Zan did not find Star of Hope when she needed us most. She had to seek self soothing and self guidance and in turn her life lessons were learned by trial and error. Zan did the best she could to establish consistency in her life all by herself.
Today, Zan’s life like mine is far from perfect, but you can clearly see God’s redemptive love in her story. Through, this faith and courage God has taught her to give back to her community in whatever way she can. Zan lovingly shares with others via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn that they do not have to go through homelessness, abuse, addiction all alone. They can find value and love at Star of Hope. Zan advocates for Star of Hope… all hours of the day and night…and she makes a difference by sharing what an amazing nonprofit Houston has! Zan knows how helpful it would have been to have had a solid place like “ Star of Hope Mission” included in her story early on.
Zan , thank you for giving hope to others.
So, many people think they have to wait until their life looks perfect to give back to their community. They wait until they have the right amount in their savings account or until they have 3 hours to give instead of 15 minutes. Star of Hope is asking you where you are to make a difference and together we will watch God bless your offering. Whether, it is a prayer, joining Star of Hope on Facebook, working in the kitchen, donating 50 cents together, we can give Houston Homeless a consistent environment where there is no question if they are fed, loved and valued.
Together, wherever you are in life let's show Houston Homeless they do not have to do this alone. We are here for them with Men and Women Drug Rehab Centers, Battered Women Shelters, Childcare facilities and Soup Kitchens. Refuse to let one person be forgotten.
Visit Volunteer Jobs Houston to get started today!
by Scott Arthur
In the local version, Dana and her camera crew went to a Houston Emergency Shelter - the Star of Hope Women & Family Emergency Shelter. Under the guise of taping a program called "a day in the life of a DJ" Dana joined volunteers preparing and serving lunch for about 100 homeless women and children. A few hours later - as the staff was cleaning up - Dana announced that she was so taken by the hard work and dedication of the volunteers that she felt compelled to help out financially as well. She then presented Star of Hope with a $2500 check from the ABC Network.
Watch the "final cut' of this great video:
Sometimes, I get a chance to get out of my normal day to day IT world and get to help out on video. A few months back one of our wonderful donors/volunteers, Cookie Joe, and her business partner, Tran Pham Rich , (owners of Cookie Joe's School of Dancin' located in Sugar Land, Texas) donated the money to rebuild and equip our intake center at the Women & Family Emergency Shelter. The name of the intake center is Place of Grace and one of the new features is a large flat screen television that families and homeless ladies, who are seeking services can sit and watch. The television is there to show the potential guests all the many programs and services that Star of Hope Mission offers to help them understand who we are and how much we want to help them.
Yesterday, after completing a video compilation of various elements I took the DVD over to test and play it for the first time at Place of Grace. I was joined by a homeless lady who I did not think was paying any attention to the video. She, like countless others, was just looking for a place that would take her in and give her some relief from the Houston streets. As the video progressed through all the various ministries of Star of Hope , she looked over at me and said that she had no idea that Star of Hope did so many things. I sat and explained a few details to her about what she had seen, all the while hoping she was inspired to become a part of the Star of Hope family and be a life changed, a life restored.
Learn more about Star of Hope and Philanthropy Opportunities Houston.