Houston Children’s Charity is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for Greater Houston’s underprivileged, abused and disabled children who have been otherwise left behind. The scope of our support is limited only by the availability of resources. Our goal is to leave no legitimate request for assistance unanswered.
It all began as a fundraiser for Lara Ward’s own children’s school – five bucks a head for a spaghetti dinner in the high school gym of a private Christian school. Over forty-million dollars and thirty years later, her drive to help children in need ranks her among the top Executive Directors of children’s charities.
Over the past 19 years, through an array of capital and operating support, HCC has provided program services for over 300 agencies and more than 1,000,000 children. In addition, the Becker Emergency Fund has provided over $100,000 to assist families in an emergency crisis situation.
Through our “Chariots for Children,” we provide special purpose vehicles used to deliver mobility freedom not otherwise available. This program is dedicated to providing specifically designed handicapped accessible vans to families and equipped transportation to organizations with a similar mission. Including our 2015 van recipients, HCC has awarded 89 passenger vans, 28 handicapped accessible vehicles, 3 box trucks, 1 car and 2 vehicle modifications to 93 agencies and 28 individual families.
In 2001, Houston Children’s Charity introduced the “Limbs for Life” program. This platform provides myoelectric and body powered prosthetic devices at no charge to families with children who have tragically suffered the loss of limbs. Fitting these children with prosthetic limbs as soon as possible after traumatic amputations or injuries helps them to reclaim their lives.
Thanks to the generosity of our many supporters, scholarships are being provided to enable underprivileged youth to attend college, potentially breaking the cycle of poverty in their families. HCC has awarded scholarships, totaling $240,000, to deserving Houston area students through the Houston Children’s Charity Scholarship Fund.
In 2006, Houston Children’s Charity has pledged a gift in the amount of $1,000,000 to establish the “Houston Children’s Charity Family Emergency Fund at Texas Children’s Cancer Center.” This fund is used exclusively for the fulfillment of the needs of the children and the families of children under treatment in Texas Children’s Cancer Center.
The doors opened to the “HCC Closet ” with GREAT success. Appointments are made giving clients an opportunity to “shop with dignity” in the boutique-styled rooms while selecting items for each and every member of their family. The unique and special feature of the “HCC Closet” is that all donated items are provided at absolutely no cost to our clients.
The ever-growing list of essential supplies needed for academic excellence should not leave families struggling. Our “Back2School” program provides school-aged children with a foundation ready for great accomplishments. Overall, this annual project has helped more than 19,000 children. We believe that ALL children should walk into school on Day One with a backpack and basic supplies ready to expand their knowledge and pave their road to success.
Too many of Houston’s children do not have beds and are sleeping on the floor. An opportunity for “A Better Night’s Sleep” is provided through our monthly bed distributions. Through this program every child’s opportunity to sweet dreams starts with a twin mattress set, bed frame, sheets, pillow and blanket. To date, HCC has provided over 6,800 beds to children.
In 2010, Houston broke the 1980 record of 32 days over 100° temperatures and ended up with 46 days over that 100° mark. Can you imagine spending 46 days in that kind of heat without an air conditioner? In 2011, out of need in our community, HCC launched “Kool Kidz.” Many families don’t have an air conditioner and with our Houston summers it can be brutal. This program has allowed 98 families the opportunity to stay cool during the hottest months of the year.
Each year, during our annual Easter and Christmas Parties, Christmas Toy Distributions, Adopt-A-Family programs, the greater Houston areas underserved get to experience some of the joys of life. Along with these events, additional Sports Outings and Cultural Event, help disadvantaged children expand their horizons. Helping the children of our community provides a positive outlook on their futures and the future of our community.
We are making progress, assisting one child at a time, and measure our success by the number of children’s lives that are touched. Houston Children’s Charity benefits from a steadfast Executive Director and a “hands on” Board of Directors that carefully decide how to efficiently and effectively meet children’s needs.
Our supporters come from all walks of life. They are people who understand that caring means giving of themselves. You will often see members of the Board of Directors, which provide over 40% of the total funding, working hand-in-hand among volunteers chaperoning children at our Annual Children’s Events. More often than not, our volunteers feel they receive much more than they give. Thank you for your generosity over the past 19 years at each event. We could not do it without your help!
Remember our goal is to leave no legitimate request for assistance unanswered. We are always seeing an ever-broadening base of support, dedicated sponsors and committed volunteers to expand our ability to help children. There are numerous avenues of participation available for any individual or corporation willing to provide resources to assist children. HCC measures success by the number of children’s lives that are touched, and that is dependent upon how many of you, as individuals or companies, are willing to give of your resources, talents and time. We thank you and look forward to many more years to bettering our community.