July 2012 Newsletter

Empowering Families To Help Themselves





A Word From Rev. Leslie Smith II

As I prepared for my visit to Haiti, I took a moment to reflect on the struggles and the quality of life that the Haitian children experience. There are approximately 380K children living in orphanages and group homes who are in need of love, care, support, mentoring, families and hope. It made me think about the children right here in Houston, many of them are similar to the children in Haiti; in desperate need of the very same things that many of us take for granted on a daily basis.   Too many of our communities are plagued with poverty, brokenness, addictions, drugs, gangs, graffiti and violence; which is directly affecting our kids as they are learning and accepting criminal activity to be the norm for our city and a way of life for them. This is so alarming to me because Texas has the second-highest birth rate in the nation and unfortunately, more than 25 percent of these children live in poverty. These numbers speak volumes and I am pricked in my heart to do all that I can for the sake of a better future for our children, grandchildren, neighbors, city and community as a whole.  Without proper services, these impoverished children will be uneducated and unprepared to be productive members of society.  I believe that Texans have two choices: take action to meet more children’s needs today, or experience a bleaker future for failing our children tomorrow. It is my dream and desire to reach out to each and every child to enable them to receive the support that they desperately need and deserve. I am a firm believer that services and programs supporting children are beneficial and imperative because they prevent the need of more costly services down the road and make our society a safer place to live.  As we continue to make “change happen” in the lives of others, I ask that you join me on this journey of making a difference. Give of your time or resources to changing the future of a child. 



Welcome Newest Board Member – Kristyn Page

Kristyn Page is the Director of Diversity Strategies and External Affairs for Macy’s Department stores in Houston.  Kristyn is charged with strategizing and executing the diversity strategy for the entire country with a special focus on the Texas market.  She has over 20 years of diversity and retail marketing experience. Change Happens! welcomes her and we are very excited to have her on the Board of Directors. 



Change Happens! School Uniform/Supply Drive

Back to school is quickly approaching. This is the time of year to purchase school supplies and uniforms. Unfortunately, there are a lot of families in the Houston area that are unable to afford to purchase these items for their children. Therefore; Change Happens! has set a goal to help as many children as possible with school supplies and uniforms. We are asking that you assist us with our endeavors.

$25 will sponsor one child


Help support School Uniform / Supply Drive by making a donation and spreading the word for others to help. 

Please make Online donations during July 16 – August 15 

  Click here to make a secure online donation to our School Uniform/Supply Drive 


**Please type “school supplies” in the comments section of the online donation page.   

100% tax-deductible   



Change Happens! Community Resource Center

Change Happens! “Community Resource Center” provides computer access, technical training, and resume assistance to individuals within the community. It was developed to meet the needs of low income families that cannot afford computers. Comerica Bank provided funding for this state of the art facility that is outfitted with computers, unlimited internet access, copiers, and a host of the latest office equipment . This hub will make change happen by offering tools that could potentially bolster employment, cut dropout rates, and build skill sets to promote job readiness. Thank you Comerica for helping us to make “change happen” by investing in the community’s economic future.



Career’s At-A-Glance Program ~ Colliers International

Change Happens! Career’s At-A-Glance Program is designed to help develop “employ-ability” for young people. This requires early ongoing efforts to help them learn about themselves, expand their knowledge of options available, and set and achieve their employment goals. Youth should be given opportunities and encouragement to think about the types of jobs they might enjoy doing. At the same time, they need to visit workplaces where they can observe and interact with adults to help them form realistic ideas about what it’s like to work. Those visits may also pique new interests. The youth in the Change Happens! summer program had the opportunity to tour and learn about commercial real estate at Colliers International. The staff at Colliers International were very informative and did a great job with the youth.  Thank you very much for your support!




Change Happens! Kick Butt Campaign

Kick Butts Day is a national campaign focused on empowering youth to speak out against tobacco use. According to the World Health Organization, a majority of smokers begin using tobacco before 18 years of age. Exposure during this critical time in body development causes both physical and psychological damage. Not only does lung function immediately decline, but youth are at a higher risk for nicotine addiction. Change Happens! Rescue Youth School Based Program spent the afternoon cleaning Emancipation Park to remove cigarette butts and trash. We would like to give a HUGE thank you to all of our volunteers that helped to make this day a great success!  Take a moment to view their video on YouTube.

http://lnkd.in/6ek9MM (Click on link to play video)




Change Happens! First Mentoring Training Session

Over 30 volunteer mentors gathered for an informative orientation held for Change Happens! Youth CAN Mentor Program. The overall goal of the program is to match youth in confinement with a caring adult mentor that will help facilitate their successful reintegration into the community, thereby reducing recidivism, enhancing safety and community capacity. The ultimate goals of Youth CAN are to restore, empower, and assist these young people age 10 -17 with re-assimilation into society as upstanding citizens. Change Happens! understand the exacerbating factors associated with juvenile offenses such as poverty, poor parent child relationship, and even poor school performance. As a result, we are committed to recruiting focused and passionate mentors that are equipped to make change happen. If you have a genuine interest and concern for youth, at least 21 years of age, and willing to commit 4 hours per month for one year to mentoring you have what it takes to make a difference. Contact 713-374-1200 or visit www.changehappenstx.org for more information.


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