September 2012 Newsletter







Empowering Families To Help Themselves!

A Word From Rev. Leslie Smith II

September marks the start of National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month and a time for us to encourage our youth to develop healRev on bikethy habits that can last a lifetime. This is the perfect opportunity to set an example for our children by exercising and making healthy choices. It’s no secret that the positive effects of exercise aren’t limited to shaping the body. Studies have shown that in-shape individuals notice an increase in energy, higher self-confidence and a more positive outlook on life. As it turns out, the positive effects of exercise on your personal life will also sharpen mental performance. Exercising frequently is one of the best physical stress-reduction techniques available. Exercise not only improves your health and reduces stress caused by being unfit; it also relaxes tense muscles and helps you to sleep better. There is also evidence that proves physically fit people have less extreme physiological responses when under pressure than those who are not. This means that fit people are more able to handle the long- term effects of stress, without suffering with health conditions or stress- burnout. I have personally committed to riding at least 60 miles per week on my bicycle and I am reaping both the short-term and long term benefits. Now that the hot weather is starting to fade out, make a commitment to start enjoying the outdoors even if it is just walking for 30 minutes per day. Make a “change” today and include exercise in your daily routine. You won’t regret your decision!


Dorothy Ables Serves As Chair of United Way’s 2012-2013 Community Campaign 

Dorothy Ables 

We proudly announce that our longtime champion, Dorothy Ables, is serving as chair of United Way’s 2012-2013 Community Campaign. Dorothy has been a supporter, fundraiser, and most of all, a friend to “Change Happens!” since the early 1990s. United Way is certainly getting the best of the best to lead their campaign.


Dorothy’s initial involvement with “Change Happens!” began when she enlisted the help of the Junior League to provide air conditioners for a youth center in the Third Ward. But that was just the start. Since that time she has continued to graciously lend her skills, time and financial support to our organization. Her efforts have made such a significant impact on the people we help that we created The Dorothy Ables “Making Change Happen” award. This special honor has been presented to several organizations and individuals over the past seven years.


Our CEO and Founder, Leslie Smith II, said, “Dorothy Ables is the epitome of selflessness, the embodiment of dedication, and the very mirror of an outstanding volunteer.” This sentiment perfectly reflects our gratitude and appreciation for Dorothy, and indicates the type of person and leader United Way will have serving as chair for the 2012-2013 Community Campaign.


Comerica Bank Financial Literacy Program 

Vanessa Teaching Lit classTeaching children about financial literacy is very important if you want them to grow up to be financially responsible adults. As parents we all want the best for our children. Vanessa Reed with Comerica Bank taught the youth at Change Happens! how to be financially savvy. The youth engaged in constructive conversations about money matters which will put the children on the path to financial success. The program is designed to help today’s youth avoid a future where they are worried about financial security. The goal of Comerica’s youth financial literacy initiatives is to find ways to help parents, teachers and communities equip children now with the financial knowledge they need to succeed later in life. 

  Kids' U


Change Happens! Rescue Youth Participants Visits Fiesta Mart Corporate Offices  

The youth of the Change Happens! Rescue Youth Program embarked on another venture, visiting the Fiesta Mart corporate office. Our future leaders were given access to learning about the logistics of how a food market is ran on a larger scale. They also had the opportunity to learn about the various departments of Fiesta Mart and how they work together to assure that the people of their local communities maintain access to quality produce and goods. During their visit, the children also learned the most important lesson about the value of giving back to the community. Fiesta Mart is a proud supporter of Change Happens! and their consistent involvement makes them a staple in the community. Change Happens! will continue to do their part to encourage and develop our future leaders to be successful men and women who will have a positive impact in their communities.

Change Happens! Photo Gallery

Special Thanks to

Texas Representative
Carol Alvarado

Rev. Smith & Board Members Carl Kidd & Cynthia Ferrell

Comerica Cares
Rev Irv Anita
Comerica is contributing to GrowSouth.  Special thanks to I. Ashford Jr., P. Faubion and R. Babb

Capital OneFrost BankUnited Health Care
A HUGE Thank you to all of our sponsors (CVS, Capital One, Frost, and United Health Care) that participated in Children’s Health Day!

Congratulations to the Academy of Student Pharmacists

Kwame Brown & Rev Smith with CDC Board Member Larry Hawkins


Thank you Jerome Gray for your continued support.


For sponsorship information or to purchase individual tickets please contact Anita Bates @ 713-374-1291 or

 To make a donation click here