Financial assistance

‘Joy of Giving’ event awards funds to Lake Houston area charities

There were tears, laughter and joy, lots of joy in the Magnolia Room at the Clubs of Kingwood on Thursday night as the Kingwood Women’s Club celebrated St Patrick’s Day by donating the green to several area charities.

The women stood and clapped as they listened to a student from Lone Star College-Kingwood who was a grateful recipient of scholarships that were collected and donated by the Women’s Club.

Melanie McCulley was grateful to the club for raising the money and to the college for awarding her the scholarship.

“I had to take out a loan on my 401k to pay for my education because I don’t qualify for financial aid,” she said. “The scholarship helped me, especially during one of my last semesters, which was one of the most expensive, and it covered all of my tuition, which weighed less on me.”

McCulley graduated in December and begins working full-time as a licensed respiratory therapist on March 28 at Texas Children’s Hospital in The Woodlands. The gift and the new job will change his life.

“I brought my daughter with me tonight so she can see all of your wonderful people helping people like me. Thank you so much,” she said.

His was just one of many success stories stemming from the club’s donations to deserving philanthropists.

“Being able to donate $130,000 is truly a joy,” said Kathy Adkins, vice president of ways and means, the organization’s fundraising arm.

“The club started 36 years ago and part of what we do is when we see a need in our community, we as an organization try to do something about it,” he said. she declared.

They are in their 24th year with the annual Holiday Market which has become a huge event in the Humble and Kingwood area.

“We raise well over $100,000 every year and because of that, we’ve topped $1.44 million over the past two decades,” she said.

Club chairman Ellie Csengery was delighted to see so many buyers returning to the popular market after COVID forced them to cancel the event.

“These funds are badly needed in our region and will make a big difference in these difficult times.”

This year they created a second fundraiser, the Mardi Gras Ball. They raised an additional $8,000 with the inaugural ball and added it to coffers for this year’s donations. The event brought together more than 270 people.

The pandemic has reduced the club’s donations and in-person activities over the past two years, but they’ve come back as strong as ever with more than 150 members engaged.

Adkins said each of the members is required to donate at least 50 volunteer hours to their various projects.

“On top of that, we’re all required to work with our fundraising efforts, so everyone is doing something to help out,” Adkins said.

In April new leaders will be elected and after three years Adkins said she would step down from her administrative role with the club.

“I’ve been a member for 27 years and it’s probably one of the best things in my life. I can’t imagine not being with these women. I love them. I love working with them. It’s fun to work with them, to play with them and their hearts are in it,” the vice president said in tears.

At the end of each year, club members go on the annual pilgrimage.

“It’s not religious in nature, but a long weekend that one of our members is planning for fun and fellowship. We kind of congratulate each other for all the hard work we’ve done throughout the year, and that helps bring the members together,” she said.

The last week of March they will pack their bags for New Braunfels where they will stay at the Marriott, dine at the Faust Hotel, do lots of shopping and more.

The main condition of membership? Be ready to come and participate and give back to help the community.

To learn more about the organization and become a member, visit kingwoodwomensclub.org.

They meet at the Kingwood Clubs each month on the third Thursday of the month at 9 am in the Magnolia Room.

Here are the organizations that received funds this year during the “Joy of Giving” event:

Humble Area Helping Ministries or HAAM will use the funds to provide emergency assistance in the form of rent, utilities, food, prescriptions and transportation to those in need; as well as to support the Meals on Wheels program for seniors and cover the costs of a bilingual hospitality specialist.

The Society of Saint Stephens will use the funds to purchase food and provide financial assistance to people facing an emergency financial crisis.

Project mammography will use the funds to pay for free screenings, mammograms, ultrasounds and biopsies for the uninsured or underinsured.

The Lone Star College Foundation will use the funds for scholarships.

Family Time Crisis and Counseling Center will use the funds to support a shelter and support services for abused women and children.

North East Mission will use the funds to purchase food and hygiene items from the Montgomery County Food Bank to help those in need.

Feed my lambs will use the funds to purchase Christmas hampers for residents of an apartment complex that serves the elderly, disabled and needy.

Friends of the Library at Kingwood will use the funds to purchase books and materials for the children’s library collection.

The gathering place will use the funds to help provide respite care and activities for people with memory loss, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke and other disabilities.

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