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UCSC Donation Drive

UCSC Donation Drive
Photo left to right: Leanne Doringo, Trudy Ludwig, Jessica Curtis, Lexie Campbell, Minjon Drake and Abigail Betner

In December, the University Classified Staff Council (UCSC) sponsored a holiday drive with The Houston Area Women’s Center (HAWC) to collect donations and purchase wish list items from their Amazon wish list. HAWC serves thousands of women, children and families each year escaping domestic violence, sexual assault or sex trafficking. They help survivors transform their lives, free from violence. UCSC hoped to assist HAWC with their mission by purchasing items and making donations so families could experience happy holidays even while receiving services from HAWC. We are happy to report that the classified staff members of UTHealth Houston did not disappoint!

Trudy Ludwig, UCSC chair, commented on the success of the event: “It was a privilege and honor to work with the Houston Area Women’s Center as a sponsor for their Holiday Gift Express. And, also a pure joy for me to get a look ‘behind the curtain’ and see the great things they are doing at their organization to serve the community. UTHealth Houston came together to focus on giving back and truly went above and beyond with its level of generosity. The UCSC united for an amazing cause and we were glad to provide donations and time that show we care for families in need. I want to say thank you to everyone that donated and contributed to the success of the event!”

The Houston Area Women’s Center Donation Drive ran from December 5, 2022 – December 16, 2022. Since this donation drive was different than what has been done in years past and items were shipped directly to the location designated by HAWC we were not in need of a ton space or volunteers to collect and load up the items. However, we needed to provide some assistance in the form of volunteers to head to the HAWC headquarters to go through the items and get them organized so that HAWC clients could “shop” for their families.

Due to the confidentiality and private location, UCSC was only able to send six volunteers to the HAWC facilities. The members that were able to attend got a tour of the facilities and then helped organize the outpouring of donations received from UTHealth Houston and the community at large to create an easy and efficient shopping experience for HAWC clients.

Leanne Doringo, clinical educator at McGovern Medical School, weighed in as one of the volunteers: “The Houston Area Women’s Center was an eye opening experience.  As a mother to three children (13yrs, 11yrs, and 4 yrs), I can relate to how any situation of feeling defeated can overcome a parent’s sense of providing security.  Honorable parents only want to protect and take care of their most precious gift in life – their child(ren).  Safety, stability, the mark of a new beginning…those were some thoughts I had as I walked down the halls.  Let’s start with the countless security measures that are implemented to ensure a safe place.  Routine for the children is also very important.  It was enlightening to see how a school is implemented within the center for all kid ages (pre-K through 12th grade).  We heard from the center’s social worker on what resources they provide to the children.  Also, we met the center’s staff members who assist the women with applying for jobs and provide a private workspace for those mothers who are already working.  Plus, it’s volunteers like us at UTHealth Houston, who want to make a difference with just a few hours out of our day to do what we can.  For us that day, it was folding and organizing clothes for a holiday drive - women would pick out gifts for their children, and the children had the opportunity to pick out gifts for their mothers.  It’s the sense of normalcy that can make a world of a difference, and I’m so honored that we, as a group, had the opportunity to do that! “

Your UCSC thanks you for your support and for being a great community member.

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