Barbara Taylor Bradford is the bestselling British-American novelist whose career took off in 1979 with her debut novel, A Woman of Substance. She will be coming to Houston, April 8, 2015, for afternoon tea and conversation benefitting The Women’s Home at the Four Seasons alongside author and Congressional Medal of Honor Nominee, Joanne King Herring. This event will be the U.S. premier of Mrs. Bradford’s 2015 novel, The Cavendon Women.
Bradford has written 30 best-selling novels which have sold over 92 million copies across 90 countries in over forty languages. Many of her novels follow the struggles and triumphs of their heroines throughout their lives as they come into their own and prosper in the face of adversity. Ten of her novels, including her first three, A Woman of Substance, Hold the Dream, and To Be the Best have been made into television films and miniseries.
Joanne King Herring, author of Diplomacy and Diamonds: My Wars from the Ballroom to The Battlefield, who was played by Julia Roberts in the film, Charlie Wilson’s War, will also be featured during the tea. Houston born Herring has a long varied career as a humanitarian, socialite, political activist and diplomat and television talk show host.
Sunday, January 18, 2015, thousands of runners gathered at the starting line downtown before the morning light even crested over the buildings. These runners had all trained for months to participate in the Chevron Houston Marathon, and all had their own motivations driving them to the finish line.
Every year as a part of the Chevron Houston Marathon, the Run for a Reason Program helps runners directly raise money for charities. Run for a Reason provides an avenue for race participants, individuals and organizations to collect donations on behalf of an official charity of their choice. It also provides a platform for charities to raise awareness and educate others about their cause. In 2015, Run for a Reason linked 30,000 runners with 60 charities, and this year 29 athletes ran on behalf of The Women’s Home, helping raise nearly $16,000 for our program this marathon season. We’d like especially to thank the Bristow Group Inc. who had 16 runners supporting The Women’s Home.
The Home has been one of Run for a Reason’s benefitting charities since 2011, and the 2014-2015 Marathon season marks the fifth year in a row that the Run for a Reason program has raised over $2 million dollars for the participating charities. Since Run for a Reason began in 1995, runners have raised over $21 billion for various charities. Over $61,729 has been raised for The Women’s Home in the four years since we became a beneficiary of the program.
In addition to having runners on the streets, The Home had volunteers at one of the refueling stations the day of the race. Volunteers from The Home helped runners rehydrate and stay motivated, passing out Gatorade and water while cheering them on as the marathoners went past on mile 9 of the half marathon.
Congratulations and thank you to all the runners who made The Women’s Home their reason to run this marathon season!
A signed photo of the volunteers in The Cottage Shop, sent by The David M. Underwood Chapter of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance
On November 14, 2014, The Cottage Shop had the help of a student group from the University of Houston. The David M. Underwood Chapter of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance helped sort, organize and hang donations to The Cottage Shop. The group is the University of Houston chapter of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, a national network of colleges, universities and nonprofits dedicated to preparing and certifying future nonprofit leaders. Students who participate in the Alliance gain additional training and certification regarding nonprofit work and receive the credential of Certified Nonprofit Professional upon graduating.
The Cottage Shop is a social enterprise which serves as both a training facility for our treatment and transitional housing program residents and as a substantial source of revenue to support our programs. The time and hard work that groups like The David M. Underwood Chapter of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance put into The Cottage Shop help us better serve our residents while providing our community with quality shopping experience.
Thank you to The David M. Underwood Chapter of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, we appreciate the support and service from groups like you.
If you’ve stopped by The Cottage Shop lately, you may have noticed a new face on staff. The Women’s Home is excited to introduce our new Cottage Shop Manager, Cheri Barton. With a background in both fashion merchandising and psychology, Cheri’s rare combination of skills makes her a perfect fit as manager of The Cottage Shop. Raised in St. Louis, Cheri got her Associate in Applied Sciences in Fashion Merchandising from St. Louis Community College, originally intending to be a designer, but found herself drawn instead to the business aspects of what it took to keep a fashion boutique running than what it took to design the latest styles.
It wasn’t until decades later, after she moved to Texas in the early nineties that Cheri went back to school to pursue her other passion, acting as people’s counselling ear. Cheri had always found herself as the confidant and advisor to those who needed someone to listen, whether in her personal or professional life. So she pursued first her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and then her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from University of Texas Pan American. After receiving her Masters and becoming licensed by the state of Texas, Cheri left the retail world to work for a private practice as a therapist. Contract work as a therapist unfortunately didn’t provide the salary a single mother in Harlingen, Texas needed to support her family, and so Cheri returned to retail with a managerial position at Dillard’s.
Ultimately, her work at Dillard’s brought Cheri to Houston, when after her son graduated high school, the retail chain promoted her to a position here in Houston. She discovered The Women’s Home and The Cottage Shop one day while eating at Katz’s and initially worked as a volunteer in The Cottage Shop. Back in Harlingen she had volunteered at Repeat Performance, the resale shop for the Harlingen area Family Crisis Center. Volunteering at both shops allowed Cheri to put over 20 years of retail expertise to good use giving back, so when she heard about the open manager position at The Cottage Shop it felt like an opportunity to use all of her training for a more rewarding career.
“I wanted to work with an organization that helps women, that helps empower women, especially women in need of help.” Cheri says, regarding what drew her to The Women’s Home. In her position as manager, she will not only make sure The Cottage Shop staff have all they need to train our residents and keep the shop running smoothly, but she also acts as the community liaison for the shop, working to build connections with boutique donors and other local businesses. Cheri is excited to join The Women’s Home staff and help support our residents.