National Charity League-Heart of Texas

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 When mothers and daughters decide to throw a party for our clients, they do it up right.  On a recent Saturday afternoon, dozens of moms and their teen girls treated our ladies to a pizza party, serving up pizza, party favors and great conversation.  They were from the Heart of Texas Chapter of the National Charity League, organization that recently chose The Women’s Home as one of a select group of local charities to give back to. The National Charity League’s mission is to provide mothers and daughters the opportunity to bond while also giving back to their communities and becoming well-rounded socially aware members of society. This is the first time NCL has partnered with our Home.  The team not only served up food, they also received a personalized tour of our residential campus.  During the pizza party, clients also heard from an NCL member, who gave tips on interviewing for the right job.  We are honored to have NCL as part of our new network of friends, and we look forward to continuing to working together!


Afternoon Tea with Authors of Substance

Woman of Substance Invite

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 SubstanceHold 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.

If you would like to spend an afternoon in company and conversation with two accomplished women of substance in support of The Women’s Home, click here to purchase your tickets.

Giving Houston a Reason to Run

Chevron Marathon COllage 15

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!


Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Gets Involved at The Cottage Shop

Houston Cougar Pros

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.



Introducing Cheri Barton!

cheri barton

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.


Get Into the Swing of Spring

Golf Tournament

From Left to Right: Kay and Rene Joyce

Get into the swing of things with The Women’s Home Men’s & Women’s Invitational Golf Tournament Monday April 6, 2015.  Hosted at the prestigious Champions Golf Club, with a golf clinic featuring Nancy Lopez, long time Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour member with over 48 wins under her belt. In addition to leading the golf clinic, Nancy will help players get the most out of their game, offering tips, demonstrating their skills and assuring a knock out day of golf for everyone.

Registration and lunch begin at 10:00 with the shotgun start sending things into full swing at noon. After a long day of friendly competition, golfers can kick back and enjoy fanciful food and libations while bidding on silent auction items at the 19th Hole at Champions! The Women’s Home still has opportunities for underwriters to support the tournament while enjoying special rewards for their support. The sponsorship levels include:

$25,000 Hole-in-One

Includes 3 foursomes (12 players), 16 tickets to Tournament Awards Dinner and Auction, seating at dinner with celebrity pro, signage at the event, listing in all printed materials.

$15,000 Double Eagle

Includes 2 foursomes (8 players), 16 tickets to Tournament Awards Dinner and Auction, seating at dinner with a celebrity pro, signage at the event, listing in all printed materials.

$10,000 Eagle

Includes 2 foursomes (8 players), 8 tickets to Tournament Awards Dinner and Auction, seating at dinner with a celebrity pro, signage at the event, listing in all printed materials.

$5,000 Birdie

Includes 1 foursome (4 players), 8 tickets to Tournament Awards Dinner and Auction, signage at the event, listing in all printed materials.

$3,000 Par

Includes 1 foursome (4 players), 4 tickets to Tournament Awards Dinner and Auction, signage at the event, listing in all printed materials.

Don’t miss your chance to join in the fun!


Creative Healing

Patti D

Sometimes a creative outlet opens the doorway not only to our imagination, but to healing from past traumas. Patti Sue Dumas, a graduate of The Women’s Home and resident of Jane Cizik Garden Place turned to writing in the face of loss and grief. Picking up the pen felt like stepping into her purpose. Raised in a bookworm family, Patti Sue was never a stranger to writing, her first publication came in junior high school in a teacher’s magazine. It wasn’t until she moved to Jane Cizik Garden Place that Patti Sue flourished as a writer. She keeps hard copies of her work, including pieces she wrote while she went through our treatment program catalogued in binders on her bookshelves.

Her home computer, which she received as an unexpected but fervently hoped for donation, serves as her daily writing station. Patti Sue feels the computer came as an answer to her prayers for a writing computer and so the machine is dedicated solely to her work. Emails, internet searches and all other computer needs she takes care of in the community computer lab. Since March 2014, she has written over 40 pieces. Though Patti Sue has written prolifically, most of her work remains private as she works to build a manuscript.

The loss of her uncle this past March became the catalyst that rekindled Patti Sue’s passion for writing. Committing her feelings to paper allows Patti Sue to process the grief of loss, it is a chance to be heard without receiving an immediate response. Writing gives Patti Sue a confidence in her voice and thoughts that speaking off the cuff does not, the ability to revise, to go back and choose the perfect words for her message allows her to express herself in a new way. Patti Sue has no trepidation performing, having sung and spoken pieces she’s written with little notice. She and a friend were attending a pastor’s retirement dinner and when the speaker invited attendees to say a few words, Patti Sue’s off-handed mention of a perfect song had her friend arranging musical accompaniment. After her performance her friend complimented Patti Sue on her lack of nerves. The preparation Patti Sue puts into her work in private empowers her to share in public.

Though her narratives are fictional, the emotions behind them are Patti Sue’s own and seeing people moved by her work when they laugh, or cry and when they lean in anticipating the next turn. Seeing her audience become engrossed in her words means seeing a group of people care about what she has to say.

Though Patti Sue’s writing often focuses on heavy subjects such as death or illness, her stories hinge on the belief that even in painful times there is hope. “I want to give hope to the wounded. It is my belief that if a woman is only able to help one person in her lifetime…she has lived a life of success.” That one person could be Patti Sue herself. “I know my writing has changed my life for the better. That is the most important thing.”

Crawfish Boil Kick Off

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The coldest night this winter couldn’t stop our Crawfish Boil Kick-off. Thursday January 7 our host committee, chaired by Will Chang, Rachel and Alex Lopez, and Stephanie McGraw, met at Café 4212 to kick planning into high gear for our 5th Annual Crawfish Boil this spring. The gathering saw familiar faces who have worked with The Women’s Home for years as well as some newly involved members impassioned about our mission. After a brief overview of the Crawfish Boil’s previous years and The Home’s mission from staff, the event chairs led a brainstorming session on how to blow last year’s event out of the water. The event chairs discussed promotional planning to help reach even more of Houston, preparation for this year’s silent auction, and networking with event sponsors. A backdrop of Zydeco music and spicy boiled shrimp helped the planning committee get into the crawfish spirit.

This year’s crawfish boil will return to the West Alabama Ice House on Saturday, March 28, 2015 for a day of good food, live music, fun and games in support of The Women’s Home and our residents. Last year’s Crawfish Boil saw over 550 guests and organizers this year are expecting more than 600 attendees. Kick off the spring of 2015 with a good time in good company for a great cause at our 5th Annual Crawfish Boil.

If you’re interested in helping make the fun happen, contact our Young Professionals’ Staff Liaison Bethany Fields about joining the Host Committee at

The Cottage Shop Selected to Participate in Action Learning Project

Action Learnign Project 1-22-13We are excited to announce that The Women’s Home Cottage Shop was selected to participate in Rice University Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business “Action Learning Project” for 2013. The Action Learning Project is a thirteen-week team consultation that enables organizations to develop or improve a business process, problems, or issues.

Within the few last years, The Cottage Shop has continually increased it revenue and contributes nearly 25% of the Home’s operating income. This is a great accomplishment for the organizations. It’s our desire to continue and exceed this growth in the upcoming years. In partnering with the Action Learning Project a team of bright MBA students will assess the current operations and procedures of the Cottage Shop in efforts to develop an overall program that will double the revenue by year 2014.

Participation in this project will afford The Home an opportunity to better serve its clients and expand its services offered to the community.