Category Archives: Volunteerism

Editor’s Corner: Peace Officers’ Angels Foundation assists injured Texas law enforcement

By Stacey Doud

POAF-LogoThe Police Officers’ Angels Foundation (POAF) is a non -profit organization that “provides emotional support and short-term financial assistance to any Texas Law Enforcement officer following a serious or life changing line-of-duty injury. POAF’s success relies on strong community partnerships standing behind our peace officers and their families,” which is their mission statement.

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Barreda-Alvarado (Photo courtesy of POAF)

Maria Barreda-Alvarado started the Foundation after her son, Corporal Rick Barreda, who served with the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Airport Police Department, was killed in the line of duty on February 14, 1997. A vehicle struck his motorcycle as he sat on the side of the road gauging speeds. Rick also served on the DFW SWAT team and, for a short time, for the DFW Fire Department.

“Our official name is Peace Officers’ Angels Foundation because some folks confuse the word ‘Peace’ with ‘Police.’ We use ‘Peace Officer’ because we also serve our DPS Troopers, Deputies and Sheriffs’ Offices. POAF serves cities, state, and counties,” Barreda-Alvarado said.

In fact, POAF serves all 254 counties in Texas. “We are focused on the smaller cities and towns in Texas – the ones that don’t have support like a 100 Club,” Barreda-Alvarado said. “That doesn’t mean that we won’t help when we can in a big city. We just want to make sure the smaller places are covered, too.”

The POAF relies on memberships and fundraisers to stay afloat. They are hosting their inaugural golf tournament on Monday October 7, 2019 at the Walnut Creek Country Club in Mansfield. They, along with partner TLEOMF (Texas Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund), organize the annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Night at a Texas Rangers game every fall. This year, it will be held on Friday, September 13 at Globe Life Park as the Rangers take on the Oakland Athletics.

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As the last few years have seen a record number of first responder deaths and injuries, the POAF is very busy and is always in need of volunteers and financial support.

For more information or to find out how you can help, visit POAF.org. All donations are tax-deductible and a receipt will be provided.

“No donation is too small to make a difference.” – POAF Motto

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Download the Rangers Flyer Here (.pdf)

Grapevine Chamber is looking for Grapefest Volunteers

GrapeFest

Volunteering at GrapeFest is a blast! 

What a great way to build teamwork and leadership skills, make new contacts and see old friends! The whole community pitches in to make GrapeFest such a success. Invite friends and family to join your crew. 

When: September 14 – 16, 2018

Where: Downtown Grapevine

For more information: Email Mary Jo at maryjo@grapevinechamber.org or call 817-481-1522. 

Available Opportunities:

Concessions Trailer:

  • Thursday, 9/13, 1 PM – 4:45 PM – 4 volunteers
  • Friday, 9/14, 8 PM – 11:45 PM – 6 volunteers
  • Saturday, 9/15, 8 PM – 11:45 PM – 8 volunteers
  • Sunday, 9/16, 2 PM – 6 PM – 6 volunteers

Beer Booths:

  • Sunday, 9/16, 11:45 AM – 3 PM – 4 volunteers
  • Sunday, 9/16, 2:45 – 6 PM – 16 volunteers

Benefits:

  • Free admission to the festival
  • Food from Chamber’s concessions
  • Marketing for your company. Wear company shirts and caps
  • Signage with your company name (must fill all volunteer slots per a shift)
  • Main stage location with great music and crowds

 

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Adult Reading Center Seeks Volunteers for Gala

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CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS!

Our 13th Annual Red Hat Literacy Luncheon is fast approaching on Thursday, March 24th, 2016 and we could use volunteers for our planning committee. For more info, email jessica.peterson@adultreadingcenter.org or call the Center at 281-485-1000.

Pearland Drink Local Needs YOU

PCEFUnfortunately, volunteer turnout has been dismal at best for Pearland Citizens for Economic Freedom. Many people asked to be added to the distribution list and expressed great interest in helping get this measure passed. Folks agree that this law needs to be changed so that Pearland can grow and be on a level with the other cities around Houston. People have said how they wished there was some nightlife here, or how it’d be great to have a Flying Saucer or a wine bar to go to.

However, when asked for real help with collecting signatures, the silence was deafening. We understand that everyone has family obligations, work obligations and are just plain busy, but so are the volunteers that do show up. People have to make the time to get the signatures.

Out of 80 people who have shown interest in volunteering, only about 8 have actually shown up. Furthermore, almost 50 clipboards have been checked out, but not returned. Clipboards may be dropped off at the Chamber of Commerce.
To the volunteers that did show up and continue to show up: THANK YOU! You have come out in good weather and bad. Some of you have been at almost every event. Getting 8,000 signatures is a tremendous undertaking!
 

So here is the bottom line…

There have been a little over 2,000 signatures collected, meaning 6,000 more signatures need to be collected. The deadline is January 10, which is a Sunday. Things look dire, but not impossible.

For folks that have a clipboard, please get out there and fill you sheets then turn them in to get more. Even if a few signatures a day add up quickly!

Clipboards may be checked out at the Chamber of Commerce at 6117 Broadway St.

The requirements for signatures is that the person MUST be a registered voter living within the Pearland city limits.

Thank you and PLEASE consider helping this cause that will help propel Pearland into the bigger city status that it has grown to be!

VOLUNTEER FOR PEARLAND TEEN COURT

11703420_852902734763267_4583115598707825274_oBeginning this month, the Pearland Municipal Court will be offering a new program to teen offenders. Eligible participants will have the option of attending Teen Court for their Class C Misdemeanor violation(s) where teen volunteers will sit as a jury panel to determine the sentence of the teen violator.

They are then required to attend their teen court trial to receive their sentence from a jury consisting of 5-6 teen volunteers and prior teen offenders. The teen jury will decide the number of community service hours and jury terms the teen offender is to serve. The sentence may include additional conditions such as taking a driving safety class, alcohol/drug awareness course, or writing an essay/letter of apology.

In order to be eligible to request the Pearland Teen Court option the following criteria must be met:

  • The violation must be filed with the Pearland Municipal Court,
  • The violator must be under the age of 18, or enrolled full time in an accredited secondary school in a program leading toward a high school diploma,
  • The violator must not have had any case dismissed by a teen court in the previous twelve months,
  • The violator must plea “no contest” or “guilty” in court, (with parent or guardian present if under age 17), and request to participate in the teen court from a Pearland municipal judge,
  • The violator must pay the required fee of $20, per violation and sign the agreement at the initial court appearance,
  • The violator must appear for the scheduled Teen Court session for sentencing, accompanied by their parent.

The teen defendants are given 90 days from their Teen Court hearing to complete their sentence. Successful completion of the Teen Court requirements within the specified time frame will result in dismissal of the case(s), which keeps the offense(s) off the record as a conviction. Among the benefits of teen court is that it allows the teen to become acquainted with the judicial system and how it affects them. They will also experience the satisfaction of contributing to the community while gaining valuable work experience.

Volunteers are sought from the community to assist with this program:

  • Teens ages 11 – 18 may volunteer to serve as jury member, or (beginning in Spring 2016) prosecuting/defense attorney. Student trainings will be typically held once every 6 months beginning in August of 2015.
  • Adults may serve on Court nights as jury monitors, help check in participants, or monitor conduct and attire compliance. Jury monitor volunteers will sit with Teen Court juries and monitor them while they hear cases and deliberate. Jury monitors are not to influence the jury in their decision, but to make sure the jury is in agreement and following the proper procedure. Adult volunteer participation must be approved by the presiding municipal court judge.

The Teen Court program will be held at the Pearland Municipal Court every third Tuesday beginning Sept. 15. Email pearlandteencourt@pearlandtx.gov or call 281.997.5901 to volunteer or for more information.

Dawson High School Seeks Concession Stand Help

dhsDawson High School PTA is seeking adult volunteers for concession stand sales for their upcoming home games at The Rig this football season. Volunteers can be parents, teachers, extended family members or close friends of the school but must be 18 years or older and not a current PISD student.

Concession sales are the primary means of fundraising for Dawson’s PTA. The proceeds supports student, teacher and staff school activities and events, as well as provide scholarships for graduating students from DHS. Upcoming dates for Friday night home games are: 9/04 (vs Magnolia West), 9/18 (vs Rayburn/Homecoming), 10/2 (vs Pearland), 10/16 (vs Dobie) and 10/30 (vs South Houston).

If you can donate your time to help hungry fans and support Dawson’s PTA, please email Katherine Mars at kmmars@comcast.net.

Fellowship Bible Church kids help Pearland Police Dept. Crime Victims Unit

(Back row standing, L-R): Officer Mike Pace, Capt. Tommy Moncrief, Michael Dunaway, Sgt. Judd Kennimer, Rachel Gordon, Emily Fessler, Kadence Coward, Pastor Mike Waldrop, Ella McCain, Anyah Butler, Elizabeth Lawyer, Noah Lawyer, Ella Hicks, Jessica Toth, Velma Guadiana, Yvette Mulally(Sitting, L-R): Hailey Hernandez, Rachel Allen, Baila Walker, Cara Saenz, Shania Bonvillain, Hannah Hall, Makayla Vaughan, Isabella Parker, Alyssa Smith(On knees, L-R): Joshua Norris, Ryan Stephens, Shariah HInes, Alphonso Hines, Cole Maclan, Easton Kulas, Chrisma Roach, Audrey Kim(Sitting on floor, L-R): Emily Confair, Caleb Winkelman, James Ford, Nathaniel Kinoneon, Evelyn Allen, Paula Portillo

(Back row standing, L-R): Officer Mike Pace, Capt. Tommy Moncrief, Michael Dunaway, Sgt. Judd Kennimer, Rachel Gordon, Emily Fessler, Kadence Coward, Pastor Mike Waldrop, Ella McCain, Anyah Butler, Elizabeth Lawyer, Noah Lawyer, Ella Hicks, Jessica Toth, Velma Guadiana, Yvette Mulally(Sitting, L-R): Hailey Hernandez, Rachel Allen, Baila Walker, Cara Saenz, Shania Bonvillain, Hannah Hall, Makayla Vaughan, Isabella Parker, Alyssa Smith(On knees, L-R): Joshua Norris, Ryan Stephens, Shariah HInes, Alphonso Hines, Cole Maclan, Easton Kulas, Chrisma Roach, Audrey Kim(Sitting on floor, L-R): Emily Confair, Caleb Winkelman, James Ford, Nathaniel Kinoneon, Evelyn Allen, Paula Portillo

Fellowship Bible Church, located at 1720 Broadway, holds Vacation Bible School every summer. Kids learn about Jesus, sing, play and do special projects. This summer’s VBC project for upper elementary/middle school ages was to help with the “Survival Pak Project” for Pearland Police Department’s Crime Victims Unit.

The Project is the brainchild of Crime Victim Liaison Velma Guadiana. “Parents come to us or have to go to court or receive other services and a lot of times, the kiddo is sitting there with nothing to do,” said Guadiana. “The purpose of this project is to provide kids with backpacks full of age- and gender-appropriate things that will help keep them busy and provide some sense of normalcy while their parents receive services.”

Pastor Mike Waldrop is also a Chaplain for Pearland Police Dept. and, along with VBC teacher/coordinator Elizabeth Lawyer, came up with the idea to have the kids design t-shirts they could sell.

The blue shirts with black text are simple, but powerful. The front reads, “Ask me what my shirt did.” The back has an excerpt from Matthew 25:40, “…Helping the least of these…”

The shirts are for sale for $15 each, $5 of which goes toward purchasing supplies for the backpacks.

On Friday (June 19), the kids presented the full backpacks to representatives of the Pearland Police Dept. and loaded them into Officer Mike Pace’s Tahoe for transport to the Public Safety Building.

“The kids had the best time stuffing the backpacks,” said Lawyer. “They put blue or pink tags on them and indicated what ages each one was for by writing on a piece of duct tape stuck to each pack.”

Noah Lawyer takes a "selfie" with Officer Pace.

Noah Lawyer takes a “selfie” with Officer Pace.

The kids enjoyed having uniformed officers there, and one outgoing young man even asked for a “selfie,” for which Officer Pace gladly posed.

The Survival Pak Project is ongoing and donations of supplies, money and backpacks will be accepted at Fellowship Bible Church as well as at the Pearland Police Department.

“Ask for Jessica [Toth] or myself,” said Guadiana. “If we are not available, you can leave your donations at the Records window in the lobby.”

The t-shirts will also continue to be for sale at Fellowship Bible Church.

“The goal of the Victim Assistance Program is to assist victims of crime, protect and advocate the rights of victims, provide necessary information, and prevent further victimization. Crime victims who make a police report are subsequently contacted by phone, mail or in person. The liaisons inform victims about police procedures, community resources, and available programs that will assist victims during the aftermath of a crime. The liaisons are also on call to respond to after-hour emergencies, and to provide assistance.

“Oftentimes, crime victims want to know what will happen next, and the liaisons are available to answer those questions. Crime Victim liaisons provide case status updates, information about the criminal justice system, court and hospital accompaniment, and emergency transportation to women shelters.

“Depending on the type of crime that has occurred, victims can receive information on shelters, counseling services or referrals to support and social service agencies. The liaisons can also assist with information about parole notification and assist with a parole protest.

“The liaisons may also contacts crime victims to determine their eligibility for financial assistance when they have exhausted their own financial resources. The Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund – paid out of court costs generated by criminal convictions – provides for medical bills, counseling, lost wages, funeral expenses and other crime related expenses without any cost to taxpayers,” according to the website.

For more information, visit http://pearlandtx.gov/departments/police/divisions/crime-victims-liaison, call Guadiana at 281-997-4330 or email VGuadiana@PearlandTX.gov.

Crosspoint Church teams with Pearland Neighborhood Center to spread the wealth

Crosspoint Church Pastor Tom Allen, Pearland Neighborhood Center President Sean Murphy, Past President Naomi Stevens and PNC Manager Debbie Rubestello.

Crosspoint Church Pastor Tom Allen, Pearland Neighborhood Center President Sean Murphy, Past President Naomi Stevens and PNC Manager Debbie Rubestello.

Last Thanksgiving, Pastor Tom Allen presented a series about “How To Be Rich” at Crosspoint Church. The attendees at the church understood quickly that this was not a “get rich quick” series, but a focus on understanding how time and money are forms of wealth.

Allen challenged Crosspoint to meet three challenges: Adopt 100 families for Christmas, give away $20,000 dollars to an organization doing great things and perform 4,000 hours of service.

This led to more than 80 volunteers, along with their families, to come to the Pearland Neighborhood Center (PNC) for a full day of service.

The volunteers spent a day of rigorous work sorting thousands of pounds of food, bagging hundreds of toys going out to Pearland families, tackling building issues and cleaning out pods.

Crosspoint also presented Pearland Neighborhood Center with a check for over $31,000 dollars and adopted 116 families through the center for Christmas.

“The Crosspoint Church donation came in at the close of 2014 and is the reason PNC is able to have its first professional brochure and offer better benefits to our staff,” said Past President Naomi Stevens. “Being good stewards of generous people has always been the goal of the Pearland Neighborhood Center.”

“The Pearland Neighborhood Center was the perfect organization to partner with and teach people how to utilize their riches for others,” said Allen.

Combining efforts of local churches, individuals, businesses and schools along with the City of Pearland, United Way and a volunteer Board of Directors, the Pearland Neighborhood Center can continue its mission, “to provide a foundation of effective services and responsive programs to facilitate the development of individuals and families.”

In 1987, PNC Founder Fran Coppinger gathered a group of friends to brighten up the old city hall of Pearland to allow United Way services to be provided to the Pearland area.

PNC services now include a food pantry, baby pantry, grants, a Toys for Tots program, United Way emergency assistance, quarterly food fairs, information and referral, job search assistance, utility and rent assistance through CDGB and countless ways to volunteer.

For more information about PNC, call 281-485-1987.

Brazoria County Day Features Shrimp and Advocacy

logoThe State Capitol was overtaken by 1,500 pounds of shrimp for the 42nd consecutive year on Tuesday (March 3), keeping with the “World’s Largest Shrimp Cocktail” tradition that has accompanied Brazoria County Day since its inception.

Brazoria County Day in Austin was established in 1973 by a few Brazosport Chamber of Commerce board members to show support for and to the county’s Representatives and Senators in Austin, while at the same time exposing Brazoria County to all legislators and its location on the Texas Gulf Coast.

“This year, we hope to have been effective at advocating the concerns on behalf of Brazoria County, such as equal representation in the Gulf Coast Water Authority Board, opposition to the proposed property value tax cap reductions from 8% to 4%, and approval and funding for the Hwy. 288 toll road project,” said Steering Committee Co-Chair and Pearland City Councilman Greg Hill.

Brazoria County Day has evolved into one of the most attended events of the legislative session.

State Senators representing the county are Joan Huffman (District 17) and Larry Taylor (District 11). The county’s State Representatives are Dennis Bonnen (District 25) and Ed Thompson (District 29).

For more information, visit BrazoriaCountyDay.org.

The "World's Largest Shrimp Cocktail"

The “World’s Largest Shrimp Cocktail”

Memorial Hermann Supports Higher Education in Pearland

Memorial Hermann Director of Government Relations Ashlea Quinonez and Memorial Hermann Southeast Director of Physician Resources Rebecca Lilley presented the check on Nov. 18 to officers of the Pearland Lions Club, from left, President Elton Thornell, 1st Vice President Greg Hill, and Scholarship Chairman Roy Castillo.

PEARLAND, Tx (Nov. 18, 2014) – Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital made a substantial donation to the Pearland Lions Education Foundation to support scholarships for high school seniors graduating from Pearland High School, Dawson High School, and Turner High School.