Over the past few years, we’ve made it a priority at this time of year to give credit to the members of construction groups around the state chipping in to give back to their communities during the holidays. Much too humble to brag on themselves, executives and craft professionals in the industry are stepping up to make sure the less fortunate have a Merry Christmas in cities around Texas.
There would be no way to include all the activities around the Great State, but to jumpstart our list we asked the folks at the Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas what their chapters are doing to give back during the holidays.
This list is not comprehensive and if you know of any events being held by construction groups or individual companies, please feel free to share them with us.
At the ABC Texas Coastal Bend Chapter, they collected toys to be donated to the local Toys for Tots and gathered food for the Corpus Christi Food Bank during our Annual Membership Appreciation Christmas party on December 5th at Katz 21 Steakhouse. Pictured are Lawrence Wilcox, McKinney Drilling, Kathy Burnette-Colwell & Melinda Garcia, ABCTCB, Brandon Mitchell, Fields Nemec.
The ABC South Texas Chapter joined with other construction associations in hosting the annual Construct A Kids Christmas program, now in its 18th year.
The two-day event included a gala on December 6 and a toy drive on December 7. All the gifts and proceeds were contributed to Child Advocates of San Antonio and the Child Welfare Board so that all the foster children in the San Antonio area receive gifts for Christmas. More than 800 people from the construction industry attended the gala and toy drive, raising nearly $50,000 and more than 2,500 toys.
In Houston, the Young Professionals Committee of the ABC Greater Houston Chapter partnered with CYCLE to build bicycles for underprivileged children.
The bikes will “be an incentive for young students who work hard to achieve their academic goals. Last year, over one hundred volunteers made the dream a reality and awarded 8,000 bikes to children in the Houston area,” per ABC Greater Houston.
The program is designed to improve literacy in Houston schools. Seventy-two percent of Texas students in the fourth grade have a below-proficient reading level, and CYCLE encourages children to be active physically and mentally, empowering them to improve their literacy and possibly break the cycle of poverty. Under the program, students set educational goals and if they reach them, earn a bicycle.
“As the YPC Events Subcommittee Chair, I can definitely say that we drive our committee to participate in events that will form well-rounded individuals,” said Silvia Zurita, Director of Marketing and Business Development at Synergen.
“Synergen has had the opportunity to participate in the Bike Build and we all agree that CYCLE is a very rewarding experience,” Zurita said. “The event not only provides the opportunity to give time back to the community, which is always humbling, but every individual, no matter the age or level, is reminded of the meaning of value. We all collaborate in a movement that provides happiness and continues to teach kids that anything is possible and dreams can come true…and that is empowering!”
The ABC Young Professionals Committee promotes the construction industry through student outreach, markets and manages ABC’s Scholarship Foundation, plans, and participates in community service projects, and above all, is an avenue for industry networking.
In Austin, the ABC Central Texas Chapter held its annual Holiday Party on December 5 at Abel’s On The Lake. Each year, the chapter asks attendees to bring gifts that will be donated to a charity. This year, members and staff of ABC donated wish list items for the Ronald McDonald House of Austin. Items included toys, toiletries, gift cards and essential living items.
“Our Members are incredibly generous,” said Tracey Littlefield, president of ABC Central Texas.
“Many of them are already familiar with the Ronald McDonald House and the incredible support they provide to families from near and far. The number of items collected this year exceeded even the tremendous amount we collected in years past,” Littlefield said. “Our hearts are full.”