The Junior League of Houston is “Building A Better Community” by committing volunteers and financial support to 37 community projects, each falling within one of five Interest Groups.
Children's Culture and Enrichment
The Children’s Culture and Enrichment Interest Group provides volunteer opportunities that promote learning, awareness, exploration and discovery for children.
Children’s Museum of Houston
While spending the night at the museum, Overnight Adventures volunteers act as role models for young girls by participating in craft projects, exploring museum exhibits, and cultivating an interest in nutrition and health. Family Learning Night volunteers help children ignite a lifelong passion for learning while participating in various activities during the museum’s free admission nights.
ChinquaPals –Chinquapin Preparatory School
Volunteers serve as mentors to seventh grade girls at Chinquapin Preparatory School by communicating through written correspondence and a book club. They also prepare welcome packages for an initial meet and greet event and exam care packages prior to the students’ December and May exams. The volunteers have lunch on campus with the students several times throughout the year, as well as host an Etiquette Dinner for the girls in the Junior League Tea Room.
Holocaust Museum Houston
Volunteers provide educational two-hour tours to groups of middle and high school students. These tours engage students in critical thinking of fairness, justice, individual identity, peer pressure, conformity and self-reflection. Volunteers also greet museum guests while working the information desk on weekdays and weekends.
Houston Arboretum & Nature Center
The Discovery Room at the Arboretum contains hands-on exhibits like the Learning Tree Challenge and the Tree Habitat Expert Board. Microscopes aid patrons in interpreting the habitats at the Houston Arboretum. This opportunity allows volunteers to act as facilitators for visitors demonstrating tools, such as the Discovery Boxes and Field Guides, that help visitors find answers to their nature questions. Volunteers may also engage in gardening projects with the Garden Team that meets weekly throughout the year, weather permitting.
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Volunteers introduce children to the wonders of science by conducting tours of the museum to fourth and seventh grade Houston Independent School District students, making classroom presentations to first and second grade students through the Outreach Box Docent program and participating in a weekend Touchcart Docent project that introduces children, 4 to 10 years old, to the world of science.
Volunteers greet and guide children to different areas within the Zoo’s Naturally Wild Swap Shop, field basic questions from the children, and polish and prepare artifacts for use and trade in the shop.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Volunteers enjoy Fine Arts à la Carte, a flexible placement that introduces children, families and adult visitors to the world of art through interactive, hands-on activities and special events, such as Picture Books Summer Art Camp and MFAH Art Detectives.
ROAR (Reach Out and Read)
Volunteers implement the agency’s goal of making literacy promotion a standard part of pediatric care by reading aloud to children in the waiting rooms at five Texas Children’s Pediatrics clinic locations: Corinthian Pointe, Cullen, Gulfton, Ripley House and Westchase.
Children’s Health and Education
The Children’s Health and Education Interest Group provides volunteer opportunities supporting children through mentoring relationships, as well as children with health issues.
AIDS Foundation Houston, Inc.
Volunteers provide educational and emotional support to those impacted by the HIV/AIDS virus. Volunteers serve as counselors at the weeklong Camp Hope, a camp for children ages 7 to 15 who are impacted by HIV or AIDS.
Camp Rainbow – American Diabetes Association
Volunteers participate as camp counselors in a one-week summer day camp for children with diabetes and their siblings. League members prepare craft materials to be used during camp, as well as participate in all camp activities, including swimming, fishing, horseback riding, and arts and crafts.
Volunteers serve as Pen Pals to students in four Houston Independent School District Title I schools served by the SuperKids Pediatric Mobile Clinic. The program emphasizes reading, writing and vocabulary skills through letter writing. It also exposes the students to new experiences, such as Pen Pals Days and Pen Pals Celebration Day. Pen Pals Days present opportunities for the volunteers and students to reinforce the pen pal relationship through personal visits.
Picture Pals – The Westview School
Volunteers serve as computer and email-based pen pals to children at The Westview School with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Additionally, volunteers compile a portfolio of letters and artwork exchanged throughout the year that is presented to each student at the Artists’ Reception at the end of the year. Three Picture Pals Days are scheduled for volunteers to meet and visit with their students.
Texas Children’s Hospital
Provisional class members engage in play therapy with patients and their siblings in the Junior League Health Care Clinic, the Abercrombie Playroom, Library, Cancer Center Clinic and the Renal Center. Volunteers also work in Radio Lollipop, present puppet shows, and prepare and make crafts and dolls to educate and comfort young patients. Volunteers have the opportunity to assist with The Periwinkle Foundation’s Making A Mark program, which provides artistic and creative writing opportunities for children undergoing treatment at Texas Children’s Cancer Center.
Texas Children's Hospital Pavilion for Women
The focus of this area of the hospital is labor and delivery, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) service and women's health. Volunteers serve as Resource Ambassadors greeting and assisting patients, visitors and staff in a friendly manner at the information desk. Volunteers also serve as NICU Sibling Playroom Volunteers providing normalized play experiences for siblings of infants as well as caregivers of patients admitted to the NICU.
Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus
Volunteers greet and assist patients, visitors and staff. Volunteers also work in the Emergency Center assisting staff by keeping the exam rooms supplied and neat, transferring patients to designated areas, and providing a personal touch for families and patients at a difficult time by staying with patients or siblings, as needed.
The Health Museum
While spending the night at the museum, Overnight Adventures volunteers assist Brownies by participating in various projects and experiments, exploring museum exhibits, and cultivating an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The Family Preservation Interest Group provides volunteer opportunities emphasizing basic needs, family cohesiveness and supporting those who have been neglected or abused.
BEAR . . . BE A Resource for CPS Kids
Volunteers staff Child Protective Services (CPS) emergency supply rooms at the Chimney Rock and West Loop South locations. They also assist caseworkers in acquiring clothing, toys and other necessities for children who have been removed from their homes.
Casa de Esperanza de los Niños
Volunteers help break the destructive cycle of child abuse by serving as positive role models for children who have been abused, neglected or affected by HIV. Depending on the needs of the specific house, volunteers read to children, play games, assist with tutoring of special needs children, soothe and feed infants, and work on arts and crafts projects.
Child Advocates, Inc.
Volunteers prepare Life Books for children in foster care to record pictures and details of their lives. Volunteers also work a variety of Child Advocates’ Special Projects events throughout the year, including the annual Children’s Festival and hosting birthday parties.
DePelchin Children’s Center
Volunteers interact with children at DePelchin’s Fort Bend County location in a variety of events on Saturdays throughout the year, including, but not limited to, Pizza/Movie Night, Career Day, Etiquette Class and special field trips. This placement provides a safe, nurturing and esteem-building environment aiming to strengthen the lives of children.
Juvenile Probation Mentors: Harris County Juvenile Probation Department
Volunteers counsel juvenile offenders and their families to help get them back on track. This counseling is for first-time offenders and includes both face-to-face meetings and telephone mentoring with youth and their families.
Houston Area Women’s Center
Volunteers provide support, information and referrals to women in crisis by staffing the HAWC Hotline. Volunteers also enable these women to receive counseling by providing a safe and nurturing environment for their children in the Kids’ Night Out program. Additional evening volunteers mentor and care for children between the ages of 5 and 14 years while their mothers attend counseling at the HAWC Shelter.
Ronald McDonald House Houston
Volunteers assist with activities, provide fellowship and stress relief and serve dinner delivered from the Junior League Tea Room to families with seriously ill children. Volunteers also provide respite and comfort to parents and guests of patients in satellite locations of Ronald McDonald House, located in Children’s Memorial Hermann and MD Anderson.
Star of Hope
Teams of volunteers work at the Women & Family Emergency Shelter mentoring, tutoring and assisting the children in various cooperative learning centers. The program focuses on social and personal growth, as well as academic development designed to meet the special needs of the shelter’s homeless, at-risk children. Volunteers also write notes of encouragement to the Star of Hope clients.
Health and Well-Being
The Health and Well-Being Interest Group provides volunteer opportunities focusing on providing comfort, companionship, and emotional and social support to people of all ages.
Baylor Teen Health Clinic
Volunteers support new teen mothers by visiting their bedside and delivering prepared information regarding childcare, parenting, family planning and nutrition. Phone Outreach volunteers are paired with newly pregnant teen moms and/or existing teen moms who need additional support and encouragement. These volunteers call the teen mothers weekly throughout the year.
Volunteers will serve as Kitchen/Support volunteers, offering support to grieving families by setting up the potluck style meal held before grief support sessions, preparing leftover food for families to take home and tidying the kitchen. Kitchen/Support volunteers also assist with the preparation of activities used in the grief support groups and assist with the Pi Beta Phi Lending Library.
Memorial Hermann – Texas Medical Center
Volunteers provide emotional and social support for patients and families at Memorial Hermann. They serve in a wide variety of positions, including Play Pals, NICU or Pedi-ER waiting rooms, information desk attendants and patient/visitor escorts. In the Children’s Memorial Hermann, volunteers entertain patients through arts and crafts, puppet shows, games and puzzles in the play rooms, teen rooms and other children’s areas. At Camp Janus, volunteers serve as counselors providing a traditional summer camp experience for pediatric burn patients ages 5 to 18.
Pawsitive Pals – Houston SPCA
Volunteers bring comfort and companionship to residents in local retirement communities by visiting with Houston SPCA companion animals.
Sheltering Arms Senior Services
Through the Telephone Reassurance program, volunteers make daily safety telephone calls providing much-needed companionship to older adults who live alone. Adult Day Center volunteers participate in activities with seniors suffering from various stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia and provide respite for caregivers.
Sing Along With Seniors
Volunteers entertain residents of senior living facilities and day centers through musical performances, sing-along shows, dance routines and fellowship. Volunteers prepare and present three themed shows each year in the fall, winter and spring.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Volunteers may choose to serve in more than 50 different positions. They offer emotional and social support to patients and their families through a variety of activities throughout the hospital, including outpatient clinics, diagnostic centers, hospitality waiting rooms, children’s areas and floor hostesses.
The Neighborhood Outreach Interest Group provides volunteer opportunities championing life-saving skills, hunger, employment and literacy within the Houston community.
Volunteers teach basic lifesaving skills to the general public and healthcare professionals throughout the Houston community. This course covers adult, child and infant CPR, as well as basic life support, and is currently offered at three locations – Chapelwood United Methodist Church, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church and the Junior League of Houston. It is one of the only free cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training courses in Houston.
Done In A Day
This project enables the League to assist community agencies that do not have a need for League volunteers on an ongoing basis but may have a need to staff a one or two-day special event or have a one-time need for extra volunteers. Volunteers work in a variety of short-term assignments with many different community agencies.
Dress for Success Houston
Volunteers assist job-ready women in their selection of interview attire and provide interview preparation counseling to help the women thrive in work and life. Volunteers also participate in an evening program, Dress for Success Houston’s Professional Women’s Group, providing guidance and support to the agency’s clients.
Houston Food Bank
Volunteers assist the Houston Food Bank by sorting food donations and preparing pallets for distribution to food pantries. Volunteers also help put together boxes of food for the elderly, disadvantaged and disaster victims.
Volunteers meet in the League Kitchen on Monday nights to prepare 1,200 nutritious sack lunches for underserved children. Volunteers also participate in delivery sessions and Saturday lunch-making events at the Kids’ Meals facility.
VIEW (Volunteers In Evening Workshop)
Volunteers meet on a weekly basis to design and construct various handcrafted items that are distributed to a number of agencies, schools and hospitals with which the League is involved.