It’s no secret the Buckner Family Hope Center Houston/Aldine supports its community, but does the community support the center? Absolutely, said Armando Walle, Texas State Representative for House District 140, who is himself a product of the Aldine area.
“I am a proud native of this neighborhood,” he said. “For my whole life I’ve lived in this community. This neighborhood is a great neighborhood. It’s a hard-working-class neighborhood.
“There are folks like my grandparents who have been here 40, 50 years -- he’s a longtime ironworker who helped build this city -- a lot of hardworking folks, very humble folks, folks that don’t look to receive a handout, just a little helping hand sometime when times get tough.
“I think the Buckner Family Hope Center in Aldine really fills the gaps for us, offering something like the teen center here that offers that opportunity for kids to do something productive with their lives, to learn people skills that will last a lifetime.”
Pointing to his own childhood as an example, Walle noted that families in the area “really need, sometimes, an advocate and an outlet. They need somebody to lift them up with faith in God and faith in each other so that we can grow as a community.”
Walle encouraged supporters to rally around the Hope Center to support its mission for families. “The center really offers the opportunity for you to witness the kids, the transformation from these very shy kids to three, four, five years later, to blossoming kids.
“The transformation of these children, that’s what you really want to see and that’s really the eye opener for a lot of our business and our philanthropic community is to see this community, and I think at the end of the day they will be pleased, more than pleased, of the outcomes of this center.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by Ken Fisher, CFO of Noble Energy in Houston, who said Noble has supported the Hope Center because of its “ability to help a broad section of the community here in Houston.
“Sylvia Bolling has been at this for almost 25 years and it's a grassroots organization that serves many people in what is a high-need community,” he said. “As we think about it from the Noble Energy perspective, we asked ‘How could we participate with community organizations in a way that has maximum impact?’ And you just have to spend a few minutes here to really understand the impact Sylvia and her team has on the local community.”
That support has translated into volunteerism by Noble employees, the donation of transport vans and encouragement for the children served by the center.
“From Noble's perspective, we provide not only some financial resources but also a whole lot of volunteer hours that help build the (Hope Center’s) park and then to help run some of the community events,” Fisher said. “We’ve had over 500 people here at different outreach events and during the course of the summer.
“At Noble Energy, our corporate purpose is energizing the world and bettering people’s lives and our CEO Chuck Davidson and the leadership team -- and all our people -- believe that if we're not, we don't have much license to operate in our business,” he said. “So we look to find people we can partner with and the Aldine Center is one of those organizations that's really a world-class community, grassroots organization that has a high impact. It is very efficient and effective in translating their resources in to impact on the community.”
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