HOUSTON – In the past few months, the Buckner Family Hope Center Houston/Aldine received an unprecedented number of in-kind donations, so many clothes and toys that staff members and volunteers had to close off parts of the center’s resale shop to house the items.
That meant residents in the community could not shop the entire store. At one point, the area that houses children’s clothing – one of the area’s biggest needs – had to be blocked off to house the donations.
Thanks to volunteers from Weaver, an accounting firm with seven locations throughout the state, the resale shop now is fully stocked and open for business.
In a matter of hours, the volunteers sorted thousands of items, separating them by the type of item and, when needed, hanging them up so they can quickly be featured in the store. Weaver’s timing was perfect, and their help invaluable, according to Sylvia Bolling, director of the hope center.
“God’s promises are always true,” Bolling said. “When we started this organization, He promised to send everything we need but in His time, His way and His season. So when people with a heart to help come out like Weaver, I just look at them and know this is what God promised. We didn’t know where people would come from, but He already touched people’s hearts to use their gifts, their time, their talent to make a difference in the community He called Buckner to serve.”
The Weaver effort is part of a yearlong initiative between the firm and Buckner International. Weaver employees selected Buckner as the Weaver Foundation’s charity of choice for 2014.
About 100 Weaver employees have volunteered with Buckner ministries in San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Midland and Houston, helping in a variety of ways such as revamping a playground, sorting donations, serving in a mobile food pantry and doing yard work at a retirement community.
“Our employees tell us they want volunteer opportunities,” Weaver Partner Brian Thomas said. “They want to be involved in the community. They want to work at an organization that is involved in the community.”
Volunteers from Weaver said they’re proud to work for a company that is committed to giving back. The funds provide crucial financial assistance to the work of Buckner. Volunteer opportunities help Weaver employees truly connect with the effort through hands-on initiatives.
“Money donated goes a lot further when coupled with volunteer hours,” said Weaver Partner Elizabeth Bunk.
In addition to helping people in need, the bond between Weaver employees grows through service. They’re able to visit about different topics and know each other better in the less formal environment of community service. Throughout the morning at the Family Hope Center, volunteers were visiting, helping each other and having a good time. At many of Weaver’s volunteer efforts with Buckner, employees brought family members to help.
“The mission of what Buckner is doing resonated with our employees,” Thomas said. “The employees chose this. That’s part of what makes this fun.”
George Hartsfield, executive director of Buckner in the Houston/Conroe area, thanked the volunteers for their hard work. Their spirit reflected how much they wanted to help people in their community.
“Thank you so much,” he said. “It’s great that Weaver has wanted to give to us. That’s great. Then to actually come out and spend your time here, it says they care about this community.”
Reflecting on an empty room that was filled with donations just hours before, Bolling echoed Hartsfield’s thoughts. Weaver’s dedication in 2014 to Buckner ministries has been provided inspiration and practical assistance.
“All those donations in our donation center, they represent things people need in the community,” she said. “By them coming out to sort through those items and getting them ready to sell or give away, we are able to continue serving the community.”
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