Before pink ribbons covered the landscape or NFL players wore the signature color during October, Dorothy Gibbons and Dr. Dixie Melillo were busy laying the foundation for what would soon become the leading breast care organization in southeast Texas: The Rose.
Thanks to the Reliant Gives program, The Rose recently experienced a new surge of support from the greater Houston community, as the public rallied to cast their votes and help the organization receive a surprise $20,000 donation.
While there was a plethora of pink as part of the surprise celebration with staff, breast cancer survivors, and volunteers, Gibbons was filled with gratitude as she reflected on how far the organization has come and how many additional lives they will be able to impact this year alone thanks to the donation from Reliant.
The Rose's mission is to reduce deaths from breast cancer by providing access to screening, diagnostics, and treatment services to any woman, regardless of her ability to pay. With the $20,000 donation from Reliant Gives, the organization can now serve an additional 100 women who need it the most. Many women cite cost and lack of access as reasons why they delay preventive services, yet early detection mammography screenings are proven as the most powerful weapon in the fight against breast cancer. The Rose addresses any barrier that might keep a woman from caring for her own needs.
Riding beyond labels
The same morning, the impact from Reliant Gives continued its way up I-45 to a rural suburb of North Houston, where a large barn and dirt arena filled with horses greeted Reliant volunteers excitedly carrying an oversized $10,000 check and colorful balloons.
The location is one of many sites operated by SIRE (Self-Improvement Thru Riding Education), a nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with special needs through therapeutic horsemanship activities. The nonprofit's dedicated staff, volunteers, clients, and their families (and animals, too!) joined in celebration of the generosity of the public's support and Reliant's donation.
Many special needs children often take their first steps and speak their first words at SIRE after spending time with the gentle giants used for the therapy. The donation will fulfill critical needs for not only the 250-plus riders SIRE currently serves, but will also provide scholarships for families who need these services but cannot afford them.
For this year's first round of Reliant Gives, CASA of Collin County in the Dallas area also participated and earned the top donation through public voting.
Hands and feet in the community
Through the Reliant Gives program, established in 2016, $720,000 has now been donated to 18 deserving nonprofits across Texas. In addition to this program, Reliant supports local communities through volunteerism, charitable giving, and strategic long-term partnerships. In 2017 alone, they provided more than $4 million in financial and in-kind donations to various organizations across the state, and Reliant employees supported over 100 nonprofits with nearly 8,000 volunteer hours.
Giving is in Reliant's DNA, exemplified by programs like Reliant Gives and positiveNRG. The Reliant Gives donations were timed to coincide with positiveNRG Week, which is a week dedicated to volunteerism across the country by Reliant's parent company, NRG.
In May, Reliant employees across Houston rolled up their sleeves to be the hands and feet at an array of organizations, including:
- Dress for Success Houston
- Friends for Life
- Houston Food Bank
- Houston Wilderness
- Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas
- Kids' Meals
- March of Dimes
- The Rose
- Urban Harvest
- YMCA of Greater Houston - Harriet & Joe Foster Family Center
Whether it's organizing food drives, planting trees, walking for a cause, or fundraising on behalf of nonprofits, Reliant is committed to giving to the communities where its employees live and work. For more information on Reliant Gives, visit giving.myreliant.com.