All it takes is a group of people with a passion to bring an idea to fruition. Take Youth Hope Association (YHA), for example, a nonprofit dedicated to the mission of improving the quality of life through interactive events for pediatric patients and their families in the Houston area.
As YHA president Lyndsey Zorich explains it, a group of friends had become dedicated volunteers at area hospitals through a nationally-affiliated nonprofit when they decided to branch out and form their own organization, which received its 501(c)(3) status early this fall.
What sets YHA apart is its local focus — the group serves patients undergoing treatment in Houston and puts all of the money raised here back into local facilities — and its outlook on volunteer participation — absent are the straits of minimum hours. A volunteer just has to be 18 years of age and willing to help.
What sets YHA apart is its local focus — the group serves patients undergoing treatment in Houston, and put all of the money raised here back into local facilities.
Following a handful of get-to-know-each-other happy hours and socials, the organization launched in earnest with a dress-up Halloween party at Texas Children's Hospital, with planned expansions to Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital and at M.D. Anderson's Children's Cancer Hospital in the future.
More than an excuse to socialize, the organization aims to host several themed parties each month, supporting the role of on-staff child life specialists who are otherwise stretched thin by providing young patients and their siblings with interactive games and special activities to get their mind off of treatment.
On Wednesday, the group will partner with Biscuit Homegoods for a holiday happy hour at Masraff's beginning at 6 p.m. Biscuit's Bailey Quinn McCarthy has designed a line of scarves to gift to pediatric cancer patients at Texas Children's, and will be on hand at the event to sell scarves and jewelry (a portion of the proceeds will go to YHA).
Find more information about the event here.