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Houstonians celebrate Harvey heroes making a difference for local children

Houstonians celebrate Harvey heroes making a difference for local kids

Collaborate for Children Luncheon
David Miree, Tom DeBesse, Laura Jaramillo, Alan Watkins, Eloy Aderete, Jonathan Homeyer, Michael King, Warren Matthews, Nipul Patel, and Tia Fuentes.  Photo courtesy of Collaborate for Children

Houstonians recently gathered to celebrate Harvey heroes as the Collaborative for Children held its fourth annual Give a Child a Chance luncheon. Held at the Junior League of Houston, the luncheon benefits the nonprofit’s Circle of Friends annual fund. The fund supports the Collaborative’s mission to improve the quality of early childhood education in the Greater Houston Area.

This year’s event highlighted the work of Collaborative’s Hurricane Response, Recovery and Resilience program, which was quickly launched last year to help child care centers throughout the Houston region recover from Hurricane Harvey. More than 260 supporters and guests attended the luncheon.

A heartfelt moment came courtesy of keynote speaker Caron Solomon, owner of A Positive Place Child Care. An emotional Solomon recalled returning home and finding soot saturated throughout her home child care center along with muddy toys and classroom materials tossed everywhere, ruined.

Then came the call from Collaborative’s response team, ready to help her rebuild. Thanks to the response team’s efforts, Solomon received much needed support and financial assistance to replace critical classroom and outdoor equipment. Funding from Save the Children, the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and Collaborative donors made it possible for Solomon and more than 400 damaged child care providers to rebuild.

Collaborative’s new president and CEO Dr. Melanie Johnson, who took over  in July, gave her first public address and mingled with attendees during a reception before the event.

Spotted at the luncheon were longtime supporters Ginni and Richard Mithoff, Ann and Stephen Kaufmann, Lorriaine and Ed Wulfe, Kelly Frels, and Judy Oldham.