Houstonians Helping Houstonians During Coronavirus — the City’s Giant Heart Shows
Acts of Kindness — and GenerosityBY Shelby Hodge // 04.28.20
As one of many individuals and groups stepping in to aid in the COVID-19 crises, Compass agent Marnie Greenwood hosted a food drive for Houston Food Bank.
Tootsies salutes frontline health care workers in its display windows and contributes to non-profits.
Chicago returned its six-figure deposit to Houston Children's Charity.
Frontline employees at Memorial Hermann Hospitals receive family meals from area restaurants.
The original Bernie's bus has found a new home at The Heights location, functioning as the restaurant's kitchen.
Bernie's Burger Bus gets an A+ from us.
When President George H.W. Bush introduced his “a thousand points of light” canon in his acceptance of the Republican nomination in 1988 and again at his inauguration in 1989, we doubt that he could have imagined the critical importance of the concept decades later when the nation was faced with a debilitating pandemic.
“Duty, sacrifice, commitment, and a patriotism that finds its expression in taking part and pitching in,” he said at his inauguration. Today, those virtues are being exhibited across Houston as friends, neighbors and organizations step in to aid and support those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle and to assist those who have lost their jobs.
Herewith, we applaud some of the many acts of kindness, concern and generosity that Houstonians have shown during the coronavirus crisis.
Marnie Greenwood’s Food Drive
The stylish hipster real estate agent with Compass and her team joined forces with Beck and Masten Buick GMC to fill two bulky Yukons with goods for the Houston Food Bank. Donations were received at a location in West University and in Tanglewood and in the short two-hour period, Greenwood and friends had filled the SUVs to overflowing.
Tootsies Goes Blue
Anyone cruising Kirby or Westheimer in recent days will have noticed that the glamorous mannequins in Tootsies’ windows are dressed in blue, a salute to the health care workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus battle. Tootsies owner Norman Lewis and creative director Fady Armanious wanted the store windows to display the compassion and gratitude that the entire store team have for those in the medical community. The popular, locally-owned retailer is also donating a percentage of sales to the Greater Houston Community Foundation and the Covid-19 Recovery Fund.
David Atkins to the Rescue
The agent with Martha Turner Sotheby’s International Realty along with agents Stormy Hayes and Margaret Vinson are working to keep Bernie’s Burger Bus in business and feed those in need with their “Pay It Forward” mission. Over the weekend, David Atkins and friends handed out 350 meals at three locations: Southgate/Southhampton, Braes Heights and West University. This coming weekend, Atkins and four other Martha Turner agents will be distributing meals from Bernie’s Burger Bus in The Heights.
The goal is to hand out at least 375 to 500 meals in efforts to continue supporting the local restaurant. The food truck pioneer turned brick-and-mortar force Justin Turner will be selling T-shirts bearing the hashtag #oneburgeratatime with all proceeds from the sale going to the Houston Food Bank.
Memorial Hermann Foundation Family Meals
The foundation is providing workers at all Memorial Hermann hospital campuses free meals to take home to their families at the end of their shifts. The goal is to not only help these frontline employees who are working tirelessly to take care of the community, but also to provide business to restaurants during the mandated dining room closures.
The foundation set a goal of providing 5,000 meals. In addition, the foundation website has a homepage for donations, noting that a $50 gift to Feeding Frontline Families will provide a meal for a family of four.
The Bayou City Arts Festival in Memorial Park is one of the spring’s most anticipated outdoor activities with beautiful paintings and to-die-for craft creations. As we know, the Art Colony Association had to cancel the spring event and the artists were left with no income from that all important weekend.
In stepped an anonymous donor, who gifted $450,000 so that each of the 300 artists approved for the spring show will receive a cash grant of $1,500. The association has added that each of the artists selected for the cancelled spring show will have positions in the fall show, which is scheduled October 10 and 11 in downtown Houston.
Chicago, the Band
When Houston Children’s Charity had to cancel its March 27 gala, executive director Laura Ward’s heart sank. Where would the funds come from to buy wheelchair accessible vans for children? Who would help buy beds for the “Better Night’s Sleep” program?
Happily, with her persistence and that of gala chair Hallie Vanderhider, even without the gala, $1.4 million net was raised. Contributing to that bottom line was the band Chicago, which without cajoling or fervent asking, returned the six-figure deposit that had been required to guarantee their performance at the gala.
“That’s just the goodness of people,” Ward tells PaperCity, speaking of both the gala supporters and the legendary rock band.