7,500 bags of holiday cheer donated by Houston CPA Society to area Head Start centers
42nd Annual Santa Houston CPA Goody Bag Stuffing supplies community goodwill
Seventy-five hundred goody bags filled with holiday cheer donated by the Houston CPA Society arrive at Head Start centers throughout Harris County Dec. 7. Sixteen Harris County Department of Education Head Start centers representing 1,250 children benefit from the contributions.
The 42nd Annual Santa Houston CPA Good Bag Stuffing campaign involves CPA volunteers along with U.S. Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston and Head Start staff and parents. An assembly of upbeat volunteers stuffs the bags at the Ripley House and the bags filled with goodwill are loaded and sent to area Head Start centers.
Throughout the years the campaign has evolved from including toys to adding more essential items such as books, fruit and snacks and hygiene items.
“It’s our Houston CPA Society Community Services Committee project that emphasizes our concern and care for families,” said Elyse Turla, Houston CPA Society communications manager.
The Houston CPA Society boasts over 7,200 members who represent 13 area counties surrounding Houston. Funds for the goody bags come from the CPA Helping Schools Committee Grant combined with donations from members.
Harris County Department of Education Director Venetia Peacock emphasizes the extra help the campaign adds to needy families during the holiday season.
“We are grateful for our relationship with the Houston CPA Society and continue to count our blessings as members help our families during this season of giving,” Peacock said. “Donations are especially critical during difficult economic times.”
Turla says the Houston CPA Society is grateful for a significant donation by South Texas Dental which supplies toothbrushes to all the Head Start students.
Head Start programs are federally funded and provide educational services for low-income families of pre-school children, including those with disabilities. Center staff works daily with children to improve their school readiness. Activities also help children develop self confidence, initiate problem-solving skills and promote socialization.
The program encourages family involvement as parents are included in classes about nutrition, child rearing and job training. The program encourages adult leadership growth by allowing parents to volunteer in Head Start in the classrooms, on parent committees and policy council.
HCDE Head Start Area I assists about 1,250 families yearly in 16 centers within the north, northeast and southeast areas of Harris County, a geographic region covering about 1,118 square miles. Four Head Start geographic areas serve families in the greater Harris County area. For more information about Head Start programs and enrollment information, call (713) 672-9373.
Houston CPA Society members assemble goody bags for local Head Start families, including 1,250 students enrolled in Harris County Department of Education Head Start centers. Left: CPA Kathy Plock (Harper & Pearson Co. P.C.), past president of the Houston CPA Society and CPA Ramsay Womack (Fitts, Roberts & Co., Inc.), chairman of the Houston CPA Society Community Services Committee
About HCDE: Harris County Department of Education provides education services to the general public and 26 school districts throughout Harris County and beyond. Services include adult education, programs to promote safe schools, after-school programs, therapy services, professional development for educators, special schools, alternative certification for principals and teachers, Early Childhood Intervention and Head Start programs. We offer purchasing procurement, grant development, program research and evaluation, records management, and school finance support. Since 1889, our services continue to evolve to meet the needs of our education public. Visit us at www.hcde-texas.org.
Carol E. Vaughn, Communications/Media Relations Manager
Harris County Department of Education
6300 Irvington Blvd., Houston TX 77022
713-696-0756 office, 281-660-9205 cell