With more than 50 active Members, Chapter 20147 is making a significant impact in Houston, Texas and the surrounding communities. President Adrienne Sloan began the chapter in 2012 to expand her mission to share financial fitness tips with her community. “When I was an Agent, I was immediately drawn to the Royal Neighbors mission,” said Adrienne. “Starting a chapter gave me a platform to expand my community outreach and bring in volunteers to widen the communities we serve.”
The chapter’s mission quickly expanded to address a multitude of needs and serve various populations throughout Houston. “We have been blessed with passionate, creative, giving Members who want to make a difference,” said Adrienne, “and Royal Neighbors is at the center of everything we do.”
In recent years, the Houston area has endured numerous crises, making life challenging for thousands of community members. “We’ve experienced Hurricane Harvey, COVID-19, and an arctic storm all within a short period of time,” said Adrienne. “The philanthropic need in our community is tremendous.”
With so many immediate needs in the community, it is a challenge for Chapter 20147 to decide which projects to prioritize. “We are constantly determining where we should devote our energy,” shared Adrienne. “We do our best to spread out our giving geographically while still selecting projects that align with our Members’ passions.”
COVID-19 has presented both a challenge and learning opportunity for Chapter 20147. Lockdowns and social distancing eliminated the valuable connection between Chapter Members and community members. “The pandemic removed our ability to interact with community members face-to-face,” shared Adrienne, “but it also opened up the opportunity to re-evaluate the needs in our community.” Chapter 20147 recognized the growing need to support mental health in their community. Mental wellness is now a key deliverable in many of their projects.
The Random Acts of Kindness project began after Adrienne heard the idea on a local radio station. She began implementing the concept with her youth members. Uplifting sticky notes are placed on everyday items like antibacterial wipes, hairbrushes, and snacks. Distribution is up to the individual Chapter Member, making it a true random act of kindness. “The response has been overwhelming,” said Adrienne. “From bank executives to our homeless community, the sticky notes are lifting spirits throughout our city.”
Over the years, Chapter 20147 has developed relationships with many local organizations. “There’s so much need – we have a waiting list for projects we want to support when the resources become available.” The chapter collaborates with the House of Amos, The Mission of Yahweh, Bethel’s Heavenly Hands, and The Concierge, to name a few.
Many of the chapter’s youth members are affiliated with Girl Scout troops. Members collaborate on projects like distributing cookies to the Texas Children’s Hospital, creating coloring kits for children in the hospital, and distributing flags at the annual flag placing event.
Another one of the chapter’s favorite projects is the Little Free Libraries. Chapter 20147 built several libraries and installed them throughout the city. Many of them had to be rebuilt twice after the arctic storm and Hurricane Harvey destroyed them. Chapter Members ensure that each library is filled with 30–50 books to bring a variety to each location. Books are donated and purchased at discount prices.
Chapter 20147 also offers diabetic education, donates supplies to homeless women and children, and provides essentials and support for single mothers.
As far as plans for next year, Chapter 20147 is going with the flow. “There are several projects that we put on hold in 2020,” said Adrienne. “We’re hoping to start many of those again in 2022 like our “Be a Santa to a Senior” and Valentine’s Day card deliveries to local nursing homes.” Regardless of the projects they choose, Chapter 20147 will continue impacting lives in Texas in a big way.