As a native Houstonian, volunteering and community work was built into me through my church upbringing, my parents, and numerous of community hours I had to complete in school clubs. However, as I got older, I found it harder to connect back to the community and to balance social life, volunteer, and work. Then I discovered young pro groups! Being in a young pro group is the perfect option for a busy millennial – is it also a great networking opportunity. You never know who you might connect with!
I have highlighted four of my favorite organizations and how to participate.
Houston Zoo – The Flocks
The Flocks is my favorite young pro group. Though a bit pricey than the others, this group knows how to throw a party and most importantly your contribution directly impacts the zoo. My favorite annual event is Feast with the Beast. Nothing is cooler than being in the zoo in the dark, eating bites from the best restaurants, and interacting with select animals out in the open!
Perks: Fun events, free admission to all flock events, unlimited zoo admission for you and a guest, invite to Zoobilee (annual member appreciation celebration), discount on Zoo Lights tickets, special events, and more.
Membership Fee: Single $150 | Flock Plus $250 | http://www.houstonzoo.org/flock/
Kids’ Meals Houston
Kids’ Meals is a organization near and dear to my heart. Their cause is simple, ending hunger for every child by delivering meals to preschool children. I have volunteered for Kids’ Meals numerous times, from packing lunches to delivery. I love everything about this organization and its staff. Highly recommend!
Perks: You are actively changing the life of a child in need, social events, discounted prices to Kids’ Meals fundraisers and events.
Membership Fee: Single $41.80, the cost of feeding a hungry child for a month | http://www.kidsmealshouston.org/volunteer/kidsmeals-young-professionals
Houston Food Bank – F.R.E.S.H
Houston Food Bank its THE non-profit doing everything they can for the Houston community. If you are new to the Houston scene, I would start here first. You get to sort and pack food first hand in their warehouse, pretty neat experience if I say so myself. At the end of each Helpie Hour, you get to drink for free!
Perks: Discounts to HFB fundraiser, Helpie Hours (volunteer + drinks), and member only professional networking mixers
Membership Fee: Single $50 | http://www.houstonfoodbank.org/get-involved/fresh-young-professionals/
Dress for Success – Women of Wardrobe
Women of Wardrobe in my opinion is one of your chic-er professional groups. With frequent events from fashion shows to summer soiree. You will be rubbing elbow with fashionable ladies. Your fee directly support Dress for Success’s mission to provide women resources to succeed
Perks: creative events to a great cause
Membership Fee: Single $100 with a required 3 volunteer hours http://womenofwardrobe.org/
Hope this guide inspired you to be active and involved in the Houston community. Leave a note below if you are a part of any young professional group!