Houston Dynamo FC took part in a company-wide All Staff Volunteer Day on Thursday, Dec. 9. Members of the Houston Dynamo organization volunteered at seven different locations throughout Space City, working with groups such as the Houston Food Bank, the Buffalo Bayou Park Conservancy and the Ronald McDonald House.
“It was such a thrill to watch this project evolve from an idea to reality so quickly,” Houston Dynamo Director of Community Relations and Dynamo Charities Valerie Holland said. “Seeing the excitement from our staff at each of the activities and the feedback we received from our partners throughout the community was amazing. One of my favorite things about working in sports is the opportunity to bring people together and make a positive impact on the city that has given so much to us. It was a truly great experience and I can't wait to build on it for next year.”
At Operation Stocking Stuffer, volunteers helped sort through 10,000 gifts that will be donated as part of OSS’s annual toy drive. Many of the toys that were sorted came from a shopping spree on Tuesday, when members of both the Houston Dynamo and Houston Dash purchased over $26,000 worth of toys for the toy drive. The toys will be distributed in a drive-through event hosted by OSS and the Houston Fire Department on Saturday, December 18 starting at 9:00 a.m.
Another group of volunteers worked with the Buffalo Bayou Park Conservancy. The team worked to prevent erosion and the unwanted growth of invasive non-native plant species along the bayou by mulching areas that had been exposed by floods and high winds. The group worked around the Tolerance Sculptures near the intersection of Allen Parkway and Montrose Blvd.
At Houston Pets Alive, Dynamo staff helped build a shelving unit for the facility to store supplies, deep cleaned a room that they are making into a VIP kennel space for special dogs and helped walk about 15 dogs and gave them extra playtime! This year alone, Houston Pets Alive has helped to save over 3,000 animals that would have been put down in shelters.
A group of 12 volunteers including the Houston Dash’s Haley Hanson went to the Ronald McDonald House, a nonprofit family & children's charity dedicated to supporting families with sick children in their time of need. At the House, volunteers served lunch to some of the 50 families living in the house. They also helped to spread tons of holiday cheer by putting together Christmas trees around the house, creating a workspace for gift wrapping, wrapping gifts, and sorting through donated toys and gifts in Santa's Store. Santa's store is a space created for the kids and their families to pick out toys for themselves and each other for Christmas.
At Kids Meals, a crew of seven packed over 1,000 meals and prepped inventory for future packing. They also prepped boxes of meals that will be on their way to the Houston Police Department for distribution this afternoon.
The Dynamo also volunteered at the Houston Food Bank, where they processed 4 pallets of food, that equals 13,000 lbs and 11,000 meals. Founded in 1982, the Houston Food Bank has distributed over 207,000,000 meals to people experiencing food insecurity in southeastern Texas in 2021 and is part of a network that works with over 1,800 community partners.
Finally, at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center the group helped plant over 300 native plants, 25 trees, 25 shrubs and 250 native wild flowers and grasses in an effort that will go a long way in preserving one of the most pristine outdoor spaces in the Bayou City.