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Houston Airports Bring Holiday Cheer

January 15, 2013

© Houston Airport System
Hundreds of Houston-area children benefited from the holiday efforts of employees with the Houston Airport System.
Team members with the Houston Airport System (HAS) recently played a key role in supporting two area holiday celebrations.

HAS employees were vital in the recent success of holiday events presented by the Bonding Against Adversity organization and the Harbach Ripley Neighborhood Center.

Bonding Against Adversity

The Bonding Against Adversity's Second Annual Community Holiday Dinner was held on December 13, 2012, bringing food, presents and a healthy dose of good holiday cheer to some of Houston’s disadvantaged residents.

Mary McKnight, who works in the External Affairs department of the Houston Airport System, was tasked with gathering toys for the children attending this year’s event. Joining her in the effort were HAS employees Caroline Schneider, Angela Smith, Viola Yim and HAS volunteer Dixie Lee Franklin.

“An event like this not only helps the children but it also helps us adults get into the holiday spirit,” McKnight says. “It’s definitely a lot of work but when you see the children’s faces light up as they open their gifts, then you know it’s all worthwhile.”

McKnight worked diligently throughout the month of December collecting toys for this year’s event. The items collected were then combined with toys gathered by Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia and others, and taken to the site of the 2012 Holiday Dinner. Bonding Against Adversity Incorporated is a non-profit corporation which provides free and low-cost community outreach programs for disadvantaged residents, with an emphasis on healthy, safe living and reducing secondary school dropout rates.

Many of the organization’s efforts are centered around the Aldine area in north Houston, making the Houston Airport System a natural partner since George Bush Intercontinental Airport is located nearby. At the dinner event, families were not only treated to a free holiday meal featuring the customary holiday fare, but children were also gathered together so that gifts could be passed out to each and every one of them.

“An event like this is not possible unless a community comes together,” McKnight says. “That’s why there’s such a feeling of pride when things go well, because it’s a group effort that represents what we can accomplish when we work together.”

Harbach-Ripley Neighborhood Center

Employees with the Houston Airport System also collected items in support of the Harbach-Ripley Neighborhood Center's 2012 Holiday Toy Drive.

Employees working in the Facilities/Maintenance division at William P. Hobby Airport spearheaded the effort on behalf of children at the neighborhood center located near the airport on Northdale Street.

The collected toys were passed out to excited children on December 21, 2012, with HAS employees handling the distribution duties.

The Harbach-Ripley Neighborhood Center was established in 1959 and provides area residents with a safe and friendly atmosphere where they can learn more about opportunities that may exist within their community.
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