Hola, Houstonians! It’s a new month and, with that, new opportunities to devote time towards helping out the hometown. Below, you can find our own Monica Jones’ 7 Ways to Give Back to the 713 for the month of May. We’ll let her take it from here.

April showers have brought with them May flowers. We’ve got a beautiful month and beautiful weather ahead of us. And there’s no better way to make the city more beautiful, than by serving the community. Without further ado, here are 7 Ways YOU can Give Back to the 713 over the next sixteen days.

1. You may not know that May is Lupus Awareness Month; and women of color are two times more likely to develop Lupus than women from any other races. In fact, over 30,000 Houstonians are currently living with Lupus. The start of May brought with it the “Walk to END Lupus Now & 5K Run”; but if you missed that, you can still contribute to the fight against Lupus now through July 31st by making a monetary donation to the Lupus Foundation in support of Purple Warriors. You can drop off an online donation here.

2. Insurance company Cigna has partnered with Houston organization Go Healthy Houston to encourage Houstonians to hit the streets and be physically active for one Sunday per month to promote a healthier lifestyle. The last installment of 2018’s “Cigna Sunday Streets” goes down this Sunday, May 20th, from 12 to 4 PM in the Montrose area. Select streets will be closed off to motorized traffic, allowing attendees to cycle, walk, run, dance and socialize in the streets. However, the group is looking for volunteers to help with traffic and crowd control. You can sign up to help out at GoHealthyHouston’s website here.





3. School’s out! Most Houston-area students will begin their summer break at the end of this month, enabling summer camps and programs to thrive so they stay active and learning even outside of the classroom. Consider volunteering as a camp counselor at an upcoming dance, sports, or educational camp. You can check out Houston Summer Camps for a complete list of summer camps in need of extra hands.

4. End The Silence. May is also Mental Health Awareness Month, and presents an opportunity to highlight mental health recovery and combat the stigma that surrounds conversations about mental health. It only takes a few minutes or two, but check in on your friends or family who might be struggling with their mental health and in need of support or a few positive words.

5. Do you enjoy running or cycling? Well, now there’s a chance to increase your sweat equity – literally. The Charity Miles app allows users to run, walk, or cycle and, in the process, raise funds for your favorite charity. It’s as simple as downloading the Charity Miles app onto your phone, selecting a charitable organization, and then exercising like you normally would. Every mile you complete, earns money for your selected charity.

6. Join the Houston Museum of African-American Culture for their upcoming “Now More Than Ever” Community Gala. The gala aims to unite Black community leaders and philanthropists behind the mission of advancing underserved communities, all while partying with a purpose. The gala goes down Saturday, May 19th, at Houston’s Ensemble Theatre from 6:30 to 9 PM. You can purchase tickets here.

7. The last day of May has been dubbed “National Smile Day.” Smiling lowers stress and acts as a mood booster but most importantly, it affects others around you. So consider smiling at random strangers on May 31st because smiling is contagious – AND it can change the world.