It’s crazy to believe, but we’re already more than halfway through 2018. While summer is a time to relax for many, our own Monica Jones has spent all year reminding us that it never hurts to help someone else, and she’s not slowing down in July, either. Her “7 Ways to Give Back to the 713” for the month of July are some of her most easy-to-do and creative yet, and if you’re able to give, then DO give. As always, if you decide to participate in any of Monica’s ideas, tag us on social media with “#7Ways.” We’ll let Monica take it from here.

While many of us will spend July getting into the swing of fireworks and cookouts, not everyone will have that luxury. The best way to give back to the city we love, is by taking on a philanthropic spirit and giving time to others. If you haven’t been able to do any community service over the past six months, you can start now. For July, I’ve tracked down 7 Ways to Give Back to the 713, and they won’t require much of anything from you besides a big heart.

1. Why wait until the middle of winter to treat that special someone in your life? Get inspired during the mid-year mark and make it Christmas in July by surprising your loved ones or someone less fortunate with an early Christmas gift.

2. There’s no better time to get a jump-start on the upcoming 2018-2019 school year by assisting parents with getting school supplies for their children returning back to school next month. Ask a teacher you know if they’re accepting donations for supplies – or, do it yourself and set up a collection drive with friends and family to get supplies for the kids in need.

3. Get involved by teaching an educational course on American culture and customs to children and families that have become unfortunate victims of the United States’ current border security policies. Refugee Services of Texas is looking for a good good men and women to provide teaching, inspiration and more. Visit their website here to learn more about joining the welcome team.

4. 2018 marks what would’ve been the 100th birthday of the belated legendary revolutionary Nelson Mandela. The leader’s life and legacy are annually remembered on July 18th on Nelson Mandela International Day. But you don’t have to wait until the 18th to take action. In fact, let Mandela’s legacy inspire you to make a donation to the Nelson Mandela Foundation to support their advocacy for social justice for all. You can find out more about the Foundation at their website here.

6. An average of 3,500 homeless individuals sleep on the streets of Houston on any given night. As the summer heat waves keep coming, it’s a major key to Stay Hydrated if you want to avoid heat-related illness. You can help those less fortunate beat the heat by buying a 24-pack of cold water yourself and distributing bottles of water to individuals who reside in the most heavily populated homeless areas of the city.

6. The topic of suicide seems to pop up in more and more headlines these days. You can be a part of changing the narrative by volunteering as a Suicide Hotline Rep for the National Alliance for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Recovery. Interested volunteers would work from home and must own a cell-phone. Learn more about becoming a Suicide Hotline Representative here.

7. Spread a little joy to pediatric patients who have been in the hospital for an extended period of time? You could buy a few items in line with their likes and interests to help bring their dull hospital room to life. The Dec My Room initiative is looking for people to give just a little time to helping kids in the hospital have a much cozier stay through a more personalized space. If you’re interested, reach out to Renee at to find an opportunity to help out.