August looks to bring slightly cooler temperatures and the academic year back to Houston. But though it’s a new month, our own Monica Jones is maintaining her spirit of service with her “7 Ways to Give Back to the 713.” We won’t take up too much of your time, but as always, if you participate in or make use of any of Monica’s ideas, feel free to tag it on social media with “#7Ways.” Here’s Monica with this month’s list.

Around this time a year ago, Houston was faced with one of its toughest crises by way of Hurricane Harvey. But as the saying goes, we’re “Houston Strong” and we’re still here! I’ve once again tracked down seven opportunities that Houstonians can take advantage of to serve and help out the community. Though Harvey may have taken away, there’s no better time than ever to give back

1. The summer is sadly coming to an end, which means it’s Back to School time for parents. Consider putting together your own supply drive or donating items to a community drive to help alleviate some of the financial burden parents face preparing their children for the academic year ahead.

2. Speaking of supply drives, if you can’t find or organize one yourself, you’re in luck: Houston area entrepreneur and professional photographer Jerren Willis (of Jerren Willis Photography) has put together a supply drive for educators who may require extra supplies to ensure they have a great start to the school year. Interested educators in need of supplies and willing donors/sponsors can fill out the submission form for Jerren’s drive at the link here.


3. This month marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey. On August 25th, Community Works CDC will remind us of the spirit of “Houston Strong” by commemorating Harvey survivors and celebrating the resilience of the Northeast side, one of the areas of Houston most hardly hit by Harvey. Over 500 backpacks will be distributed to students in the area as they prepare for back to school. Attendees are encouraged to bring clothing and shoe donations to be put towards a community clothing drive as well. The Festival will take place from 1 to 5 PM at 7111 Homestead Rd.

4. Join SoulCycle, Texas Monthly Magazine, and Frost Bank for Texas Optimism Project’s Charity Ride on August 19th, with 100% of the proceeds to going towards the Houston Arts Alliance, a local art and culture agency that works to conserve and promote the public arts. Registration for the ride has already begun, and you’ll definitely want to make sure to reserve your bike before they’re all gone. You can register for the Charity Ride here.

5. August marks the start of the annual Houston Restaurant Weeks. Now through September 3rd, Houstonians can get great deals on brunch, lunch, and dinner meals, with a portion of all proceeds going towards assisting the Houston, Montgomery, and Galveston County Food Banks in getting food and nutrients to families and agencies in need.

6. Football season starts this month, with NFL preseason play prior to the start of the regular season. The Houston Texans will kick off their preseason schedule against the San Francisco 49ers. In the spirit of the game, consider hosting a flag football game with friends or hosting a watch party fundraiser, asking friends and family to make a small donation that’ll go towards a local charity.

7. The anniversary of Hurricane Harvey approaching might cause many to forget that some are STILL dealing with the storm’s aftermath. The physical recovery is one thing, but it’s important to keep in mind the mental and emotional recovery required as well. Take a step towards protecting your mental health by putting together a support group for children and families who may be dealing with PTSD, depression, or anxiety that Hurricane Harvey left behind.