TEAM Kelsey brings the heart of the holidays to children of BakerRipley Harbach
Every holiday season is a time for giving, and there were plenty of opportunities to bring a smile to a child’s face this holiday season. The Houston area has many charitable organizations, local businesses, and police and fire departments that host toy drives each year, bringing joy to children and families in need. Kelsey-Seybold Clinic’s annual Toy Drive continues to impress the local community of the BakerRipley Harbach Neighborhood Center at their annual Holiday Connect event held on Dec. 14.
“The families of the BakerRipley Harbach Campus were overjoyed to hear that Kelsey-Seybold would once again be our title sponsor for the annual Holiday Connect event,” said Milton Guardado, BakerRipley Manager of Community Development. “For some of these children, this may be the only gift they receive over the holidays. The toys and bicycles donated by Kelsey-Seybold are a huge blessing to this community.”
Behind the scenes with the Kelsey Elves
This 2019 holiday season brought the most giving, with over 1,500 toys, books, and everyday essentials donated by Kelsey-Seybold’s providers and employees.
“I’m so proud to be a part of this organization, full of people who give with their hearts and best intentions,” said Dr. Tony Lin, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Managing Director. “Thank you to our TEAM Kelsey volunteers for your time and efforts with this special holiday event. I personally had an opportunity to see the impact these gifts had on the families of the Harbach Center. It’s a great experience to volunteer alongside TEAM Kelsey volunteers.”
With a toy collection of this size, the Kelsey Elves were called in to assist in the sorting, packing, and wrapping. On Dec. 10, 20 TEAM Kelsey volunteers shared their personal time and assisted with sorting toys by age and gender before securing them for transport to the community center.
Amber Coleman, Account Manager, said she enjoys volunteering and spending time with wonderful people who share the same desire to give back. “This is a chance to share in bringing children a special kind of joy. I have been blessed to never know these hardships, so it’s my job to give back and help another parent provide the desires of their children’s hearts.”
Making holiday connections at BakerRipley Harbach
The Harbach Center was ecstatic about Kelsey-Seybold’s in-kind donations of toys to more than 200 children, as well as four additional extra-large boxes filled with toys, books, diapers, wipes, and toiletries for the community to use throughout the year. They were even more grateful to have over 40 TEAM Kelsey volunteers there to assist with the event itself.
“We have several new mothers who are members of the Harbach Center, as well as a strong partnership with Sterling High School and the feeder schools,” said Milton. “These everyday essentials – such as the diapers, wipes, and toiletries – will help us to meet the ongoing needs of our community.”
TEAM Kelsey volunteers, including KelseyBear, helped greet families, serve breakfast, and distribute the gifts to the children. Devin Hernandez, Corporate Accounts Support Representative, enjoyed her time as a volunteer. “I can’t think of a favorite part because I enjoyed the whole event,” she exclaimed. “From serving breakfast, to dancing with the kids and seeing their faces light up when they received a bag full of toys just for them – my heart was full that day!”
The Harbach Center has developed into a Health and Wellness Center that includes urban farming and health and fitness resources. Some of their programs include holiday celebrations, nutrition workshops, and community food programs, while also offering senior services, after school young leaders’ programs, and volunteer opportunities.
Kelsey-Seybold Clinic partners with UnitedHealthcare® to provide one of the health plan offerings for BakerRipley employees and their families.
If you’re interested in volunteering outside of TEAM Kelsey events, please contact Lauren Duplessis, BakerRipley Volunteer Coordinator, at LDuplessis@BakerRipley.org and ask to volunteer with BakerRipley Harbach Campus! #kelseycares
Written by Robin Baker.