Girl Up Houston Activities
For girls all around the world.
Pen Pal Program
Benavidez Elementary 4th Grade ESL Girls
Girls in Our Community
Making a Difference One Letter at a Time
Girl Up Houston will be participating in Jacobs Engineering's annual pen pal program, which partners with Benavidez Elementary, an underprivileged elementary school in Houston, in order to help improve 4th grade ESL students with their English and just be a friendly face to talk to. Approximately 10 of our members will be a pen pal this year to a 4th grade girl, in hopes of encouraging her one-on-one to keep pursuing a higher education and practicing her new language (English). Letters will be sent once every week for the rest of the school year (approximately for 7 months).
Total Amount Raised: $10,159.00
Total Amount Donated: ~500 articles of clothing
Over 30 new toys/gifts
Over 6,050 feminine products
Art Competition Fundraiser
(1/7/16-3/19/16) This fundraiser was aimed at promoting art in our community as well as raising awareness about the inequalities girls face around the world. With over 50 submissions and over $200 worth of prizes awarded to winners, this event was a success.
Walk For Girls Fundraiser
(5/14/16) This fundraiser was to promote awareness about the fact that many girls are denied the right to a basic education, and if not, have to walk long miles every day just to get to school. All proceeds from this event were donated to help girls around the world as well as provide things like bicycles.
Donation: ~500 articles of clothing
(until 7/1/16) This clothing drive benefited the Fort Bend County Women’s Center, which aids survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and works to prevent violence against women. Clothing donated went directly to help victims and their children or towards the Center’s PennyWise stores, where the items may be sold to enable Fort Bend County Women’s Center to continue to support survivors.
In total, we donated over 20 large bags and approximately 500 articles of clothing (~220 pounds).
Meeting With Congressman Pete Olson
Lauren Yang of Girl Up Houston met with representatives of Congressman Pete Olson's office on 7/8/16 and then Congressman Pete Olson himself on 7/29/16 to discuss the inequalities girls face simply for being a girl, the Girl Up organization, quality education for refugees, and our upcoming event. A huge thank you for taking the time to meet with us!
Spread the Music Benefit Concert
(8/13/16) In partnership with the Spread the Music Association, this benefit concert promoted awareness about the inequalities girls face simply for being a girl in order to empower adolescent girls around the world to achieve more than society limits them to. With over 50 talented performers, a variety of performances, from dance (K-pop and ballet) to Chinese instruments, a representative of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee present, and an audience of over 600, this event was able to raise over $7,000 from donations, ticket sales, and sponsorships.
Donate a Photo
This event extended over several months as our members donated photos through the Johnson and Johnson app and were able to raise $652 to help lift girls out of poverty in India. The amount raised went towards helping girls attend bi-monthly classes to teach vital life skills and prevent them from child marriages.
Pen Pal Kickoff Party
(10/14/16) This event was to kickoff our pen pal program with ESL girls at an elementary school. We were reminded of why we were doing this by declarations from some of the fourth grade girls of wanting to be a doctor, a teacher, a scientist, and more, and hope that we can also encourage them to not give up on their dreams no matter what environment they come from.
(until 12/15/16) Fort Bend County Women's Center, a center for domestically abused women in our local community hosted its annual Santa Store, and Girl Up Houston held a holiday drive for new clothing, toys, games, etc. for the store. From support from family and friends, we were able to purchase and collect over 30 items that will become holiday gifts for FBWC's clients.
Santa Store (Day 1)
(12/16/16) Girl Up Houston volunteered to help set up the Santa Store by sorting donations, organizing gifts, and helped out at FBWC's Pennywise Center, which sells any used donations at low prices - and the money is used to aid their clients.
Santa Store (Day 2)
(12/19/16) Girl Up Houston was able to take part in Fort Bend County Women's Center's annual Santa Store by volunteering on one of the two days of the event. FBWC's clients were able to "shop" the store for holiday gifts for their children and themselves, and we assisted them by restocking the store and helping them pick out gifts by leading them individually around the store to designated age gifts for their children. It was such a privilege and joy to be able to give back for the holidays especially for these women who have been through so much - too much. In the two day event, FBWC served over 1,200 clients as well as their children, and this was definitely an experience to remember, interacting with the women, hearing stories about their children, and simply helping this season of giving. FBWC received hundreds of new gifts for these women and their families, and it was amazing to be able to see first hand a community that came together.
Rodeo Fashion Show
(2/18/17) The teen girls in FBWC's Rodeo Fashion Show strut the runway with used clothes from Fort Bend Women's Center's resale center, where all profits goes towards aiding domestically abused women in its shelter. The show promotes hope and the message that a girl's clothes, or the price of her clothes, even in a fashion show, do not determine her confidence or her beauty. Additionally, items modeled in the show were purchased afterwards with all proceeds going towards FBWC's programs of aiding the women in the shelters and making sure that they will be self sufficient.
A Part of Life Drive
Fundraiser (for feminine products): $1,131.00
(2/20/17 - 3/5/17) Girl Up Houston held a feminine products drive for the girls of Reynosa, Mexico, who have limited access to them. Through monetary product donations, we were able to raise enough to cover over 2 years of the needs of the 40 girls in the village. To cover over one year's needs, with over 6,050 pads, all donations were given directly to the girls/women of the village during the week of 3/12/17. All of the remaining money fundraised will be used to purchase another year's supply in 2018.
World In Your Hands
As the winning piece of the World In Your Hands art competition, Lauren's piece will be on display at events at the UN Commission on the Status of Women and in Safe Magazine. Girls around the world have something to say, and this competition provided girls the opportunity to express their voices through artistic expression. At the UN CSW, the artwork will be on display to highlight "how girls around the world are speaking out and taking action to break the cycle of violence." In this way, we are able to advocate girls standing up for girls in an international platform, both through the magazine and at the event.
(3/14/17) In partnership with Girls Inc. of Greater Houston, Girl Up Houston held a presentation and hands-on activities for girls ages 7-12. The presentation gave an overview of IWD, what it stands for, issues that girls face today, and what they can do to make a difference. The girls then wrote out a plan, choosing a few of the issues talked about, to say how they would #beboldforchange to help make a difference. Some of their ideas were having a book and school supplies drive to send to girls in Guatemala or having girls stay in school for 3 more years so that they will marry later. After the girls shared their plans, we had an art activity, where they chose one issue that they particularly felt passionate about. Each issue was paired with a color (pink, red, blue, green, purple, green, yellow, and orange), and the girls would put their handprint in that color on a large canvas inside of the IWD logo.
A Part of Life Drive Pt. 2
(3/16/17) Girl Up Houston members and supporters traveled to Reynosa, Mexico, an underdeveloped village where the people don't have much more than the basic necessities, including feminine products for girls. Our members delivered over 6,050 pads from the A Part of Life Drive to the women and girls in the colonia. A young woman from the village helped to identify houses with women who we could help, including several young mothers. The girls went throughout the colonia, delivering at least one package of 48 to over 60 households and at a school in the colonia.
Safari Hunt 5K
(4/15/17) Our Girl Up Houston club participated in a 5K organized by Dulles High School National Honor Society and Dulles Delta Club. This is an annual Fun Run fundraiser that they put on, and this year, we asked them to donate all proceeds to Girl Up. With over 100 runners in total, a USA Track & Field certified course, breakfast items and snacks, included t-shirts, tie-dye & face-painting stations, raffle, and more, the event was a success and fun-filled!
Pen Pal Program
(October 2016-May 2017) Nine Girl Up Houston club members were pen pals with 4th grade ESL girls in an underprivileged elementary school, Benavidez Elementary. We wrote letters to them every week and exchanged gifts, stories, and encouragement throughout the entire school year. We hope that we were able to be a friendly face that they could talk to throughout the year and that they were able to improve their new language, English. There is so much that we learned from them, and we hope that we were able to inspire and encourage them. For example, here is an excerpt from one of Lauren's penpal's letters (exact): "I'm good and happy from my little sister because is goin to be here birthday and it's today and she's goin to have alot of fun because I like pinata and cake. But I realy need to study more because wer goin to do a test and I don't think I can do it so I will study alot for the test because that is more important then the cake and the pianta... What I'm goin to do on spream break is to do all my homework and then go to sleap a little while then have fun wet my family."
Photos from past activities