Volunteer Coordinator

Volunteer Coordinator

  • Posted Fourth Grade Field Trips to Dish with Gracie
    As our Seed-to-Plate classes come to an end, and we finish "Eating the Rainbow," we're rounding out the year with our 4th grade field trips. Students from our showcase schools--Rodriguez Elementary and MacGregor Elementary--recently visited Hope Farms, and had the opportunity to participate in a full farm to table experience. Working closely with RFS farmer Justin Meyers and guest chef Kevin Naderi, students were split into three groups, and tasked with tackling the various components of a true farm to table experience. During the their time with farmer Meyers, our first group of students helped weed and ensure that that all the raised beds were getting enough water (this was especially important as our as our days are getting hotter and hotter), while our second group worked to harvest the healthy, delicious ingredients that comprised our farm lunch, and our...
  • Posted May Volunteer of the Month: Cheryl Sorak to Dish with Gracie
    We are pleased to announce Cheryl Sorak as our May Volunteer of the Month. A busy mom of two teenagers and employee at a natural health clinic in the Houston Heights area, Cheryl still manages to carve out time to donate her time at Hope Farms on a weekly basis. Since July 2017, she's been drawn to the farm, a space she describes as "beautiful" and "good for the soul". Cheryl enjoys volunteering because of the opportunity it provides to work with the foundation's farm team and other volunteers and the work is a great learning experience. One of her favorite memories was during this past winter when a rare dusting of snow covered the farm fields. "It was amazing to see the plants covered in snow! I know it was probably not the best for some of them but...
  • Posted Garden Haiku Contest 2018 to Dish with Gracie
    In honor of National Garden Month, National Poetry Month, and Earth Day, Recipe For Success Foundation invites you to participate in our annual Garden Haiku Contest. All ages are welcome to join! Students with a budding interest in poetry, or adults whose passion is in full bloom are invited to enter this online contest. Categories are: SEEDS: Ages 5-11 SPROUTS: Ages 12-17 BLOOMS: Ages 18 and over Winners will be chosen from each category by local poetry experts here in Houston and announced at our Earth Day Festival at Hope Farms on April 21, 2018. More than one billion people around the globe will participate in Earth Day 2018. People of all nationalities and backgrounds will voice their appreciation for the planet and demand its protection. Together we will stand united for a sustainable future and call upon individuals,...
  • Posted So What? Girl Scout Journey This Summer to Dish with Gracie
    Recipe For Success partners with the San Jacinto Council of Texas to lead Senior Girl Scouts through this amazing hands-on experience with sessions at both Hope Farms, our 7-acre farm just south of loop 610, and RecipeHouse, our teaching kitchen in the Museum District. Sow What is a social issue awareness program, which counts towards the Harvest Award, their highest achievement. In the Sow What? Journey, Scouts learn about food--how and where it's grown, processed, distributed, and consumed-- and why it matters. Participants follow their food from the farm to the table, while learning the processes, skills, and considerations to grow, purchase, and create meals on their own. The girls are then asked to prepare and host a meal for their families using ingredients they have harvested and prepared and to provide a short presentation about the role urban agriculture...
  • Posted Time For Green Knife Challenge! to Dish with Gracie
    Our Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ cooking classes are popping with excitement as our annual Green Knife Challenge springs into action. In this friendly competition, our students showcase skills aquired throughout the school year. Classes are divided into teams to compete for four honorable categories: Best Plate Presentation, Cleanest workers, Best teamwork, and, the big prize winner, Best Dish Overall. Instructors present students with a dish they must craft blindly without the guidance of a recipe under time restrictions and other given limitations. Our past challenges have not only been fun for our students but have been an excellent opportunity to show the community and supporters how much the students have learned. To spice things up, at the start of the competition, each team receives a different basket of ingredients. The teams are asked a round of questions from the year's curriculum...
  • Posted Register for Summer Camp 2018 to Dish with Gracie
    Kids, ages 8-12, take an adventure through their taste buds and minds with our RecipeHouse healthy cooking summer camp! Choose from three deliciously fun food adventures! Marco Polo - Discover tastes & culture from Polo's journey along the Silk Road. Eat This! - Create wacky store ready food product & compete to get it on the shelf. Super Foods - Super Food Heroes come to life through recipes and comic strips. Monday - Friday: 9am - 3pm, $395/week. Classes are taught by a chef educator who is certified in Seed to Plate Nutrition Education™ instruction, and camp fees include daily lunch and snacks, all supplies and materials, and walking fields trips to a community garden. MORE INFORMATION...
  • Posted Spring Volunteer Opportunities to Dish with Gracie
    It's Event Frenzy! The foundation is ready for spring with a host of fun events and festivals you will not want to miss. Hop right into the action by volunteering at one or all of these delicious occasions celebrating food and community. Hope Farms Work Day, Friday, April 6, flexible shifts starting at 8:30 a.m. Help us prepare our farm for Earth Day weekend. There is much to do from helping to build our Children's Garden, to grounds clean up, to painting! Sign Up within our Hope Farms work day opportunity! Earth Day Festival, Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This year marks our first annual Earth Day Festival at Hope Farms. The festival is a a free community event offering family friendly activities including farm tours, art & crafts, upcycle stations, and goodies from local Houston vendors....
  • Posted Robin Rawles is our March Volunteer of the Month! to Dish with Gracie
    We are happy to feature Robin Rawles as our March Volunteer of the Month who has devoted her time in the classroom as a Seed to Plate Nutrition Education ™ SWAT Member for two years. The program appealed to Robin, who, outside of her volunteer service, works with older students in various subjects. To Robin, the foundation's educational program is the "embodiment of [the] mission statement". She enjoys working with Seed to Plate Nutrition Education ™ instructors, Will Isbel and Lynsey Beat, boasting that they "are two of the most knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and committed educators I have ever encountered. It is a joy to learn from them and to see the children learning." One of Robin's favorite memories created while volunteering in the classroom is of a conversation with a first-grader who paused his playtime during recess to ask...
  • Posted Meet Mereen Jacob, our February Volunteer of the Month! to Dish with Gracie
    Over the past year, Mereen has donated her time, supporting the foundation's mission through her work in the office and schools, during Girl Scout workshops, and at special events. Each opportunity for Mereen to volunteer is a time when we're able to see her passion for the organization through her dedication and cheerful disposition. "Her warmth and generosity to our students has been a breathe of fresh air," says Paola Tello, Culinary Director, "It is with much gratitude that I nominate Mereen for volunteer of the month." After graduating from the University of Houston with a BS in Human Nutrition and Foods and working in various healthcare positions, Mereen began graduate school at Texas Woman's University. Her Masters in Nutrition courses motivated her to look for opportunities to volunteer in nutrition related fields. This search led her to Recipe for...
  • Posted KHOU-TV Visits RecipeHouse to Dish with Gracie
    KHOU anchor Ron Trevino recently brought his crew to RecipeHouse, where students from Post Oak High School were on a culinary adventure. According to Trevino, Recipe For Success Foundation is trying fight childhood obesity by making healthy food fun, tasty, affordable and easy. At the program's headquarters and kitchen in the Montrose area, students from Post Oak High School received a lesson in making healthy food choices. A chef taught them how to cook vegetable dumplings. "I think I'll be able to cook on my own instead of going to eat ramen for the four years I'll be in college," says Salvador Rivera, a senior at Post Oak High. Recipe For Success tries to change the way kids look at food. "There are so many healthy foods that a lot of people don't know about and they taste really good,"...
  • Posted Allison Hand is the January Volunteer of the Month! to Dish with Gracie
    Allison joined the Recipe for Success Team four years ago as a member of our Seed-to-Plate SWAT team. Passionate about maintaining a healthy lifestyle for herself, Allison's desire to encourage healthy eating habits in children initially drew her to the organization. "I was excited about being a part of a mission to help reduce childhood obesity," she says, remembering a time when she helped the students harvest produce they had planted in the school gardens. "To see the excitement and smiles on their faces, seeing their work come to fruition, was very exciting to me. And to know they were going to eventually eat the food that they would cook was even more extraordinary!" These days, Allison maintains a steady presence in the foundation's office, performing a variety of administrative tasks. Although many days Allison is handed a tedious task,...
  • Posted Meet T'Liza Kiel: 2017 Volunteer of the Year! to Dish with Gracie
    We are excited and honored to name T'Liza Kiel the 2017 Volunteer of the Year for Recipe for Success Foundation. T'Liza connected with Recipe for Success Foundation through her work at Hope Farms with The Mission Continues 4th Platoon. T'Liza immediately connected with the Sunnyside community, which reminded her of La Marque, Texas, her hometown. Sunnyside's similarity to La Marque, as well as the fact that Hope Farms allows access to fresh produce to an area identified as a food desert, increased the significance of her service. As the Veterans Behavioral Health Director for Mental Health America of Greater Houston, T'Liza recognizes the positive effects fresh produce has on physical and mental well-being. Because the subject of mental health still carries a stigma, her work on the farm can serve as a conduit to open conversations with peers and community...
  • Posted John Niscavits is October's Volunteer of the Month to Dish with Gracie
    Congratulations to John Niscavits, our October volunteer of the month. Hope Farms has benefited greatly from John's dedication to farm work assisting with production and post-hurricane restoration. With a personal interest in organic gardening and achieving partial self sustainment by supplementing with home grown produce, John sought out a hands-on experience in urban agriculture. "Recipe For Success' investment into Hope Farms has given me opportunities to enrich my understanding of growing food organically, as well as how to grow more efficiently," he says, adding that he and a fellow friend and neighbor would like to introduce these methods into their Hobby District community. John laughs about his ambitions and comments that his growing enthusiasm for urban farming evokes the desire to till up his front yard and plant rows of corn, joking, "Maybe one day we can write that into...
  • Posted EatThis! Summer Camp 2017 to Dish with Gracie
    There's no place like RecipeHouse in the summer. Our Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ programs don't end on the last day of school, they just turn the page to a new chapter: summer camps! In our themed camps, kids learn how to easily prepare and enjoy healthy foods, and during visits to Hope Farms they see how their favorite new foods are grown and harvested. In June, our Eat This! camp, inspired by Marco Polo's journey on the Silk Road, explored the culinary cultures of Greece, Italy, India, and China. Campers earned stamps in their passports for making a delicious dish that celebrated each country With fresh produce from Hope Farms, children cooked up Greek salad, Italian homemade pasta with tomatoes and kale, and Chinese stir fry. Times between meals were used to learn about Marco Polo's journey and the different countries...
  • Posted Hope Farms Gets Thumbs Up to Dish with Gracie
    Hope Farms came alive in May with students from Rodriguez Elementary School on a field trip and picnic visit...
  • Posted Bruce Simon is Volunteer of the Month to Dish with Gracie
    While on summer break from his three year stretch as a substitute teacher, Bruce was in search of a volunteer opportunity in which he could positively impact children's lives. He learned of Recipe for Success Foundation through Volunteer Houston and jumped in feet first, engaging in summer camp, hope farms work days, and office work dedicating over 150 hours this summer alone. In the office, Bruce singlehandedly organized a mailing list for an upcoming event and helped convert hundreds of documents into electronic files. Chief Agricultural Officer, Justin Myers, commented on Bruce's "dedicated and positive presence on the farm throughout the heat of the summer. His calm nature and hard work have allowed the farm to navigate through epic weeding and make a successful transition into preparations for the fall planting season." No matter the task, Bruce feels that his...
  • Posted Aimee Mantell to Recipe for Success
    Aimee Mantell Growing up in Pennsylvania, Aimee was raised with an appreciation for the outdoors. Family road trips across the country to National Parks solidified her passion for nature and peaked her interest in learning about the connection of individuals'...
  • Posted The Students of Monarch School and Institute are our July Volunteer Stars! to Dish with Gracie
    In late 2016, Montia Murray, Professional Educator at The Monarch School and Institute, contacted Recipe for Success Foundation, hoping to form a partnership in the hopes of establishing an opportunity to introduce the school's adult learners to the practice of serving others. Our office welcomed the new year and smiling faces of a select group of Monarch students who visited RecipeHouse to serve as office angels. These energetic individuals assisted with event mailings, press kit assembly, and inventory updates. It was always a treat to welcome their enthusiasm into an otherwise quiet and standard office day; their efforts helped improve office efficiency and decreased turnaround time for a mass event mailing. Students at the Monarch School and Institute are diagnosed with neurological differences, primarily Autism. The program works on a Four Core Goal model that includes Self-awareness/Self-Regulation, Relationship Development,...
  • Posted Chef Justin featured in Eating Well May/June 2017 to Dish with Gracie
    The editorial team at Eating Well are ramping up their veggie intake and challenging each other in VegOut! this month. They praise the work of Recipe for Success in their most recent publication and feature Chef Justin Kouri, along with his recipe that gives a spin to the "humble" radish. Get out your mixing bowl and give Chef Justin's Grilled Green Beans with Watermelon-Radish Salsa a try! Eating Well May:June 2017.pdf...
  • Posted Meet Mary Goodman: June Volunteer of the Month to Dish with Gracie
    Since joining the volunteer team, Mary has lent her time and talents helping to improve our foundation's office systems, increasing our everyday efficiency. Whether its data entry, research, document scanning, or stuffing and sealing event invitations, Mary offers her eagle eye and sharp wit to each project and contributes solutions to make a process better. "I really enjoy my work as an office angel," she says, "The work is not complicated...I find it very satisfying and the effort is always appreciated." Born a first generation American in Newark, the most populated city in New Jersey, Mary embraced the city life, later living in Milwaukee and eventually settling in Houston. While working toward her Masters in Science at the University of Houston, her student office also served as an aquaponics garden. A city girl at heart, Mary was unfamiliar with farming...
  • Posted Tiffany Mathews is Volunteer of the Month! to Dish with Gracie
    We are thrilled to feature Tiffany Mathews as our May Volunteer of the Month. Since 2014, Tiffany has brought her cheerful personality to summer camp and Girl Scout classes, sharing her love for cooking acquired at age ten. "A lot of my family's social interaction took place in the kitchen," she recalls. And because her mother didn't like cooking, learning and enjoying how to cook was a natural step for Tiffany. Today, she considers one of her specialties mac n cheese, made predominately with cheddar and is "currently working on a recipe that has no processed cheese." A Missouri native, Tiffany joined her two older sisters in Texas nearly eight years ago after graduating from University of Pittsburg. She is currently working a second degree in nutrition and dietetics at the University of Houston. Once she conquers the GRE, Tiffany...
  • Posted Delicious Alchemy Banquet Smashing Success to Dish with Gracie
    Nearly $200,000 Raised to Support the Foundation's Mission! We are thrilled to announce our second annual Delicious Alchemy Banquet was a run-away success! The energy in the room was buzzing and not just because the wine and spirits were flowing freely (because they were)! There is such joy from a sharing a meal and scintillating conversations with friends old and new. To finish it off with a sweet note, we are delighted to report that we raised nearly $200,000 to help fight childhood obesity and food injustice! This couldn't have happened without wonderful guests, our hard-working chair, Karina Barbieri, our gracious hosts, Becca and John Thrash, our amazing chefs, and generous sponsors, including Bonneté, Beviamo International, Sysco, DR Delicacy, D'Artagnan, Lexis Florist, Socialite Entertainment, and Chopard. You can check out all the fabulous photos! The splendid evening was hosted in...
  • Posted Meet Judy Reed Wells, our Volunteer of the Month to Dish with Gracie
    A resident of Sunnyside, Judy was encouraged to learn more about Recipe for Success Foundation after a posted Hope Farms sign caught her eye. She stopped to have a conversation with Justin Myers, Chief Agricultural Officer, learning how the farm would positively impact her community, bringing "fresh fruits and vegetables...at low cost". Judy was inspired to call the RecipeHouse office and learn about volunteer opportunities. She quickly spread the word about the work of Recipe for Success amongst her neighbors and friends, encouraging several Sunnyside residents to promptly attend the next available volunteer orientation, ready to dedicate their time and energy at the farm. Since first zealously recruiting volunteers, Judy has seized every opportunity to be involved, working on the farm, assisting in Girl Scout cooking classes, and helping fundraise at our exclusive events. No matter the task, she always...
  • Posted Summertime Fun for Kids to Dish with Gracie
    There's no place like RecipeHouse for the summertime! Imagine this scene at home - kids in the kitchen preparing a deliciously healthy snack for the family to enjoy. Making it a reality is easy if you register for one of our fun-filled Summer Camps at RecipeHouse or Hope Farms. Campers spend the week learning about cooking and gardening. Choose from the original Eat This! Camp combination of cooking and gardening and product development; Eat it! Food Adventures with Marco Polo discovering cuisines from Italy, Greece, Turkey, India and China; Super Foods bringing super food heros life; Farm Camp exploring urban farming, art, worms, and more; or Sow What? Girl Scout Camp celebrating food, the planet, and sisterhood. Enrollment is open to all children ages 8-12. Find camp dates and program details on our EatThis! Summer Camp site page and check...
  • Posted FEB Volunteer of the Month to Dish with Gracie
    Our Volunteer of the month for February is Mike Aden. Born in Florida and raised in the Houston-Baytown area, Mike has worked for Keeping Houston Beautiful for 12 years. His grandparents introduced him to gardening at their plant nursery in Florida and he continues to enjoy the outdoors, especially when camping. While he normally cooks for himself only when camping, "I enjoy a good salad, fresh garlic, and onion." Through frequent conversations with Justin, our Chief Agricultural Officer, Mike learned more about the ongoing efforts of Recipe for Success and appreciates how Hope Farms will provide fresh produce for families to enjoy. "It's a really good thing, what you're doing!" Recently, Mike devoted several hours of his time at Hope Farms. Stopping by the farm to drop off items in preparation for an upcoming work day, Mike noticed Farm Manager,...
  • Posted Linda Orrick is January Volunteer of the Month to Dish with Gracie
    Since coming on board as an office angel, Linda has devoted several hours of her time on a weekly basis, assisting with tasks to keep us organized and mission-focused. She tripped across Recipe for Success Foundation during a web search and felt connected to our mission to combat childhood obesity. With twelve grandchildren, this connection is personal for Linda and she hopes they all develop and maintain a healthy relationship with food. Most attractive to Linda is our offering of office work opportunities because she wishes to serve and share her talents where needed. No matter the task given, Linda completes it with precision and positivity. Even monotonous jobs such as scanning a bank box full of documents, Linda accepts with a smile, understanding completion of such tasks helps us operate more efficiently. Outside of her service to Recipe for...
  • Posted March Volunteer of the Month to Dish with Gracie
    Former winner of the Recipe for Success Foundation Golden Whisk Volunteer of the Year award, Suzanne Williams, is our 2016 March Volunteer of the Month! We sat down with Suzanne at our office, where she generously shares her time and talents, to ask her a few questions: What sparked your interest to volunteer with Recipe for Success? I had recently retired and was looking for a volunteer opportunity that combined a passion, healthy food, with a big issue in America today, childhood obesity.How long have you been volunteering and at what locations? I think I began volunteering at Recipe for Success Foundation in the fall of 2012. I'm usually at the office but enjoy helping out at the evening events and the annual luncheon too. What keeps you coming back week after week? What are your favorite things to do...
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