Spirit of Volunteerism Motivates UH Alumni, Feeding Houston

Published on June 28, 2009

Alumni Day of Service Gives Group Opportunity to Feed Hungry Houstonians

Volunteering was a family affair at the Bauer Alumni Association’s first-ever Alumni Day of Service, held in June at the Houston Food Bank.

Volunteering was a family affair at the Bauer Alumni Association’s first-ever Alumni Day of Service, held in June at the Houston Food Bank.

Alumni from the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business rolled up their sleeves on a Saturday morning in June to give back to the community through the Bauer Alumni Association’s first-ever Alumni Day of Service.

The group donated their time to the Houston Food Bank, a private nonprofit organization that works to feed nearly 500,000 people across the city each year. Extending the group’s reach into community service makes sense, said David Flores (MBA ’03), the alumni association’s 2nd vice president.

“The (BAA) board is focused on giving back to our alma mater. Over the years we have done so with countless events and programs that add value to Bauer alumni,” he added. “It was an easy decision for the Bauer alumni to begin what we hope will be a longstanding tradition of giving back to our school and to our community.”

One alumnus was instrumental in shaping the details of the event. Richard Orellana’s (’96) strong background and passion for volunteering made him the perfect candidate to spearhead the event, Flores said.

“Volunteerism transcends many of the challenges faced by other types of alumni events,” Orellana said. “Volunteerism brings people together despite the fact that those people might be made up of very unique individuals while at the same time serving others.”

Age differences, career status, economic status and family status become invisible when groups come together to focus on people who need help, he added.

The alumni association chose the Houston Food Bank as the recipient of its first Day of Service for many reasons, including its family friendly atmosphere, which allowed alumni to bring children as young as 8 to volunteer alongside their parents.

“In addition, the Houston Food Bank was selected since it touches so many lives and serves approximately 80,000 people per week through churches, community food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters for the homeless, abused and elderly, and nutrition sites for children in the greater Houston area,” Orellana said.

The group event was an opportunity for Bauer alumni who are interested in volunteering but may not have known how or where to do community service, he added.

“There are many reasons for giving back to the community,” Orellana said. “There’s a feeling that one gets while volunteering. You can’t touch it, but make no mistake; it’s very real. It’s called making a difference.”

By Hannah Eastham