What is Trees of Hope?
Doris and Carloss Morris
Long-Time Supporter Lynn Wyatt
Past Presidents (left to right) Robin Klaes, Mary Rothwell, DeeDee Marsh, Leigh Smith
Trees of Hope was founded in 1990 by Carloss Morris, a long-time friend and donor of the Star of Hope. He established Trees of Hope as a non-profit corporation with the specific purpose to conduct fundraising activities for the exclusive benefit of Star of Hope, Houston’s largest agency for the homeless.
What began as a week-long Festival of Trees, involving the whole family and hundreds of volunteers and man hours to orchestrate, evolved into a one-night black tie gala in 1996 with a specially invited entertainer; a live auction; a silent auction of trees and wreaths created by talented Houston artisans, other holiday items, and unique gifts; Feed a Child at Star of Hope; and The Hope Tree which allows guests to purchase needed things for Star of Hope. Recently, the glittering gala has chosen to have a fun dance band instead of a special entertainer with a seated audience.
A significant fund-raising effort with its holiday theme, the Trees of Hope Gala, provides a delightful evening with great entertainment and creations of Houston’s distinguished designers. Many of Houston’s favorite retailers and designers support the gala with a marvelous array of silent auction items, trees and wreaths. Trees of Hope has been very successful with its unique concept.
Over the past twenty five years, Trees of Hope has donated over $9 million to Star of Hope. In addition to raising funds, the organization has raised awareness to a population, which otherwise might never have heard of the mission. Randall Tabor, President Emeritus of Star of Hope, states, “Trees of Hope does everything with excellence, and they are committed to helping Star of Hope reach out to people who are in desperate need of a helping hand”. Hank Rush President and CEO of Star of Hope, says that our annual gift continues to be the single largest gift for children’s programs at Star of Hope each year.
Trees of Hope is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees who reflect very diverse backgrounds and expertise. It is through the sharing of their varied skills, assets, and contacts that these members maximize the benefit of their leadership. Trees of Hope is a core of very generous, hardworking women who are intelligent, well-connected and supportive of a very worthy, public cause. The Board of Trustees is a dedicated and creative board relying on tremendous volunteer effort. The Guild provides volunteer support to Trees of Hope and promotes awareness and raises funds for the Star of Hope, which it benefits.
Through its fund-raising efforts, Trees of Hope on behalf of the Star of Hope is helping to make the promise of a better life a reality for thousands of Houstonians who struggle with the burden of homelessness. They are fortunate to have many underwriters, donors, and volunteers who join hands with them to make the gala possible. Their enduring and steadfast generosity help the Star of Hope implement programs that are transforming lives - thousands of homeless individuals will be able to reenter society as productive citizens, with dignities intact, and able to face the challenges of life.