Category Archives: Encouragement

A Time of Giving

I love Thanksgiving and the spirit that people show this time of year.  We are a little friendlier, a little more patient (unless we are driving!) and we start to think of opportunities to help others.  In my relocation experience, getting connected and plugged into your community is one of the best ways to start feeling at “home”.

Churches and schools are a wonderful way to get involved but often we search for an organization whose cause touches our heart. If you are looking for volunteer or giving opportunities this holiday season, please see below. We are not endorsing any specific organization – simply attempting to highlight a wide range of organizations and opportunities in the area.

Elves & More helps the local community by bringing hope to impoverished children by delivering bicycles at Christmas to children living below the poverty line. (Spring)

Interfaith of The Woodlands provides a variety of assistance services to residents of The Woodlands area, including counseling services, family services, food donations, bill pay assistance, job locator services and senior services. Volunteers are needed for food drives, food pantry assistance, resale store, grocery delivery, transportation programs, Interfaith special events and the Holiday Giving Program. (The Woodlands)

The Montgomery County Food Bank distributes more than 6 million pounds of food annually to more than 37,000 low-income children, adults and seniors living in Montgomery County. The Food Bank is in need of volunteers ages 16 and older to inspect, sort and box food, help at special events, and donate talents and professional services, such as graphic design, printing or photography. (Conroe)

Help with holiday activities sponsored by The Woodlands Park & Recreation Department. More information found at:

Montgomery County Habitat for Humanity brings together volunteers and community organizations to build and renovate simple, affordable homes for families in need. To date, Montgomery County Habitat for Humanity has built 75 homes in the county. Volunteers are needed for family selection committees, family support groups, church relations, development, Habitat’s ReStore resale shop and events. (Conroe)

The Memorial Hermann Woodlands Hospital seeks volunteers for the information desk, golf cart drivers, gift shop workers and for perioperative services. Orientation and training is held monthly and volunteers must adhere to the uniform dress code policy and be willing to have patient contact. The hospital also offers a junior program for students who are accepted once a year. (The Woodlands)

Children’s Books on Wheels provides books for underdeveloped rural communities, which includes more than 300 children in Montgomery and Walker Counties and has donated more than 10,000 books in nearly 10 years. The organization also provides high school job workshops and summer outreach programs. Volunteers are needed for school tutoring and mentoring, mobile literacy sites, community events, book distribution, tax preparation assistance and book reading at story time events. (Spring)

The Montgomery County Women’s Center needs volunteers year round to help in the administrative offices in Conroe and The Woodlands, work in the Something Special retail shop in the Portofino Shopping Center, provide child care so women can attend counseling, provide shelter assistance, work the hotline, and provide personal or legal accompaniment. Volunteers Volunteer Opportunities in the Area must fill out an application online and training is required for anyone working with clients or their children. (The Woodlands)

Montgomery County United Way needs volunteers for a variety of programs and events. More than 235 people volunteer on an ongoing basis to help make decisions about program funding, strategic planning, volunteer events and campaign fundraising. Volunteers are also needed for MCUW’s Day of Caring events in which volunteers work on community service projects and to read for the organization’s Family Reading Every Day early childhood education program. Bilingual volunteers are needed to assist with the Hispanic Outreach Program. Volunteers are also needed for Healthy Living Alliance Ambassadors, to help educate Montgomery County about health education. (The Woodlands)

The Woodlands Children’s Museum educates and entertains children through the use of crafts, exhibits and events. Volunteers are needed for several museum activities, including festivals, exhibits, floor management and art project readiness. (The  Woodlands)

At Big Brothers Big Sisters our mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported 1-to-1 relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. (The Woodlands)

The Texas Sentinels Foundation provides opportunities for all citizens to help create a better life for Wounded Warriors and their families and they appreciate the support from countless volunteers who participate in numerous activities throughout the state to honor our Wounded Warriors. The Foundation’s mission is to provide qualified members of the U.S. Armed Forces who were severely injured in the line of duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001 with support adapted for their needs. The Texas Sentinels Foundation offers support, primarily through the provision of housing and life scholarships, and helps these Wounded Warriors readjust to civilian life and prosper in their hometowns or new communities.

Give the gift of life. You can donate blood locally at The Woodlands Neighborhood Donor Center, located at 3901 College Park Dr, Conroe, TX 77384. They are open Monday-Thursday, 10am-6pm & Friday-Saturday, 8am-4pm.

If none of the above organizations connect with you, here are some websites that have extended listings of volunteer opportunities in the area

Tis’ the season for giving!

Amy McLaughlin Personal Concierge and Blog Contributor

Amy McLaughlin
Personal Concierge and
Blog Contributor


20 More Weeks til’ Christmas…What?

Lately, I’ve been seeing  social media posts about how many weeks there are until Christmas. Yes – you read that right…CHRISTMAS! Many retail stores are putting Christmas items out already – already. Did I miss a memo or something? It’s still August, right?

It’s CRAZY out there, folks! And, for this procrastinator, my heart is starting to palpitate just thinking about Christmas, even at 20 weeks away. I mean, I’m just trying to focus on school supply shopping right now. I can’t even begin to think about Christmas. I’m actually quite proud of myself – I only have 5 more items left to get, and school doesn’t start for 4 more days!

And just as I was basking in the pride of actually being ready for my kids to start school,  I read about a family who has been ready for months with all the right school supplies and all the right dress code appropriate attire for all 8 of their children and the perfect little Pinterest gifts for all their teachers and of course the principal, assistant principal, front desk staff,  janitors, cafeteria workers, and the counselor.  (Whew!)  

And no doubt, those same parents will bake cookies for the whole class on the first day with some little frosting message that rhymes and will become their class motto for the whole year.  And then, the principal will like it so much that it becomes the theme for the whole school, and an end of the year celebration honoring the BEST parents in the school who came up with the greatest motto will be attended by the entire community.  And yep, I’ll probably even go too – hanging my head in shame of course!

So, maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration.  But, that’s how we tend to process these things. When we feel like we’re falling short  comparing ourselves to others or to certain standards, our emotions affect our intellect, which in turn affects our reality, which then causes us to exaggerate.  We not only exaggerate how “great” we think others are, but we also exaggerate how “terrible” we think we are.  That causes us to feel a sense of failure, which is definitely not a good or even a real thing.

The same goes for relocating.  There are timelines, checklists, and a plethora of things to do and remember.  Have you  ever sat on the couch in your living room with an impending move hanging over your head and thought, “Why haven’t I started packing yet?” Or, have you ever moved into a home and tripped over the same box time and time again and thought to yourself each time, “Why haven’t I unpacked that box yet?”  Do either of these negative questions actually get the packing or unpacking done?  Or, does it just make you feel badly about yourself? I’m guessing the latter of the two.

Here’s my point:  Simply put – GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!  There’s no contest to win here. No one will die if you’re finishing your packing the night before the truck gets there. And, if boxes remain unpacked for more than what your friends and family deem appropriate standard time, nothing bad will happen to you as a result.  And, say you make a batch of cookies for the movers.  They won’t care that they were bought at the local Piggly Wiggly (southern reference) and not in the shape of cute little trucks with an incredibly witty saying on them showing your undying appreciation for all their efforts.

Whenever you don’t quite hit that packing goal you made for yourself, or you have unpacked boxes lying around the house months after you move in, or whatever standard it is you feel like you don’t live up to…just remember that negative thoughts about yourself or your circumstances exaggerate your reality.  And, you know what?  It’s probably not as bad as you think it is. So, GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK…even, if you’re hitting up Toys R Us on Christmas Eve! 


Julie Adcock Woodlands Relo Group Operations Manager

Julie Adcock
Woodlands Relo Group
Operations Manager