Community Outreach 2019-2020

Recognition to College-bound Seniors from Miller High School

This year, the Community Outreach Committee provided a much-welcomed recognition and support to 20 graduating seniors from Miller High School during the difficult pandemic time of canceled end-of-the-year events and social distancing. Miller High School Counselor Nelda Garcia helped select the 20 recipients and mailed invitations to the young graduating female seniors, each of whom are planning to attend college. Given the inability to host an in-person reception under current social restrictions, Community Outreach Committee Co-chair Kelly Gonzalez organized a drive-through distribution event at ValueBank Texas on Thursday, May 7, 2020, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. ValueBank Texas is located close to Miller High School and was determined to be the best location for pick-up.

Kelly and her staff at the Bank assembled a package for each recipient, consisting of a long-stemmed red rose, an individually packaged cupcake, a congratulatory sign wrapped in ribbons, and the envelope containing $100 with an individually addressed letter from AAUW and a flyer describing the organization’s mission and goals. The young women were congratulated on their high school graduation and encouraged to continue with their educational pursuits. We recognize these young women as members of our future generation of female leaders. To see the letter and flyer, click here.

At our business meeting held via Zoom, on Saturday, May 9, Kelly described the event to members. Many of the young women arrived at the Bank’s drive through with their parents, and all were surprised and deeply touched by the gifts – some even shed tears. Incoming president Shirley Selz also attended and assisted Kelly with the distribution. Kelly laughed when she told us that a few adjustments had to be made, such as cutting the stems on the roses to fit inside the Bank’s tube.

Community Outreach Co-chair Kelly Gonzalez and incoming President Shirley Selz at the ValueBank Texas drive-through window, with a Miller High School graduating senior recipient in the car.

The AAUW branch extends a hearty THANK YOU to Kelly Gonzalez and her staff at ValueBank Texas for allowing us to use their facility to make the event happen this year and for helping with the organization and distribution of gifts. We managed to host an inspiring event, even under COVID-19 restrictions!

Story by Dr. Vickie Natale; Photos by Kelly Gonzalez and Nelda Garcia

Holiday Shopping for YWTeens

The AAUW Corpus Christi (TX) Branch helped spread some holiday cheer on December 8, 2019, at the YWCA. Each year in early December, the Branch supports the local YWCA YWTeen Program by sponsoring a “Holiday Shopping Spree” for the ten-to-twelve-year-old girls in the program. The shopping extravaganza provided the preteen girls with the opportunity to select five holiday gifts for family members.

YWCA President Nancy Wesson-Dodd, an AAUW member, played Santa Claus and helped girls select presents at the AAUW Shopping Spree.

AAUW Branch members purchased the gift items and brought bags, tags, ribbons, paper, and tissue to assist the girls in wrapping the gifts for holiday presentation. Each girl also took home a “goodie bag” with sweet treats from the Branch after completing a survey for the YWCA. Between 400 and 500 gifts were provided this year for nearly 100 YWTeen girls to give to family members.