Wednesday, May 2, 2012


HOUSTON, TEXAS.- The City of Houston's "Houston Spirit of Volunteerism" reception was held on May 1st at the Houston Public Library Julia Ideson Building to honor more than 200 volunteers nominated for the 28th Annual Mayor’s Volunteer Houston Awards.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker presented medallions to five local winners of the Jefferson Awards Youth Service Challenge. The awards recognize exemplary student-led volunteer public service in communities across America.  Nominees for the award include the Mayor’s Youth Council, Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston, Lemonade Day, TAPS and the Hashoo Foundation. 

Houston Mayor Annise Parker presents the Jefferson Award  to the Hashoo Foundation. Cristal Montanez Baylor, Executive Director, receives the Award on behalf of the Hashoo Foundation USA

The Youth Service Award (YSC) is a national youth community service program coordinated by the Jefferson Awards for Public Service.  The program strives to build year-round public service and promote student leadership.  Activities focus on three public service categories:  "End Hunger," "Save the Environment" and "Promote Health and Wellness."  Students are encouraged to follow their passions in serving their communities.

The Hashoo Foundation was recognized for its project “Plan Bee”. This project provides a platform for the Klein Forest High School’s Pakistani Indian Student Association (PISA) to promote inter-cultural relations and reach out, share their creativity, and funds they earn from their "Culture Shock Charity Show" to help the women beekeepers who lost their beehives –their only source of income- to the devastating floods in Pakistan. PISA students have provided new beehives to help the beekeepers rebuild their honey business and provided their children access to quality education. 

Rita Arocha, Cristal Montanez Baylor, Executive Director Hashoo Foundation USA, Dr. Norman LaFave,
Klein Forest High School, and Mahruhk Nasar, University St. Thomas SEP, at the Jefferson Award

The Credit and Enterprise Development (CED) pilot program is another project of the Hashoo Foundation created in partnership with students from University of St. Thomas Social Entreperneurship Program (UST SEP), Rice Microfinance (RMF), and Micro Finance Initiative at University of Houston (MFi UH) to provide students with the opportunity to engage in sustainable economic development with a market based approach by using revolving micro credit as a tool for poverty alleviation.  CED facilitates the disbursement and recovery of the micro credits provided by the students to the “Plan Bee” women beekeepers. These small loans help the women keepers purchase more hives to achieve economies of scale, expand their enterprise and educate their children.

The "Houston Spirit of Volunteerism" reception is sponsored by the Mayor’s Volunteer Initiatives Office and Volunteer Houston. 

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About Hashoo Foundation

Hashoo Foundation’s mission is to enable and empower communities to be independent by facilitating equitable access to opportunities through economic development and education.
Hashoo Foundation USA Chapter is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization based in Houston, TX.

The Hashoo Foundation's Women’s Empowerment through Honey Bee Farming "Plan Bee" project was initiated to empower women in the remote areas of Northern Pakistan by expanding employment opportunities and generating a stable source of income through the sale of high-quality honey.

Plan Bee” has been recognized for its innovation and impact by various international organizations, including the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) and BBC World Challenge ’08 Global Award.

For more information on “Plan Bee”, please contact:

Cristal Montañéz Baylor . Executive Director
Hashoo Foundation USA
9575 Katy Freeway Suite 490 . Houston, TX 77024
Direct +1 713 483-4990 .  Fax+ 1 713-759-0787

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