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So many of you celebrated the season by remembering those not fortunate enough to have parties, presents, and egg nog. On this Christmas Eve, weâ€™d like to recognize those who truly honored the spirit of the season.
Lincoln Property's Vikki Nguyen, Michelle Hukill, and Kristyna Macchia could probably have a great snowball fight protected behind this pile of coats the firm collected in a coat drive. (But only if they used balled-up coats as snowballs, too.) It donated them to Community of the Streets, which distributes them free to those in need.
For the 27th straight year, Kirksey celebrated the season by planting trees. (You should see some of the first ones they planted.) This year, it planted 300 trees in the two large esplanades on North Post Oak between Memorial and I-10. Over the past three decades, it's planted over 9,000 trees in a show of commitment to sustainability and the local community. According to a study by the USDA Forest Service, one tree saves $50 per year in energy by shading buildings and lowering urban temperatures. Trees also absorb CO2 emissions and airborne pollutants, which it calculates is worth $10 per tree annually. Tack on $60 per tree per year in reducing stormwater and $90 per year in increasing property value through beautification, and Kirksey's 27 years of planting is worth over $23M.
Moody Rambin donated 67 sleeping bags to The Beacon, a homeless day center Downtown. Moody Rambin strongly believes in that facility, and employees volunteer there several times a year. The Beacon serves over 600 underserved and homeless people a day, providing hot meals, private showers, medical and psychiatric care, laundry services, and case management.
Transwestern's research and marketing group also helped out the homeless Downtown. It served food to over 200 people at the Downtown Star of Hope location. Pictured are Cyndi McNeill, Shannon Bedinger, Kellie Bunyi, Gregorio Barrera, Rachel Alexander, and Brittney Hicks.
CREW Houston looked to the next generation of commercial real estate pros, offering scholarships to four female grad students. Here are CREW Houston scholarship committee co-chairs Beryl Mazella and Julie Caggiano with recipients Emily Zarcaro, Katie Mason, and Lonna Dorman. (Not pictured: recipient Jessica Newhouse.) The recipients are studying commercial real estate at Rice, UH, and A&M. Each gets a $2,500 scholarship and membership to CREW Houston.
Skanska also lent a hand to college students, presenting a check for over $50k to support the Houston Community College's upcoming Field of Opportunity Ball. Pictured are Skanska's Elizabeth Stemac and Matt Frey with HCC Field of Opportunity Ball co-chair Will Williams. Skanska raised the funds at its annual golf tournament in October. The firm is near completion on an extensive and historic landmark renovation project at the San Jacinto Memorial Building, part of HCC's Central Campus. The system purchased the building in 1985; as a high school, it graduated thousands of Houstonians, including Walter Cronkite, former Houston mayor Kathy Whitmire, and Dr. Denton Cooley.