Giving Guide: Health & Well Being Nonprofits in the Coastal Bend

Spotlighting over 35 nonprofits in the Coastal Bend area

By: Kylie Cooper & Jacqueline Gonzalez  Photo Provided by Ronald McDonald House Charities South Texas

The Coastal Bend is filled with incredible nonprofits and grassroots initiatives. While there are too many worthy organizations to list in one feature, we’re hoping the ones highlighted here provide you with a place to start. Make sure to read about each of the published nonprofits in our December issue by checking out the full feature!

PEDIATRIC CANCER 

  • Triumph Over Kid Cancer Foundation – Founded by James Ragan and his family in 2007 after James was diagnosed with pediatric cancer, TOKC is dedicated to raising the public’s awareness of pediatric cancers, funding research to improve treatment and survivability, and improving the lives of children with cancer by raising their spirits through fun activities and social events where kids can bond with each other and find a sense of normalcy in their lives.

MENTAL HEALTH 

  • National Alliance on Mental Illness Greater Corpus Christi – NAMI: Greater Corpus, a relatively new local affiliate, works to end the stigma surrounding mental health by fostering a judgment-free environment where those with mental conditions can thrive. Through educational events, connection recovery peer support groups, and family support groups, the organization works diligently to carry out its mission of providing education, advocacy, and support to those who experience mental illness, their families, and friends.  

FAMILY SERVICES

  • Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Texas – No parent should have to worry about lodging when caring for their children’s healthcare needs, and the Ronald McDonald House provides a comfortable home away from home for traveling families. As pioneers of providing family-centered care, RMHC strives to be part of the solution in improving the lives of children and their families by providing programs that strengthen families during difficult times. The Chief Cheer Officer, Duke the dog, makes regular visits to the House to help bring joy to patients. 

HEALTH & WELLNESS 

  • Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation – Originally the Corpus Christi AIDS Foundation, the CBWF is a grass-roots, community-based non-profit providing services to those in our community who are often disenfranchised. The foundation provides primary health care, mental health and substance abuse programs, infectious disease testing, education and linkage to treatment, and various youth programs centered around drug awareness, LGBT youth health disparities, and social support for LGBT youth. As a federally qualified health center, CBWF provides primary health care services to anyone, regardless of the ability to pay or insurance status. 

WOMEN’S HEART HEALTH 

  • American Heart Association – Corpus Christi – Serving as a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives, the American Heart Association – Corpus Christi is the local chapter of this nonprofit aiming to fight heart diseases and strokes. The signature women’s initiative of the AHA, Go Red for Women, is dedicated to increasing women’s heart health awareness and serves as a catalyst for change to improve the lives of women. This initiative, through its passionate and emotional design, empowers women to take charge of their heart health and band together to wipe out the disease.  

DEMENTIA RESOURCES 

  • Face to Face – This non-profit organization works to bring awareness to dementia by providing support, education, resources, and relief for caregivers and their families through various educational activities and sponsored events throughout the community. By speaking about the disease early on, Face to Face, LLC aims to educate adults and adolescents in hopes of erasing the stigmatization of dementia. 
HEALTH SERVICES
  • Women’s & Men’s Health Services of the Coastal Bend – A healthy community is a stronger community. WAMHS provides preventive and primary healthcare to women and men to carry out its mission of improving health outcomes in South Texas. The services provided address acute and chronic conditions, general health maintenance, reducing teen and unplanned pregnancy, preventing STDs and HIV, and involving men in family planning. The non-profit agency provides services to approximately 15,000 individuals each year. 

ADOLESCENT DIABETES 

  • iConquer – iConquer is a non-profit program developed by sisters Sara, Saherish, and Zoya Surani in 2013 as a response to Corpus Christi being named the “Fattest City in America.” The program is geared toward raising awareness about diabetes and childhood obesity in children ages 3-7 in an effort to help children create new habits. Through this program, which is now featured in schools across the district, students learn about diabetes, healthy living and eating habits, and staying physically and mentally fit through educational movies, songs, puppet shows, and Zumba dances. 

How to Get Involved:

Many of the organizations that give back to the community are able to do so due to monetary donations, but volunteering your time is just as important and greatly appreciated.

    • Volunteers are encouraged to partake in The Ronald McDonald House’s Share-A-Night program which allows supporters to help underwrite the cost of a family’s lodging by offering your home as shelter.
    • All education and support programs at NAMI are led by volunteers, so it has several ways to get involved. Teachers, facilitators, presenters, event assistants, and anyone with expertise in professional services are encouraged to apply for volunteer opportunities.
    • September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and the TOKC Foundation holds numerous activities to help raise awareness and help fight pediatric cancer. Volunteers do everything from planning or working at major fundraising events to visiting out-of-town patients at the hospital.
    • Face to Face encourages the community to participate in the Annual Walk for Memory to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, along with raising funds.
    • To find out more information on how to volunteer for the Coastal Bend Wellness Foundation, fill out the contact form on its website. You can also support the nonprofit via Amazon Smile. 

    Make sure to read about each of the published nonprofits in our December issue by checking out the full feature!