Trees of Hope Founded
Gala Only Format Begins
First Million Donated to SOH
Shoe Program Begins
Moms Matter Program Begins
Toy Store Opens
TOH Jr. Founded
Valentine's Day Program Begins
$11.7M Donated to Date
1990 -- Trees of Hope was founded by Carloss Morris, a long-time friend and donor of Star of Hope. He established Trees of Hope as a non-profit with the specific purpose of conducting fundraising activities for the exclusive benefit of Star of Hope, Houston's largest agency for the homeless.
1990 -- The Festival of Trees was held in the lobby of the downtown Enterprise Plaza. The focal points were the decorated Christmas trees which created a Christmas wonderland. The honorary chair was First Lady Barbara Bush and a little more than $45,000 was donated to Star of Hope.
1991 - 1995 -- The event was moved to the Westin Galleria where individual tickets were sold for $3; people of all ages came to enjoy the week-long Festival of Trees. In addition to trees, the festival boasted a gingerbread village and entertainment by local children's choirs. Houston socialite and philanthropist, Lynn Wyatt, became the honorary chair, a position she holds to this day.
1996 -- The first year only a Gala was held as the fundraiser. The event was chaired by Lynn Wyatt and held at the River Oaks Country Club. $100,000 was donated to Star of Hope.
Over the years the Gala has been dazzled by entertainers such as Liza Minnelli (1998/2006) and Rosemary Clooney (2001). The event has been chaired by Houston luminaries such as President George & Barbara Bush (2004), Janice & Bob McNair (2004) and Leticia & Mike Loya (2007).
2008 -- Trees of Hope began to expand into year round programming. The first need identified: Back to School Shoes. Each August and January, every child living at Star of Hope receives a brand-new pair of socks and shoes. Our hope is to send each child off to school on the right foot. Annually we purchase over 500 pairs of shoes.
2009 -- Moms Matter program begins. The goal being to provide every mother at Star of Hope with a memorable Mother's Day. Mothers are treated to a brunch as well as provided with a gift bag of specially curated items. To fund this program, specialty gift items and appreciation certificates are sold in the month of April.
2009 -- Advisory Board member Donna Grehn is asked to breathe new life into the Star of Hope Toy Store. In 2018, Trees of Hope began to stock and help staff the store. Every child that enters Star of Hope as a resident, is able to select 2 new toys to help them feel at home in a new place. In addition, the children select a special toy to recognize their birthday. In 2023, the store was renamed the Donna Grehn Toy Store.
2021 -- In order to foster the next generations love of giving back, Trees of Hope Jr. is founded. This program is currently open to the minor children of current Board and Advisory Board members. TOH Jr. members are involved in a wide range of activities: they host individual fundraisers, shop for the Shoe Event shoes, create the Valentine's Day bags, and a tree is auctioned off at the Gala.
2022 -- Valentine's Day Program begins. Each Trees of Hope Jr. member is assigned the task of creating Valentine's Day gift bags for 3 - 4 children residing at Star of Hope. Members come together for a meeting and create close to 150 bags for distribution at the Women and Family Development Center on Valentine's Day to share the love.
2024 ON -- Goals for the Future...