Holding My Dream to hold car wash

What do dirty cars and trucks have to do with working air conditioning units for the community’s needy? SHSU’s Holding My Dream Team knows the answer.

On May 2, beginning at 2 p.m., Holding My Dream will hold a car wash in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Huntsville, collecting monetary and canned good donations for those in the community who are in need.

The money raised will be used to buy two air conditioning units that will be given to one family in Huntsville, and one in Houston. The effort will be a collaboration with First Missionary Baptist Church in Houston. Holding My Dream is in charge of locating a vendor who will provide a low-cost unit, and the church will research for families who cannot afford an air conditioner this summer.

“We want to encourage people to come out and get their cars washed,” said Philip Jones, SHSU senior and president of Holding My Dream.

The canned goods collected at the car wash are also used in conjunction with First Missionary Baptist Church. Three to four times a semester Holding My Dream takes the goods they have collected to the church in Houston. There they put together a meal and feed the homeless together.

“We don’t just have homeless at Christmas or Thanksgiving, we have them everyday,” Jones said of feeding the needy.

Jones said Holding My Dream has many other projects aside from the fundraising and donations they are currently working on. The group goes to Huntsville Elementary Monday through Friday as part of a mentoring program they have started. SHSU students tutor the children and help them with their school subjects, such as reading.

“We’re promoting community growth,” Jones said. “We’re trying to branch out and help others as well.”

Thursdays the group goes to the Huntsville Health Care Center to play bingo with the elderly people who reside there.

Holding My Dream is also working on a social skills project with Sam Houston Elementary in Huntsville for next semester. The group will teach children interview skills, grammar and etiquette, and even try to get campus visits at SHSU for elementary and junior high school students in the Huntsville community.

“We feel that starting young is key,” Jones said.

The organization is also hoping to receive a Sammy Award this year for its community service.

The motto of the group is “community is unity.” Its creed is, “As the Dream Team, we vow to serve and become the inspirators and motivators of our communities.”

There are currently 13 members in Holding My Dream, but Jones said the group is always looking for more. The club will host an induction for the group in the fall of 2003 to build membership.

“We’re looking for good people – good hearted individuals,” Jones said. “We’re college kids not just getting a degree, but we’re giving back to the community.”

Jones said the first requirement for membership in the group is a caring heart. Holding My Dream also looks for leaders who have nine hours of community service behind them and pass the interview process. Jones said that one hour of community service could be made up by donating six canned goods and one toy to Holding My Dream for the underprivileged.

As of now, there are no dues paid as a member of the organization. Jones said he feels college students have enough bills to pay.

“As long as we give we’ll be blessed. We face enough money issues as it is with buying books and paying for college,” Jones said.

Holding My Dream is a non-profit organization.

“We get paid out of making people smile and making a change in the community,” he said.

For more information on the activities of Holding My Dream or membership opportunities, e-mail the organization’s Vice President Tarsha Hardy at stdtah18@shsu.edu or holdingmydream@email.com.

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