Charity in Action Awards Honor Gifts of Time, Talent and Treasure


Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston presented its annual Charity in Action Awards at the 2018 Annual Meeting to a parish, two organizations and a steadfast volunteer.

“Catholic Charities is blessed to have many partners and friends who walk with us as we provide help and create hope for thousands of individuals throughout the greater Houston area,” said Kevin K. Rech, board chairman, while presenting the awards. “We are privileged to shine a light on special friends who go the extra mile in sharing compassion through service and support.”

The Charity In Action Award for a parish was presented to Holy Rosary Catholic Church. After, Hurricane Harvey, the parish raised funds to provide immediate relief to families who were affected by the devastating flooding. Holy Rosary parishioners contributed in response to notices in church bulletins and fundraisers.  In addition, the parish helped Catholic Charities recruit volunteers during the year and shared their house of worship for Mass.

Members of the Houston Young Lawyers Association (HYLA) and the Houston Young Lawyers Foundation accepted the Charity in Action, Organization/Group Award. Board Chair Kevin K. Rech, HYLA Executive Director Lucy Cain, HYLA member Phil Haines, Cynthia N. Colbert, HYLA member Kristen Bates.

Two organizations shared the Charity In Action Award for an organization: Houston Young Lawyers Association and Houston Young Lawyers Foundation. For several years, the two related groups provided Christmas presents to children who would otherwise have a bleak holiday. They purchased toys and responded to special requests like Braille books or eyeglasses, all distributed to families through the Share Your Blessings Program, which spreads Christmas cheer to children from families in need.

Scott Magelsson (center) accepted Catholic Charities’ Charity in Action Award, Volunteer at the organization’s annual meeting. From left: Kevin K. Rech, Magelsson, and Cynthia N. Colbert.

A volunteer received the Charity In Action Award for an individual. Scott Magelsson is a steadfast volunteer at Catholic Charities’ St. Jerome Program, with more than 300 hours given in the past year alone.  As the Volunteer ESL (English as a Second Language) Coordinator, he trains and mentors incoming ESL youth tutors. He led recruiting efforts to bring in five new tutors. In 2016, Scott co-founded a Six Sigma team to help the St. Jerome Program develop a system to improve a youth’s language level within six months.

The 2018 Annual Meeting was held during Catholic Charities’ 75th Anniversary observance, marking more than seven decades of collective compassion channeled into meaningful action.

2018 Charity in Action Award Winners:

  • Parish: Holy Rosary Parish
  • Organization: Houston Young Lawyers Association and Houston Young Lawyers Foundation
  • Volunteer: Scott Magelsson