With time running out to finish Christmas shopping and support local organizations before 2020 comes (thankfully) to an end, here are a few suggestions for gifts to be found in the Spring Branch District that will enable you to accomplish both goals.

Cards and art from NewSpring

NewSpring is a faith-based non-profit dedicated to making positive social and economic impact in the Spring Branch area. NewSpring Visual Arts programs support academic achievement and career opportunities for high school and college students from Spring Branch, and NewSpring’s Business Plan Competition supports social entrepreneurship and economic development in the Spring Branch area.

Send Christmas Cards with lots of heart by NewSpring students. Pay just $10 for single-design packages of 10 cards/10 envelopes and $12 for an assortment package with 12 cards/12 envelopes. Check them out here: https://newspringcenter.org/shop/

When Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church Outreach Ministries needed Christmas cards for their Mission Market, they called on NewSpring.

MDPC selected art by Nicolle, a Northbrook High School junior, after considering many choices. Outreach Ministries is providing an honorarium to Nicolle for her beautiful work as well as a smaller award to other finalists.

You can purchase Nicolle’s and other Mission Market Christmas cards for a donation that can change someone’s life. Order here:


Need a holiday gift for someone really special to go with those beautiful cards? NewSpring’s mission to create economic opportunities for students and residents of Spring Branch means there is an opportunity to purchase beautiful art created by locals: https://newspringcenter.org/art-sale/

Aspire Accessories

Aspire Accessories, a program of Social Motion Skills at 10694 Haddington, is a work transition program for adults with autism and similar special needs. All sale proceeds are used to keep the program running and pay artisan wages.

From jewelry to candles to masks to travel mugs and even humidors, Aspire products are created, laser-etched, monogrammed and packaged by artisans who are Aspire clients. Aspire can even help with your corporate gifts now or for 2021.

Check out the Aspire Accessories Holiday Gift Guide: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/2722/5396/files/2020_Holiday_Gift_Guide_with_web_links_for_products_compressed.pdf?v=1607362187

Curbside pickup and mail delivery are available.

Shop online with Memorial Assistance Ministries

MAM Resale, 1625 Blalock Road, is a thrift store benefiting the mission of Memorial Assistance Ministries (MAM) to help families meet their basic needs and learn skills to build better lives. Your purchases and donations can make a big difference in so many lives.

This year, you can shop from the comfort of your home! MAM has daily arrivals of clothing, home furnishings, electronics, home goods, toys, books and more, pre-owned and new.

They have a wonderful selection of gifts and brand new items that still have price tags or are in original packaging.

MAM is offering flat-rate shopping of $6.99 or in-store pick up. Shop online here: https://mam-resale.myshopify.com/collections/gift-ideas-new-merchandise.

The Branch’s holiday boxes

The “With Love From Spring Branch” holiday gift box campaign kicked off Nov. 25 at The Branch Craft Beer and Foodery at 7710 Long Point with much success. Purchases of the curated boxes and items in a on-site holiday gift market have enabled The Branch to spread holiday cheer to over two dozen small businesses and non-profits throughout the Spring Branch community.

Gift boxes are available for purchase until Dec. 19. Each gift box includes a gift certificate for a Spring Branch restaurant and/or bar.

In addition, the $65 “Branchacho Numero Uno” box contains a mask, salsa, beef jerky and a seasoning package called Marty’s Jackpot, all from The Branch. Also included are a bottle of hand sanitizer from Spring Branch Medical Supply, a voucher for an introductory consultation and workout at Houston Strength and a 15%-off coupon from baker Sweet Marie’s.

A $125 box, appropriately called “El Jefe,” (meaning the boss) supports 12 local Spring Branch businesses, starring Tasty Polish Pickles from Polonia’s Polish Store, green tea from Two Brothers Halal Market, honey from Nourish Market that’s produced by Davies Apiary in Spring Branch, meat rub from Feges BBQ, a hand-poured soy candle from Aspire Accessories (there they are again!), and a gift certificate to 4J Brewing Company — and more.

To buy a box, call The Branch at 832-623-6725 or go to https://thebranchhtx.square.site/.

Happy shopping!


— by Dorothy Puch Lillig