Using creativity to help others

Employees' kids use creativity to help their communities

This holiday season, two PEC employees’ kids are using their creative skills to help those in their communities and beyond.

Mindy Parrish and her kids make headbands to raise money for families in need

This holiday season, Member Relations Engagement Specialist Mindy Parrish and her kids are using their creative talents to help those in need by making and selling holiday-themed headbands.

This endeavor started in October when she and her elementary school-aged kids, Tucker and Josie, started making Halloween-themed headbands to sell to students and teachers at their school, Lago Vista Elementary School. 

As the campaign went on, the headbands became quite popular around the school, and they were able to sell all 15 headbands for a total of $150 and start another round. The family wanted to use this money to help their community, and when they heard about a shortage at the school’s snack pantry, they knew just what to do.

“At the school, our Parent Teacher Organization created a snack pantry for kids who couldn’t afford to bring snacks to school,” Parrish said. “As the pantry began to run out, we decided to use the money we made from selling these headbands to fill it up with snacks.”

Seeing the overwhelming response at Halloween, they began making Christmas-themed headbands for the holidays. This time, the Parrish family has sold 60 Christmas-themed headbands, and the money they raised will fund a Christmas tree, decorations, and more for a deserving family of five at the school.

“There are so many great organizations out there that can help pay your bills, and Northlake Church in Lago Vista hosts a Christmas store to provide gifts for the kids, but we hadn’t seen any that focused on the fun extras like decorations, so we thought that would be the perfect way to bring joy to someone’s home this holiday season,” she said.

The Parrish family is a great example of how you can give back to your community by doing something you already enjoy for someone else. 

“We’ve been very blessed and try to do what we can to help those around us and bring joy to our community,” she said.

Rachelle Baker and her daughters use ornament project to help others

Being in the creative field and having a husband as an art teacher, it’s no surprise PEC Senior Graphic Designer Rachelle Baker’s twin daughters turned into creative girls themselves. And for the past six years, they’ve used that creativity to serve their community during the holidays.

It started when the Baker family received a pamphlet from Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian organization that provides support to people in need, back in 2017.

“Through the pamphlet, they would ask you to buy a share of something to help a family in need,” Baker recalled.

Her daughters, Audrey and Clara Baker, were so excited. But unfortunately, the cost for this was a little high.

“They were so excited to see how this could help a family, but it was so expensive,” she said. “I told them, maybe you could raise the money to do this.”

After a bit of brainstorming, they decided to use their creativity to make and sell Christmas ornaments. That year alone, they ended up raising around $500. Not only was this enough to reach their goal that year, but seeing how happy it made people motivated the girls to continue this project every year after that.

“It’s always cute to hear them talk about how they would help a family, whether it be helping to supply water or food,” she said. “Through the years, it’s been animals, water, and disaster relief.”

The custom ornaments have become popular around the girls’ schools, in their community, and even at PEC, so much so that the amount of money they raise yearly has increased to upwards of $1,500.

“It’s great to see how the ornaments have gotten better each year,” Baker said. “For the first couple of years, my husband Kris just thought it was a cute project, but as it’s gone on, he’s even gotten into it and has taught them different skills.”

From felt-style trees to clay ornaments and even decorations made with stained wood, the Bakerettes, as the family calls them, have used their abundance of talent to create unique holiday designs through the years.

The Baker family has always been community service-oriented and has continued to encourage their daughters to use their passion to help others. For those looking to get involved in serving their community, Rachelle said it’s best to start by using your own talents and passions.

“For whatever you are blessed with, you should return,” she said. “Find what your passion is, and you can make it work.”

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