Monica “Noor” Morales
“Just like a patient needs from a doctor,
A doctor also needs from his patient.”
How can you give from that which you do not have? How can you help others when you feel as if you can not help yourself? These are the questions that Monica Noor Morales asked herself when she was going through her own life challenges.
Monica “Noor” Morales, a Houstonian Mexican American single mother to a Special Needs son.
She felt compelled to give back to her neighbors in her home community where she grew up as a kid. She began volunteering at the Houston Food Bank and tutoring refugee families in ESL. She was inspired to establish Outreach when residents in her old barrio welcomed the used clothes that Syrian refugee families had refused to accept. They asked her to come back with more, which she did many times. She grew a huge passion for giving back to the community led to the beginnings of Outreach in The Barrio.
For the past two years, Monica has served full time as Outreach’s director, helping Houston’s unsheltered homeless, underserved communities and those battling social and economic hardships, such as refugees and other immigrant families. Growing up in Houston’s Southwest Barrio Bellaire, is the personal connection she has with understanding firsthand the wide variety of challenges that people face living in an underserved community.
She began calling friends, like ex-marine and fellow Latino Muslim Juan Pablo Osorio, to assist her. Since then, Outreach has gathered many volunteers and teamed up with charitable organizations to serve the barrio’s disadvantaged and homeless. Its ongoing efforts include Hotshots, Youth Hotshots, Crisis Relief, Cuts for Dignity and providing hygiene kits for males and females. Volunteers also visit low-income communities monthly to provide clothing, furniture, food and other items. For more information on these programs, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This has been a therapy for my soul. It has become part of my worship and the way that I have been able to come closer to Allah. It has never been about recognition. It was about doing the mission. … We don’t only feed, we build relationships. The people we serve are our friends.”