As the impact of the pandemic continues to pose challenges for everyday life around the world, the Westchase District Advisory Board (WDAB) recognized three individuals with 2021 Community Impact Awards who propel themselves and their teams into maximizing good in the community here in Westchase District and beyond. Houston Public Library’s Jolie Mayfield, Indus Cares Foundation’s Avani Narang, and Quillian Center volunteer Darleen Schauer were selected as finalists among numerous nominations by judging panel. A live presentation will be made in the near future during the next WDAB meeting.
“What’s impressive about Jolie, Avani and Darleen is they found meaningful ways to engage people by taking creative approaches and not standing still in a time when COVID has made us more stationary,” said Chester Jacinto, Westchase District’s communications director who leads the program. “We received some really outstanding nominations – it’s tough every year to narrow it down to three. These finalists embody more than the spirit of the award.”
Jolie Mayfield is a resident of Westchase District. You will find her working with children as the youth services lead at the Robinson-Westchase Library on Wilcrest. After the library temporarily closed due to COVID, Mayfield is credited with continuing to put books in the community’s hands through curbside service programs. With many schools closed for in-person classes, Mayfield quickly initiated the library’s online content aimed at school age children, creating storytime, STEM, and craft projects videos to support at-home learning.
Avani Narang is the executive director of Indus Cares Foundation which she began as the charitable arm of her family’s business, Indus Communities. Narang immediately understood the adverse impact of COVID on Indus’ residents among its 20 properties. She galvanized company employees to distribute more than 1 million pounds of food and brought 3,600 COVID vaccinations, started after-school learning programs and added computer labs to properties. As the pandemic forced many from being employed, Narang led the company efforts to provide $5 million in rental assistance.
Initially Darleen Schauer saw an opportunity to volunteer at Quillian Center’s Camp Quillian one to two days a week. Recognizing a bigger need to reach more kids, Schauer then dedicated herself to being at the camp everyday where she taught campers arts and crafts and assisted with lunch duties. She didn’t stop there. Schauer washed articles of clothing that were not claimed in lost and found and arranged for them to be donated. During the camp’s Parents Day luncheon, which featured Houston Police Department officers talking about their work including allowing campers to see the inside of squad cars, she sponsored a photo booth.