Combined Charities takes the uncertainty out of giving to the needy

Shawn McMahan poses for a photograph at Horn Elementary School, October 23, 2014. (Dave Einsel / Houston ISD)

Shawn McMahan

For Shawn McMahan, HISD’s Combined Charities Campaign is about security—the comfort of never having to wonder if the money she gives is actually getting to the people it’s supposed to help.

“We’ve all had that experience where you’re stopped at the red light and a person shows you a sign asking for money,” explained the Horn Academy ESL teacher. “In your head, you debate whether or not to help them. You may worry that by giving them money, you’re just feeding some bad habit that got them there in the first place. Or you remember the story on the news about scammers who make their living off the generosity of others, but really require no assistance. But how can you look them in the eye and refuse to help? It’s a dilemma.”

Combined Charities helped McMahan solve that conundrum, by offering her a way to provide real support to some of society’s most vulnerable populations.

“The Star of Hope Mission is one of the organizations in Houston that works with the needy,” she added. “They are professionals, who can manage all the resources required. Through Combined Charities, I know I am helping.”

McMahan added that she has given through the CCC as long as it has been an option for employees.

Why do you give? To share your story, please send an email to This is the second installment in a short series of articles on why employees contribute. You can read the first one here. To make a donation, please visit the Combined Charities website.