Erin Nelson || Chapter Leader
I came to Texas fresh out of graduate school, in 2007, and I never dreamed I would start a family and set down roots. While it was the job at Blinn College that
brought me here, at this time in my life, I am first a mother and second a college English teacher. I live in Brenham, TX with my 2.5 year old son, his father, and our black lab, Roxxy.
In my experience, part of being a mother is teaching my son how to give back to
the community that brought his father and I together, and which is the only home
he knows. After hearing about Box of Balloons through my friends and family back
in Wisconsin, I knew it was something that I had to help bring to Texas. I also knew
it was the perfect way to get my son involved in a good cause. Birthdays are something very special at our house, regardless of age, but it is my goal to help ensure that all children experience the excitement and love they deserve on their very special day of birth.
April Ruen || Chapter Leader
Hello! My name is April Ruen. A lifelong Houstonian I live in Northwest Houston with my husband, two teenage children, and three rescue animals – two dogs and one cat. An alum of the University of Houston, I have worked in the energy industry as a corporate tax professional for over 15 years. Outside of the office my family and I are active members of Kinsmen Lutheran Church. I am an avid reader, event planner, crossword puzzle enthusiast, and animal lover.
The origin story of Box of Balloons deeply resonated with me, as I too have amazing memories of birthday parties growing up and have worked to create the same for my children. Unfortunately, I know for many children in our community this is not their experience. The opportunity to help share grace by creating a birthday party in a box holds great appeal. All children are worthy of celebration, and my wish is we are able to share hope and joy with these children and families, so they can experience a happy birthday and create lasting memories.
As the Houston Chapter of Box of Balloons begins this January 2020 we can look forward to great things over the next year!
Fort Worth, Texas
Sharon Crutcher || Chapter Leader
Sharon has lived in the Fort Worth area for over 21 years with her, now adult children, Kaitlyn and Cooper. She works for an animal diagnostics company and has been involved in animal welfare and advocacy for over 25 years. She is currently owned by 2 dogs, Ruger and Oliver and 4 horses, Possum, Secret, Kiowa and Luke.
Sharon volunteered with the Box of Balloons chapter during a trip to Lexington, KY. She was so inspired by the mission that she wanted to help children in her own community celebrate their special day. She is excited to get to work together with area volunteers and organizations.
Collin County, Texas
Katharine Merritt || Chapter Leader
My name is Katharine Merritt and I live in Frisco, TX. I’m a wife and mother of four kiddos - two boys and two girls. I’m a bit on the girlie side and run an interiors company. Most days, I can be seen sporting a dress with a tea in hand (Earl Grey is my favorite) bopping from one activity to the next.
Besides Christmas, my favorite holidays are birthdays. I truly love the mission of Box of Balloons and it brings me joy to help birthday wishes come true!