Hometown Heroes: Aniece A. James

Aniece A. James.

By Joan Frances –

Fort Bend County is home to generous and giving residents. When misfortune occurs, people step up to help one another. Sometimes help is in the form of volunteering to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate. Founded on February 1st, 1992, Fort Bend Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that builds affordable housing for low-income families who qualify. People come together to make the world a little more comfortable for people in need. One volunteer who unselfishly donates her time to helping her neighbor is Aniece James.

James is a retired Fort Bend Independent School District Speech Language Pathologist. She has two children, Louis and Alexandra, and two and a half grandchildren, Andrew, Zara and baby due January 2018. She moved from Mississippi to Sugar Land in 1993 to be closer to her family.  James began working at Fort Bend Habitat for Humanity soon after she retired in January 2015.  “I wanted to volunteer at a Christian based non-profit,” shared James.  “I completed an application on the fortbendhabitat.org website. Soon after I met the administrative staff and the restore staff, I began to volunteer two days a week. I also serve on the Homeowners Association board for my subdivision. This organization puts God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Families are selected through an application process. Once accepted they contribute 300 sweat equity hours towards building their home and have a 20 to 30 year interest free mortgage.”

Each Tuesday and Thursday, James’ volunteer day at Fort Bend Habitat for Humanity consists of office work, answering calls, scheduling donation pick-ups and logging volunteer hours.  “Everyone works as a team. You just pitch in, wherever and whenever there is a need. I enjoy volunteering because I am helping people who need it the most and volunteering helps me to engage in my community. My co-workers feel the same way.  We laugh and enjoy the experience of helping people who are grateful and gracious. I would say that the best part of volunteering is that it is just plain fun! If you are ready to make friends and develop new skills along the way, start volunteering. It can change your life and the lives of others when you do.”

James also helps at The Fort Bend Habitat ReStore, where discounted products such as doors, light fixtures, appliances, cabinets, flooring and blinds are sold.  James explained, “The customers who shop in the ReStore all know that they can save money by shopping here. Most of them are starting or completing a home improvement project. By interacting with customers, I have learned some home improvement skills and can put my ‘girly’ tool box to good use!  Some customers enjoy arts and crafts and use the materials we sell to make wall hangings, furniture and holiday decorations. Customers feel more empowered to take on new projects thanks to how-to videos and do-it-yourself websites, and ReStore offers great prices.”                                                                                                  

In addition to devoting hours to office work and ReStore, James helps at the fundraisers each year. The organization’s first annual Halloween Happy Hour was held in October at Veritas Steak & Seafood in Sugar Land. Proceeds went to Hurricane Harvey Relief.  On November 2nd, Kendra Scott Accessories hosted another fundraiser, and James assisted with ticket sales and raffles.

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, so many more people in Fort Bend County need the kindness and generosity of people like James. Thank you for all you do Aniece James to make life a little easier for everyone.