HOUSTON (April 27, 2022) – A transformative gift of $1 Million has been made to Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston by the Samuels Family Foundation to establish the Vic Samuels Center for Volunteerism and Civic Service. The new Center will continue Vic Samuels’ legacy and strengthen the organization’s role as Houston’s service leader.
The Center was announced at a press conference and reception on Wednesday, April 27 at 11:30 a.m. at Interfaith Ministries. Bobbi Samuels and the Samuels family were present. Opening remarks were provided by IM Board Chair Charlene Chuang. There were video messages from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Randi Shade, Former Director, Texas Commission on National and Community Services and Neil Bush, Chair of Points of Light. Mary Grace Landrum, a Commissioner of the One Star Foundation, read a letter of support to the audience from Texas Governor Greg Abbott. A blessing was provided by Rabbi Scott Hausman-Weiss. Remarks were provided by Martin B. Cominsky, President and CEO of Interfaith Ministries and Ben Samuels on behalf of the Samuels Family Foundation.
The gift was made in memory of J. Victor Samuels, who passed away in June 2020. After starting his career at Houston Corrugated Box, Vic spent the next 50 years involved in multiple businesses, including: Houston Terminal Warehouse, Leedo Manufacturing, Leedo Furniture and Victory Packaging. During his lifetime, Vic was involved with a number of worthy causes including Brandeis University, Citizens for Good Schools, Houston Achievement Place, the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center, HITS, Brandeis, The Woods Project, Leo Baeck Education Center, the School of Social Work at the University of Houston, and numerous political campaigns. He was even the co-founder of the original SERVE HOUSTON AmeriCorps program some 28 years ago.
The mission of the Vic Samuels Center for Volunteerism and Civic Service is to establish a positive and lasting impact on the Greater Houston community through organized service and leadership. The Center’s vision is to inspire volunteers of all generations and backgrounds, and to develop future generations of servant leaders through community service, civic engagement, service learning and leadership development experiences.
“The new Vic Samuels Center for Volunteerism and Civic Service will be a center of excellence in the heart of Houston that centralizes Interfaith Ministries’ work to connect diverse groups for service to meet pressing community needs,” said Cominsky. “None of this would have been possible without the amazing generosity of the Samuels family.”