Open hearts, giving hands
When Scott and Soraya McClelland moved to Houston from San Antonio, they came with open hearts and giving hands.
Now Houstonians for seven years, they have fully immersed themselves in the community, both proclaiming that they love it here.
“We knew immediately that this move to Houston was going to make us different people,” says Scott McClelland, president of H-E-B, Houston division. “People here are so friendly and just reach out to you.”
M. D. Anderson is fortunate to count the McClelland is among its friends and supporters. Shortly before they moved to Houston, Scott oversaw the opening of Houston’s Central Market, which benefited the institution. He went on to become a member of M. D. Anderson’s Advance Team, and Soraya is an incoming member of this group.
In addition, the couple co-chaired the Department of Volunteer Services’ Volunteer Endowment for Patient Support (VEPS) luncheon in 2007, which raised $93,537 and featured Eugenie Kleinerman, M.D., head of the Division of Pediatrics, as keynote speaker.
Begun in 1991, VEPS has raised more than $2.4 million to support patient programs and services, such as educational books, videos and CDs, saltwater aquariums and blanket warmers.
The McClellands also hosted a cooking class and dinner in the Central Market kitchen, featuring Kleinerman and benefiting the Children’s Cancer Hospital.
“Scott and I both love living here,” Soraya says. “We meet someone new at every event we attend. It’s obvious that Houston uses its diversity as its strength.”
The McClellands both say that they, as well as the H-E-B supermarkets, are invested in making Houston a better place to live, not just for now, but for years to come. They practice a “pay it forward” attitude, learning their lesson from Soraya’s grandmother who taught them that when you give, you get back double.
“There’s a can-do spirit here,” Scott explains. “People count on those who can to help. We’re lucky to have been given an opportunity to be a part of this great city and help make a difference in the community.”