HERO provides financial and emotional support for survivors of City of Houston employees killed while serving the Houston community. Because HERO is an independent organization supported entirely by donations, it needs your financial help. Contributions to HERO a 501(c)(3) charity, are tax-deductible.


How to Help


Donate to Houston Employee Relief Organization, HERO. 100 percent of the money, plus earnings, donated to HERO will benefit dependent spouses and children of municipal employees killed at work.

Unencumbered donations to HERO will primarily be used for the Survivor’s Fund; however, a portion of those funds may be used to publicize HERO's goals.

Members of the HERO Board of Directors are volunteers from the Houston Business Sector and the City of Houston. Board members receive no compensation for their time and expenses.

  • Write a check for your chosen amount, payable to HERO, and mail it to:
    HERO, c/o Houston Metropolitan Federal Credit Union,
    608 E. Tidwell Rd.,
    Houston, TX 77022-1820
  • Donate via credit card through PayPal or through the Houston Metropolitan Federal Credit Union www.myhmfcu.org.

  • Employees can donate through payroll deduction by participating in the city's workplace giving drive, the Combined Municipal Campaign. Sign up is during the month of October with deductions coming out January through December.

HERO'S Purpose

HERO's purpose is to provide immediate financial assistance to municipal employees' families when their loved ones dies in the performance of their duties. The public is often unaware of the dangers posed to many city employees in the performance of their duties. Since 2007, HERO has provided immediate financial assistance to numerous families. HERO will also assess the family's financial needs for future financial assistance.

HERO depends on city employees and others who do business with the city to support HERO so HERO can continue to support municipal employees' families in their time of need. HERO has no administrative expenses, so 100% of all donations serve these families.

HERO's History

HERO was created in 2007 with $10,000 Mayor Bill White raised at the city's 171st birthday bash. White has a keen understanding of how hard municipal employees work, and how - in times of trouble - they make sacrifices to service residents. So, he wanted to do something more for those employees who risk their lives every day.

Twenty municipal employees have been killed over the past twenty-five years while providing services for citizens. Their modest pay can make a public servants' untimely death especially difficult for their families financially. HERO is patterned after the long-established 100 Club, whose funding assistance is limited to survivors of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.

"City employees are all about service to our fellow citizens," White said. "In that spirit, we created HERO. It's about family helping families in a time of need."

HERO's First Effort

Lisa Norwood knows how important HERO is. At about 12:20 p.m. Dec. 14, 2007, a car struck and killed her husband while he was cleaning debris from Sabo Street near Almeda Mall. Harold Norwood, 44, was a Houston Public Works employee.

Three days later, members of the HERO Board of Directors showed up at her door. They offered her shoulders to cry on and steady guidance navigating bureaucratic waters during that traumatic time. But they wanted to do more. Although the City of Houston provides for burial expenses, HERO immediately donated $2,000 to her for other incidental expenses she might need.

After things settled down, the HERO Benefits Committee reviewed her financial condition and made a recommendation to the board that was approved. HERO then provided Lisa with additional funds to help relieve her financial burden.

They couldn't bring her husband back, but their actions parted the clouds enough to help her get through the hard days and insured that her dignity was preserved.

HERO contributions helped Lisa pay for immediate needs and to pay off debts. The financial burden created by her husband's death.

"HERO is the best thing they could have done for city employees," Norwood said. "When you're going through something like that, you need someone there to help you. You're not thinking clearly about what you need to do. So, having that help meant so much to me.

"I can't imagine what it would have been like to not have HERO there to help me."

What we do after a municipal city employee is lost:

immediate needs

Immediately provide the surviving family with a check to help them through their time of need

Concierge service

Provide counsel to the family for navigating through the city of Houston insurance and benefits program

Help dependents

Provide financial assistance to eligible dependents after review and approval of the HERO benefits committee recommendations

Assist with education

Provide funds for continuing education of dependent children, in some cases


Board members of the Houston Employee Relief Organization (HERO) received a generous $1,500 donation from longtime supporter Houston Enterprise Car Sales’ Enterprise Holdings Foundation on Tuesday at the Houston Metropolitan Federal Credit Union. Representing the HERO board were, from left, HPW Chief Operating Officer Eric Dargan, HR Director Jane Cheeks, HERO Chairwoman Katherine Mears, and HMFCU President Malcom René. Enterprise’s Gina Harris and Demetri King presented the donation. Harris said Enterprise was pleased to support HERO “to help one of the great organizations that we live and work in."

Volunteer Board of Directors

Meet the team.

Katherine Mears

Appointed by Mayor of Houston

James Donatto, II

Appointed by Mayor of Houston

Jason Venier

Appointed by Mayor of Houston

Eric K. Dargan

Chair of the Board of Directors of the Houston Metropolitan Federal Credit Union

Malcolm René

Board Member
President of Houston Metropolitan Federal Credit Union

Roderick Newman

Board Member
Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Houston Metropolitan Federal Credit Union

Lonnie Vara

Board Member
Appointed by Mayor of Houston and Retired Employee of the City of Houston

Jane Cheeks

Board Member
Director of City of Houston Human Resources Department


We host an annual golf tournament and participate in the City of Houston's employee giving drive, the Combined Municipal Campaign.

Board meetings are held quarterly at the Houston Metropolitan Federal Credit Union at 608 E. Tidwell Rd. Houston, TX 77022.


Upcoming Events


Starting in Spring 2022, Mayor Sylvester Turner and the Houston Employee Relief Organization (HERO) are kicking off a new biannual awards program to promote sustainable safe work practices.

Nominations will be solicited in the fall and spring each year and the HERO executive board along with the Mayor will select the winning team.

At the City of Houston, employee safety takes center stage. We want all our employees to go home each day the way they came to us. No job is so important or urgent that we cannot take the time to perform our work safely. But developing a better safety culture doesn’t happen on its own. It takes engagement and participation from everyone.

That’s why the City, along with the Houston Employee Relief Organization, is kicking off a new program designed to award teams who have developed innovative safety protocols in their departments. The Mayor’s HERO Safety Award program is looking for teams with proactive ideas that will influence safety behavior for the long term and alter the culture of safety for the better.

If you are part of a team that is producing sustainable safer behavior, we want to thank you and commend your efforts with a monetary award. Look at the awards criteria and nominate your team or another team for consideration today.



Nominations are currently being accepted for teams of City employees.
Nomination Form
Flyer For Distribution


Questions? Contact safety@houstontx.gov

Event Recap

We host an annual golf tournament and participate in the City of Houston's employee giving drive, the Combined Municipal Campaign.

Board meetings are held quarterly at the Houston Metropolitan Federal Credit Union at 608 E. Tidwell Rd. Houston, TX 77022.

2022 Annual Golf Tournament

2021 Annual Golf Tournament

2019 Annual Golf Tournament

Upcoming Events

Event 1

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Event 2

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