Hometown Heroes: Noell Myska

Ray Aguilar with Noell Myska.

By M.G. Angulo –

Watching her mother volunteer in the community as a child awakened Noell Myska to the fact that helping others and improving her community through meaningful actions was in her genes.

It was during her high school years that Myska first tried her hand at volunteering, and that was all she needed.Now an adult, Myska has volunteered with the Fort Bend County Fair and Rodeo, the Houston Livestock Show  and Rodeo, various animal rescues — like Jurassic Bark Rescue — Hooves and Hands, OakBend Medical Center, the Central Fort Bend Chamber and through her sorority Zeta Tau Alpha.

Between being a property tax agent — which she has been for the past six years — fostering pets and keeping her fingers in a plethora of nonprofit pies, some may say Myska has no room for a social life. But she would quickly and easily correct them. “Yes I do have a social life,” she said with a lively laugh. “My charities. All charities have a place in my heart. There are so many with awesome programs to give to, and I love being a  part of them. When people ask me why I’m involved with so many organizations I say: ‘Why not?’ Why would you want to live in a community and not want to give back to it?”

The charity primarily receiving Myska’s attention at the moment is GiGi’s Playhouse, an achievement center for children and adults diagnosed with Down syndrome. “As a kid I prayed to God to put me in a position where I could work with kids with special needs,” Myska said. “And through volunteering with GiGi’s, I realized my prayers had been answered.”

Myska serves on GiGi’s Playhouse board and is in charge of raising funds for the nonprofit, which she has done for other nonprofits in the past. “I believe people are put on this earth for a specific reason because of a specific talent,” she said. “Some people are meant to be nurses, some people are meant to be teachers. My talent is raising money for nonprofits, which I enjoy because nonprofits need money to continue the good they do in the community.”

Everyone has a skill they can lend to a nonprofit, she notes. And if you bump into her, chances are she will  encourage you to “find just one thing you can do” to support a local charity. “It is easy. It is fulfilling. And it is vital to strengthening a community,” Myska stressed.

“We shouldn’t be comfortable living in a society where people don’t value supporting their own communities,”  she said. “There is always something you can do. I always say there will never be enough time for me to give as much as I want to. I’ll probably die still thinking of ways to give back,” she added with a laugh.

Goddaughter Keaton  McDonough and Noell Myska.

But Myska expects no words of admiration for her works. Volunteering is a team effort, she said. “It is not just  about one person. It’s not about me. There are so many more people worth talking to. Yes, what I do matters, but  what every single volunteer does matters just as much.”

Someone interested in finding a charity to devote themselves to need only to ask, Myska pointed out. “There are a ton of ways to find out where you fit.

“While I was attending University of Houston, I moved home to save money,” Myska shared. “And there I was, this 20 something-year-old student, bored out of my mind. My sorority sisters are the ones to who introduced me to the volunteer opportunities at the Fort Bend County Fair. And that was just the beginning.”

Myska also credits the Fort Bend Chamber’s leadership class with showing her how to focus her energy and abilities in a way that would benefit her community. “Even if all you can do is one small thing, do it,” she said.

“Because all those small gestures add up — they add up to one huge impact.”

Classic Chevy Sugar Land – 13115 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land, TX 77478, (281) 491-9000, www.classicchevysugarland.com