Meet the Houston Greeters

November 16, 2009 6:17:09 PM PST
Meet the Houston Greeters, volunteers who are part of a new program with the goal of selling our city. Houston is one of the largest cities in the country and so many of us don't know all that the city has to offer. That's where the Houston Greeters can help.

For Ann Ellis, this is unchartered territory and her maiden voyage through Houston's downtown tunnel system has been years in the making.

"I'm from Houston, but I don't know too much about the tunnel system. Just haven't utilized it. I guess I didn't know my way around, so I didn't come down," said Ellis.

The seven mile tour is provided by a new organization called Houston Greeters. Volunteers like Joy Huntington jumped at the opportunity to share her knowledge.

"I've worked downtown since 1993 and utilized them probably every day for lunch. I just think it's a wonderful thing," said Huntington.

Houston Greeters is a non-profit organization that started this month. Nearly 90 greeters are available and offer over 75 different activities. All of it is free of charge.

"Visitors cannot believe it, the locals love it. We find a lot of people use the service when their family comes to town. They don't know what to show them in Houston or they don't feel expert enough to do it," said Susan Borches, founder of Houston Greeters.

The City of Houston has donated office space at its visitor's center and METRO Rail donates passes to Houston Greeters for tours.

"I thought it was important for people to come to Houston to be able to connect with a human being. This is such a big city that it's hard to make that human connection," said Borches.

Houston Greeters makes that connection one tourist at a time. Whether you're hiking or biking, or going to the Museum District or the Theatre District downtown, they offer over 75 destinations.

You can contact Houston Greeters here at their website.

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