Turkeys and angels Toys for Tots presents holiday opportunity
by Chip Latcham
Nov 16, 2012 | 1698 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Maybe it’s the cooler weather, the Black Friday specials or that Thanksgiving’s just around the corner...

But it seems that everyone’s spirits are brightened with the upcoming holiday season and fond memories of family gatherings and scrumptious meals.

Many of us who are so blessed naturally think of those less fortunate in our community. Several organizations just this last Tuesday were overwhelmed with generosity in the form of charitable donations through the Coastal Bend Day of Giving campaign.

Among those who benefited from this annual outpouring was the Beeville Vineyard, which received $36,118 – along with the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, HALO-Flight, Women’s Shelter of South Texas and 25 others.

Some $562,614 was raised via online donations in 24 hours to help these local nonprofits, with $310,000 in matching funds given by 15 donor organizations – for a total of $872,614, a phenomenal increase from last year.

Vineyard officials, including Pastor Larry McRorey, were overjoyed with the response and thanked the Bee-Picayune for its “wonderful cover stories which helped raise awareness.”

Obviously, it’s not too late to get involved with efforts to assist The Vineyard and its Christmas Angels program, which helps make the holidays a little brighter for those in need.

In our last edition, the Toys for Tots project was touted. This is the first year that Beeville has had its own homegrown Toys for Tots program, thanks to the efforts of coordinator Kay Past, who attended the training.

“I know it will help the Christmas Angels get better toys for the kids, because the Marines offer a lot of support,” Past said. “We have already bought $1,000 worth of toys.”

“Christmas Angels will continue to collect money to give food and toiletries to the families,” she said. “So, the Toys for Tots will simply take over the toy portion.”

Lupe Sanchez, executive director, said that the Vineyard began registering families this week. The Vineyard is registering up to 400 families and 200 elderly residents for the giveaways, which will be hosted at family shopping days for three weeks in December.

Toy collection boxes can be found at more than 20 locations throughout the community (including our newspaper office).

Starting Dec. 1, volunteers will be needed to transform the Vineyard warehouse into Santa’s workshop. Many more volunteers will be needed from Dec. 5-21 to assist parents in shopping for their children and wrapping the toys.

Anyone who wishes to volunteer should call the Vineyard at 358-7500 or go by the agency at 210 N. Monroe St.

We wish all our readers a happy Thanksgiving and memorable holiday season.

– Chip Latcham
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