Every item, from wall to wall, was placed there by community volunteers to make that dream come true for children in Live Oak and McMullen counties.
Pat Jarratt is the president of the volunteer board of directors at The Sunshine Room in Three Rivers, part of Live Oak County Welfare Inc., organized to help families and children in the community.
While their Christmas Angels program is well underway, The Sunshine Room is always accepting donations, especially now, during the Christmas season.
Jarratt said that any and all donations are appreciated and accepted, but they are always in need of new clothes, underwear, socks, diapers and shoes.
“We also really need items for teenagers,” she added. “A lot of people think about the younger kids when they buy things to donate, but we need clothes and other items for teenagers too.”
Jarratt also said they are greatly in need of heaters and blankets.
“A cold front is coming in, so I’ve been here for the past few days because people will be coming in to get winter coats and warm clothes,” she said.
Christmas Angels registration is over, but Jarratt said that anyone who missed the deadline can still contact her for help. “If parents have not registered, they can get a hold of me, and we can still help them.”
“For Christmas Angels, clients fill out registration forms with a child’s wishlist on it, then volunteers come and pick up the forms and do the shopping, wrapping and delivery,” Jarratt explained. “We couldn’t do this without all of the people who volunteer.”
“Valero is a huge sponsor because we do the Christmas Angels program, and they made sure we had enough money this year to help those who need it.”
“The Swinney Switch Fire Department helps us, the schools collect for us... everyone involved is volunteering their time to help.”
Jarratt said she buys clothes and other items off-season when she can. “I can get things on sale so that the money lasts, and then we store the items,” she explained.
Christmas isn’t the only important occasion to the volunteers at The Sunshine Room.
“We also keep anything that we don’t use for Christmas, and we save it for the kids’ birthdays,” Jarratt said. “A lot of kids don’t get to celebrate their birthdays because there just isn’t enough money, so we keep the toys and clothes and everything so they can have birthday presents.”
For back-to-school this year, Jarratt said that volunteers at The Sunshine Room gave away almost 275 backpacks stuffed with school supplies.
“Everyone is a volunteer,” Jarratt said, “and we couldn’t do this without all of the help we get from the community.”
The Sunshine Room is located behind the First Methodist Church on Church Street in Three Rivers.
Contact Pat Jarratt at 362-8701 for more information or to donate.
Lindsey Shaffer is the regional editor and can be reached at 786-3022 or at regional@mySouTex.com.