Silver Santa brings joy to 180 youngsters

Robin Alaniz photo Volunteers distribute "Silver Santa" Christmas gifts Saturay at the First United Methodist Church.

GOLIAD – Christmas came early for 180 Goliad County children Saturday.

They received wished-for gifts at the United Methodist Church parish hall at the 12th annual Goliad Sheriff’s Office’s Silver Santa program.

“Each child – from infants to 12 years old – got at least four gifts,” Goliad Sheriff Kirby Brumby says. His office began distributing 600 request forms last month to the Goliad Elementary School and to two kindergarten schools.

Kirby’s wife, Debbie, tabulated the requests on a computer spreadsheet.

The volunteers accepted all requests. 

“If they wanted a tractor, they got a tractor,” Brumby says, “If they wanted skinny jeans, they got skinny jeans.”

All the gifts were wrapped.

In addition to each child receiving gifts, volunteers conducted a drawing for six large gifts including large stuffed animals.

“Two women from a county shelter came in with their completed forms,” Brumby explains. “But it was past the deadline. One of them had six children and asked if they still could receive gifts.

“We will fix you up,” Brumby told them.

Gifts were distributed to 70 families – an 18-percent drop from last year’s total of 85 – which  Brumby attributes to the health of the nation’s economy.