Clarissa Aguilar is commemorating her brother through a toy drive in Refugio and Woodsboro.

Frankie Abila passed away in 2016 after being involved in a car accident right outside Woodsboro.

The toy drive will be part of Christmas in Refugio.

“I want to give back what the community gave to us during such a tragic time,” said Aguilar. “They were there for us. On his behalf, even though he’s no longer here, I want to keep his spirit alive. ... Even if I get only 10 or 20 toys out of this drive, at least I did it for him. At least I tried, because he would have tried.”

Aguilar got in contact with the Refugio City Hall to help underprivileged families. The town of Refugio has held a toy drive already, however Mayor Wanda Dukes helped her set up her own toy drive box at City Hall. Stanley Tuttle is also hosting a donation box in Woodsboro at Tuttle’s Grocery.

“Everyone has a drop off place for them that’s convenient for them,” said Aguilar. “The mayor will put up a box at City Hall for my cause. I’ll join in with her, and Santa will be at the gazebo in Refugio on Dec. 11. He will be handing out any of the donations that we receive.”

Residents can drop off toys until Dec. 11 at noon. Aguilar will pick up her box from Tuttle’s Grocery at that time and bring it to Refugio.

Abila was a valued member of the community, working closely with the different parts of the community according to Aguilar.

Aguilar wishes to keep her brother in mind every year that she can, assisting in giving back to the community that helped her family through such a hard time.

Aguilar remembers that Abila was always looking to help people in need, even assisting the Woodsboro Fire Department in fighting fires.

“It’s just another great story of my brother,” continued Aguilar. “... Every moment is emotional for me. Anything that I do on his behalf, in his memory, in his honor is always so emotional, but I do it for him.”

•mtamez@mysoutex.com•

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