Season of sharing: Food, toys needed
While you’re out Christmas shopping, don’t forget the 12th annual Emergency Services Toy Roundup.
The collection of toys began on Friday, Nov. 13, and will continue through Friday, Dec. 18.
New, unwrapped toys may be dropped off at the Port Aransas police station or EMS office, both at 705 W. Ave. A, the Family Center IGA at 418 S. Alister St., city hall at 710 W. Ave. A, ValueBank at 500 S. Alister St. or the University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute at 750 Channel View Drive.
Monetary donations may be left at city hall, 710 W. Ave. A, at the EMS office or mailed to Port Aransas EMS, Attention: Emergency Services Toy Roundup, 705 W. Ave. A, Port Aransas, TX 78373.
Checks should be made payable to Emergency Services Toy Roundup.
When giving to the Roundup, don’t forget kids 12 and older, as there is often a shortage of gifts for teens, according to Toy Roundup chairman Kristin Barton.
Applications for recipient families may be picked up at the EMS office or the police department Friday, Nov. 13, through Friday, Dec. 18.
Applications for toys must include proof of residency in Port Aransas with a rent or utility bill having a Port Aransas zip code and some form of identification.
Parents will pick up the unwrapped toys before Christmas along with wrapping paper and tape.
The Toy Roundup is a joint venture of all emergency services: police, fire and medical.
For more information, call the EMS office at 749-4405.
Care and Share food drive
There are many ways to give during the holidays, but if you would like to donate to a local organization helping out a variety of people, think about Care and Share.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars’ annual Care and Share food drive collects donations for Christmas dinners to Port Aransas families in need, soldiers overseas and toys for the Toy Roundup.
Collection of nonperishable foods and cash that will be used to purchase perishables will begin at 8 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 27.
Conducted by VFW Post 8976, volunteers will man a table at the Family Center IGA, 418 S. Alister St., from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 20. On weekdays, contributions may be put in a box at the Family Center or dropped off at the post home, 311 N. Alister St.
Cash contributions may be mailed to Care and Share, c/o VFW Post 8967, P.O. Box 1447, Port Aransas, TX 78373, or dropped off at the VFW post home.
Nonperishable food donations to complement a Christmas dinner will be accepted. Hams and turkeys and other perishables will be purchased with cash donations.
Jim and Janet Brannan are co-chairs of this year’s drive.
Last year the drive served more than 200 families and the Brannans said they expect to see more need this year.
Eligible families that would like to receive a box of goods to make a Christmas dinner may sign up at the post home by Saturday, Dec. 19. They must provide a name, complete street address, telephone number and proof of residency in Port Aransas. Those already registered with the Food Pantry will be registered automatically, but need to make sure the VFW has a physical address and phone number for delivery.
VFW members and volunteer helpers will set up tables and boxes in the Civic Center on Monday, Dec. 21. Volunteers will fill boxes with food the next day, then pass them on to the City of Port Aransas Public Works Department for delivery to the families.
Brannan said he is also looking for the names of anyone from Port Aransas or the area currently serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. Another mission of the Care and Share drive is to provide soldiers overseas with Christmas care packages. Those packages need to be in the mail by Dec. 1, according to Brannan. Call the VFW at 749-6534 with a name, mailing and e-mail address.
Care and Share also donates a substantial amount to the annual Emergency Services Toy Roundup each year, and will do so again, Brannan said.