Community comes through for Christmas
Port Aransans have once again reached into their hearts and their pockets to provide a Merry Christmas for those who need a little help.
Just two weeks ago both the Emergency Services Toy Roundup and the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ Care and Share were in dire straits. Both were described as “looking grim,” as donations were down, way down, from last year.
This week, as both drives came to a close, the respective directors were elated to report that all goals and needs were met in time for the holiday.
Jim Brannan, co-chair of the VFW Care and Share, said, “Once again, Port Aransas came through admirably. They just swamped us (with donations).”
The post collected enough in food and monetary donations to provide holiday meals for 325 people in need, send care packages to overseas troops and to donate $2,000 to the EMS Toy Roundup.
VFW members and volunteer helpers set up tables and boxes in the Port Aransas Civic Center on Monday, Dec. 21. Volunteers filled boxes with food the next day, then passed them on to the City of Port Aransas Public Works Department for delivery to the families.
“We had so many volunteers we were stumbling over each other,” Brannan reported.
Some of the recipients of the food boxes had contacted Brannan or the post to express sincere, heartfelt and sometimes tearful thanks, Brannan said.
The drive raised approximately $9,000 in donations from residents as well as visitors.
The EMS Toy Roundup fared as well.
Chairman Kristin Barton, who was worried last week, said, “The community of Port Aransas always comes through for our kids.”
Barton said they had met their goal and had toys for all the kids. Some substantial donations came in from private, anonymous individuals and the Care and Share donated $2,000 in cash to the drive. Add that to the many smaller donations and you get a successful toy drive, after all, Barton said.
All of the donations made were “an enormous help,” Barton said.
Based on the response to both drives, the spirit of giving is thriving in Port Aransas, despite economic hard times.