Toys for Tots helps provide Christmas for thousands of Houston-area families

December 14, 2012 4:23:12 PM PST
The Houston Children's Charity and the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots campaign came together Thursday to help children during these hard times.

It's the charity's annual toy give-away, and by Friday evening, thousands of parents walked away with some relief.

Shivering, exhausted but determined to give their children the Christmas they deserve, parents started lining up at the George R. Brown Convention Center at midnight.

"Anything's good to give because it's a hard Christmas this year," said Gina DeLeon, one of hte parents receiving gifts.

About 4,000 families received donated gifts Friday.

"I've been a volunteer here for two years and it's just the wonderfullest thing I've ever done," volunteer Beatrice Estrada said.

And, as parents head home with their gifts, they also take a lesson in giving back with them.

"Are you going to tell your son where this came from?" we asked gift recipient Pam Cook.

"Yes I'm going to tell him. He needs to know that there's always somebody less fortunate than we are. So that way when he gets old enough to be able to get out and do things, he can do the same." Cook replied.

If you couldn't make it out here today, there's still plenty of time. The Salvation Army is collecting and distributing gifts until Christmas Day.

"You never know when you might be in need. Today, it's for somebody else that wants to be able to have a Christmas and tomorrow it could be your family," said Juan Alanis with the Salvation Army.

You can also donate to Children's Protective Services.

"That's actually the reward to see the kids come in there and just be so cheerful and thankful even when they're going through probably the most tormented things," said Jessica Johnson, who's collecting gifts for CPS.

All organizations are still accepting gifts and they say they're in need of some for teens and pre-teens.

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