Houston Children's Charity surprises 9 families in need with wheelchair accessible vans

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Parents and their children had their day made as Houston Children's Charity donated nine specially designed vans to help families get around the big city.

Angela White and her son Desmond White were one of the families who received a donated van. It's something she said will change their life.

"It'll help with his transportation," Angela said. "Transporting him, getting him back and forth to the doctor. Maybe he'll want to get out more now that he has his van."

Jose Garcia said his family is grateful for the donation and said it'll allow them to do things like take more trips.

"With this new one, we feel so excited for it," Garcia said. "We're thinking of (taking) a trip next month. We're so happy and excited."

CEO and founder of Houston Children's Charity Laura Ward told ABC13 they have donated 275 vans since 1996. She said it's all worth more than $7.5 million, and it all from the help of caring Houstonians, too.

"No charity can really sustain that level, and all nine of these vans (Wednesday) were outright donated by caring Houstonians," she said.

Even during the pandemic, Houstonians are still lending each other a hand.

"What we have seen is an increase in donations," Ward said. "We are more grateful than anybody can imagine."

Patrick Fertitta, who attended the event on behalf of his father, Tilman Fertitta, the chairman of the board, said he's grateful for those who helped the families.

"I'm so grateful and thankful to all the donors who made this possible," Fertitta said.

Viewers wishing to help families in need can donate by calling 713-524-2878 or by visiting Houston Children's Charity's website.

"Anything you can donate towards a van is meaningful to us and more meaningful for these families. No donation is too small," Ward said.
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