9th annual local toy giveaway features assist from former Rockets star

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Saturday, December 25, 2021
Local toy giveaway features assist from former Rockets star
Santa traded in his sleigh for a Rolls Royce during a toy distribution in Houston's Third Ward.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- With temperatures in the 80s, it did not necessarily feel like Christmas Eve in Houston's Third Ward. So, Santa showed up in a Rolls Royce drop top to spread some holiday cheer.

"They told me it was going to be a warm one," Santa said as he arrived.

With no snow in sight, instead of a sleigh, Santa showed up in a Rolls Royce. The toys soon followed.

The ninth annual She's Happy Foundation toy giveaway surprised children in Cuney Homes with more than 60 bikes and $10,000 worth of toys.

Warren Broadnax, the executive director of the foundation and a former Houston firefighter, said it is important to bless the people who bless She's Happy Hair and its seven locations.

"When you come from humble beginnings like we do, it's important," Broadnax said. "We were once in these situations. We once needed things for Christmas. Our community is who patronizes us."

Among the elves passing out gifts at the community's basketball court was former Rockets star Steve Francis.

"It feels like home coming back and giving back," Francis said.

It also hits home for the three-time All-Star. Earlier this week, Francis opened up about his struggles with mental health and alcohol in a piece titled "A Letter to Young Black Men" published in The Players' Tribune.

"All it takes is to reach one person who can reach another person," Francis said. "I just want them to see me physically and see that it's real."

"I don't think they know the slam dunk champion that we have here, and the staple in the Houston community," Broadnax said of Francis' participation. "So, the fact Steve Francis can come out here and help out, it's bigger than life."

A successful local star and a successful local business, who each take pride in doing good for the neighborhood, made sure Houston kids felt the Christmas spirit as the weather has us feeling another kind of warmth.