Residents at the San Antonio Children’s Shelter will be treated to a special Christmas “just like home” this year. Community organizations brought in truckloads of toys and volunteered their time for the kids.
The San Antonio Children’s Shelter usually has upwards of 50 children staying at the center, who usually come from homes in crisis. CEO Annette Rodriguez said the holidays are a sad time of the year for many of the kids.
"Bexar County continues to have one of the highest child abuse rates in the state. And it is also one of the highest removal rates because of abuse, abandonment and neglect," said Rodriguez.
This year 34 children -- from infants to 8-year-olds -- will occupy the facility over the holidays. Some children may have never had a new toy or celebrated Christmas.
But the community came to the rescue. Spokesman Anais Biera said the sheer amount of merchandise supplied by the community this year meant they had to call in all their volunteers to help.
"We weren't able to do this alone, you know, with minimal staff. We sort of harnessed our volunteers. We had about 43 Rackers from Rackspace, too. They came in and donated their time Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and they were able to wrap hundreds of gifts."
Biera also credited Kelly Aviation, Port San Antonio, and LULAC with large gift donations this year, and almost 100 small businesses. The children will have a traditional Christmas morning, opening those gifts under the tree, finding surprises in all their stockings, and make gingerbread houses with other volunteers.