Here's why your donation to Caller-Times' Christmas Appeal matters during COVID-19

Meagan Falcon
Corpus Christi Caller Times

It's been a year of hardships.

Throughout South Texas, many have been furloughed, lost their jobs, seen family members get sick or die from COVID-19.

But despite all of this, the holidays have provided a beacon of hope for so many children, who still believe in goodwill and look forward to when things will get better. 

Jazmine Hinojosa (left), 9, and Allahzay Canales, 10, get a snack at the Boys & Girls Club of Alice on Tuesday, December 4, 2018. The Boys & Girls Club of Alice is one of several agencies that participate in the Caller-Times Children's Christmas Appeal.

That hope is what has kept the Caller-Times Children's Christmas Appeal alive for nearly 50 years.

Every year, the campaign has helped raise funds for South Texas children in need during the holidays by telling their stories. It's the generosity from the community that has made the tradition possible. 

But this holiday season may be the toughest yet for so many local children and their families. 

Rick Del Bosque greets Laci Ruiz, 7, as she arrives at the Boys & Girls Club of Alice on Tuesday, December 4, 2018. Del Bosque, executive director of the club, has taught the kids a high-five routine and greets them with it as they arrive for the day. The Boys & Girls Club of Alice is one of seven agencies who participate in the Caller-Times Children's Christmas Appeal.

Rick Del Bosque, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Alice, said that's why donations to the Children's Christmas Appeal are "absolutely vital" to these children this year.

The Boys & Girls Club of Alice has been a participating agency in the campaign for more than 10 years.

A Christmas tree is on display at the Boys & Girls Club of Alice, one of seven organizations that participates in the Caller-Times Children's Christmas Appeal campaign. Thousands of children are helped during the holidays because of the annual fundraiser.

"These families are barely making it during the pandemic, and we need to make it easier for them, especially during the holidays," Del Bosque said. "While we know many in the community are struggling due to the pandemic, each donation they send will go a long way for the kids."

No matter how small, each donation will go directly to a child throughout the campaign and will help purchase clothing,  other essentials and toys.

"I wish the donors could see the smiles and the happiness these kids radiate when they receive their gifts," Del Bosque said. "When I see these kids who have experienced so much hardship, and tell me the gifts they received made their Christmas special it just makes everything worth while." 

What is the Children's Christmas Appeal?

Handmade Christmas ornaments at Smith Elementary School.

The children represent thousands who will be helped by the Caller-Times Children's Christmas Appeal. The names of the families profiled have been changed to protect their privacy.

Since 1973, The Caller-Times has reported the struggle of needy children and their families during the holiday season. All the money donated to the Christmas Appeal campaign benefits the children; all overhead costs are borne by the Caller-Times, United Way of the Coastal Bend and participating agencies. This year, the Nueces County Record Star and the Alice Echo-News Journal joined the campaign.

Participating agencies include Boys & Girls Club of Alice, Duval County Christmas Committee, the Kleberg County Welfare Department, Nueces County Department of Social Services, the Odyssey After School Enrichment Program in Rockport, Sinton for Youth Inc. and the Purple Door.

HOW TO DONATE

Here’s three ways to help:

*Fill out the donation form on Page 2A. Make your check or money order payable to Children’s Christmas Appeal and mail to: United Way of Coastal Bend, 4659 Everhart Road, Corpus Christi, TX, 78411 (designate funds to Children's Christmas Appeal)

*Donate online at www.uwcb.org. Look for the Christmas Appeal logo.

*Text ChristmasAppeal (no spaces) to 41444 to make a donation.

READ THEIR STORIES:

Pandemic, health problems drain family's bank account, but not its gratitude

These two sisters struggle with health issues. Then their mom lost her job.

Struggling family faces Christmas eviction after father's sudden job loss

Corpus Christi grandparents won custody of three kids. Then came the cancer diagnosis.