Saturday, December 16, 2017
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20171123 OPERATION CHRISTMASChristmastime is a time many of us think of others and seek ways to help those in need – those who are less fortunate. So many children go without proper food, shelter and essential medical care every day along the border.

These needs seem to be magnified at Christmas. And Winter Texans seem to have some of the biggest hearts to be found, as they organize and work together to create wonderful events to make Christmas special for needy children and their families.

Following are just a couple of examples of the many, many “Operation Christmas” projects Winter Texans either organize or for which they provide indispensable support and assistance.

Amigos de los Niños makes Christmas plans

20171123 Christmas for the needy kids 108 1In 1990, the group Amigos de Los Niños de Mexico (the friends of the children of Mexico) was formed to address those needs through gifts of friendship, love, food and presents to the children of Mexico.

It is the time of year when the group is looking for volunteers to help. There will be meetings open to the public at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Nov. 28, Dec. 12 and Jan. 9 (to elect new officers and board members) at First Methodist Church in Donna, located at 228 S. Main Street in Donna.

During the meetings you can sign up for various committees and get more information.

A caravan will take items to Progreso, Mexico on Dec. 23 and the celebration with the children is held Christmas day.

Here are some ways to be involved:

-                    become an Amigo member

-                    help on Christmas day

-                    join the caravan

-                    make a donation

-                    gather needed items

-                    party with Los Niños

20171123 IMG 6880.JPG PEOPLE GATHERHere is a list of needed items: crayons (24 to a box), 1 subject ruled notebook, pencils (No. 2, not sharpened), stuffed toys (no more than 12 inches tall) and toys for boys and girls up to 12 years of age. Bring these items to the meeting.

For more information or if you have questions, call Carol Schnase, publicity chairperson at (956) 332-8855.

Christmas for the Needy underway at Lakewood RV Resort

As residents return to parks all over the Rio Grande Valley, it's a reminder that winter is closing in. At Lakewood RV Park in Harlingen, it's also a reminder that it's time to prepare for the annual Christmas for the Needy Program, celebrating its 25th year.

Christmas for the Needy will provide a happy holiday for a dozen or more needy families whose children attend Stuart Place Elementary School. Many Lakewood residents mentor students at the school, a program that started with the Lakewood RV Worship Committee.

20171123 IMG 6785.JPG SANTA AND CHILDFundraisers for the project include a Soup for the Needy Luncheon & Bake Sale from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8 at Lakewood RV Resort, located at 4525 Graham Road in Harlingen. The event is open to the public.

There will also be a Dance for the Needy, a Square Dance/Round Dance for the Needy, a quilt raffle and a Nativity Scene raffle. The quilt has been designed by the park's quilting ladies. The Nativity Scene is carved by hand from wood by a former resident. Raffle tickets are on sale now and will be sold at fundraising events, with the drawing held Monday, Dec. 11 – and the winner need not be present to win.

The Dance for the Needy will be held from 2 to 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 2. Western and ballroom dance music will be performed.

The Square Dance/Round Dance for the Needy will be held from 1 to 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 3, hosted by callers Nick Harley and Shirley Heiny.

Following the fundraisers, the Stuart Place school children and their families visit the resort for fun with the residents and, of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus. Cookies, punch and fellowship will be provided along with groceries, gifts and a handmade quilt for each child.

“We receive a warm sense of the season in our hearts, serving God in His work,” said Donna Wright, Lakewood resident and Christmas for the Needy chairperson.

For more information call Donna Wright at (269) 806-1428.

Contact the Winter Texan Times

We’d like to know what your park or group is doing to make Christmas special for those less fortunate. Is your group doing something for others during the Christmas holiday? Are you looking for volunteers? Do you want to invite others to participate in your “Operation Christmas” event? Let us know at the Winter Texan Times.

Email news@wintertexantimes.com to send us information about what you or your group are doing for other this Christmas season. And be sure to send us photos and a brief description after you hold your park’s “Operation Christmas” events so we can share your stories in the newspaper and online at www.wintertexantimes.com.

Thank you for making Christmas merry for so many children in the Rio Grande Valley and Mexico! God bless you all!

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