Houston, TX - Friday, December 20th marked the opening of Houston Children’s Charity’s 2-day Annual Toy Distribution event at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston. Since 2008, the organization’s clients have been the recipients of the U.S. Marines’ Toys for Tots donations collected from official drop-off sites citywide. For nearly two decades, Houston Children’s Charity has hosted the gifting event – first partnering with the U.S. Marines’ Toys for Tots program in 2008 and then, through the generosity of the Houston First Corporation, moving into the 125,00 square foot George R. Brown Convention Center in 2010. In total, this past weekend’s distribution served 20,000 children in need by giving away an estimated 80,000 toys.
Newly reelected Mayor Sylvester Turner stopped by on Friday morning to visit with parents in line, walk the grounds with HCC President & CEO, Laura Ward, and even participated in a giveaway for those awaiting their turn inside the toy store. Many parents began lining up in the middle of the night and by the event’s Friday morning start time, the line wrapped around from the front entrance of the George R. Brown Convention Center to under the I-69 freeway.
“Houston Children’s Charity does such a tremendous job of organizing this program and we’re so happy to see our Toys for Tots program donations collected citywide bringing Christmas joy to so many kids in need,” said Toys for Tots Coordinator, Gunnery Sergeant Charles Burks. “We had over 300 official Toys for Tots donation sites all across town, which is a testament to Houston’s giving spirit.”
“This event is the culmination of so many wonderfully philanthropic organizations coming together for our special children. We’re so grateful to our partners who made this possible, including the U.S. Marines, who so graciously gift our families with their received donations as well as Houston First Corporation for donating the space here at the George R. Brown,” Ward said. “And, of course, we’re thankful to the city of Houston for their efforts, generosity and sharing our mission to make Christmas magical for so many Houston area children and their families.”