Christmas Toy Drive: South Houston, TX
In the spirit of the Christmas season of giving and spreading cheer, members of Sri Sathya Sai Center of South Houston volunteered at the “Toys for Kids'', an event organized and hosted by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee on December 17, 2022 at the Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center. This year’s event drew 5000 children from low-income families, who came with anticipated joy of receiving a toy to brighten up their Christmas.
Sai volunteers have actively supported the “Toy for Kids” event for the past six years. They usually begin a toy drive several months ahead of the event. For 2022, with their dedicated efforts and generosity, they were able to collect about 1000 toys through their toy drive.
A day prior to the event, Sai volunteers visited the venue and assisted with the setup of the facility, as well as arranged toys for distribution on the following day. Toys were sorted based on gender and age. On the day of the event, Sai Center members worked cheerfully alongside volunteers from other service organizations to give out the toys to eager throngs of children. To the children’s delight, Sai volunteers also distributed candies. Some also helped to serve lunch to the attendees. In all, more than 15 Sai volunteers were involved in the collection, transportation, sorting and distribution of the toys.
Gautami Ballingam, a freshman at high school and one of the youngest volunteers, shared her thoughts about participating in this toy drive: “Being a part of this toy drive reminded me to be thankful for all the blessings I have and that less fortunate people may not have. I tend to take Christmas for granted and the toy drive opened my eyes to children who may not have that luxury. Although it was hours of work, when I saw the kids with smiles on their faces passing by, I knew it was all worth it.”