Bringing a smile to a child’s face is always a great thing. But, with so many families facing hardships during this Pandemic, many families fear their children won’t be able to get toys for the holidays. So, the Houston Fire Department is stepping in to help thousand of kids have a great holiday season.
The 2020 Operation Stocking Stuffer is now underway. It started over 30 years ago when a Houston area teacher, Ms. Lorugene Young (1943-2017), wanted to help her students and other disadvantaged children with Christmas gifts for the holiday. She collected used toys and began to distribute them in her area out of the trunk of her car. A few years later, after seeing the need in the community, Ms. Young approached the Houston Fire Department with the idea of using fire stations as toy collection locations for her program.
The partnership with HFD began modestly but once the word got around, more and more community and business leaders came on board to make Operation Stocking Stuffer what it has become today… A massive, community-driven effort helping thousands of families every year, and one of the largest community outreach programs of it’s type anywhere.
Last year, 20,000 children from over 7000 families received toys. And the goal is to do that again. From November 6 o December 15, H.F.D. will accept toy donations to help needy children. In order to be eligible for the Toys, Families in need can also Register for gifts from the Toy Drive beginning Friday November 6th too.
But there are some changes. This year, due to Covid-19, donations will NOT be accepted at Houston Fire Stations. It’s all being done on-line. You can also make monetary donations too.
The Program will also be introducing HFD’s new Toy Pantry in 2021 to help families in need all year long with gifts for the children. For more information on how you can donate to the toy drive, register to participate, and to stay updated on the Toy Pantry, visit their website, www.osstoydrive.com