STORIES

Needy HCDE Head Start Families Gain Gifts for Children Thanks to Houston Children’s Charity

Through the generosity of nonprofit Houston Children’s Charity, more than 450 Harris County Department of Education Head Start students and their siblings will have gifts this holiday season. That’s a sigh of relief for Fonwood Head Start parent Jasmine Samuel. “At the time, I wasn’t so sure about Christmas for us,” Samuel said. “My mom passed away from cancer about two months ago. I didn’t think I would be able to afford Christmas presents for my daughter.” Kailyn Samuel-Clark, 4, attends the Head Start program at Fonwood, one of 15 Head Start centers in east and northeast Harris County administered through Harris County Department of Education. Income-eligible families and children with disabilities gain free Head Start services to help equip children with academic and social skills for school. Families receive support services in the school readiness program through community partners like Houston Children’s Charity. Siblings in HCDE Head Start families will also each receive three gifts from the nonprofit, even the teenagers, said Michael Muniz, marketing communications and social media manager for Houston Children’s Charity. “This partnership with HCDE Head Start is particularly meaningful because we get to share our community’s giving spirt and joy of Christmas with so many families as the blessed recipients of donations collected through the U.S. Marines’ Toys for Tots program,” he said. Muniz said the goal for this year is for the nonprofit to provide 6,500 Houston families with toys for more than 20,000 children. Families receive their toys at George R. Brown Convention Center on Dec. 20 and 21. The preidentified families will be provided wristbands and a letter to enter the toy store. Giveaways range from plush toys to Lego sets to bikes to board games. Head Start mother Samuels is excited about seeing the look on her daughter’s face on Christmas morning as sheopens the gifts donated to her family. “I’m grateful and really appreciate them for doing this for us and everyone else,” Samuels said. “It will help me put a smile on her face and see her happy to receive something on Christmas morning.” If you would like to donate gifts to the Houston Children’s Charity for the holiday gift giveaway, learn more at http://www.houstonchildrenscharity.org. Head Start and Early Head Start centers at HCDE serve children ages six weeks to age 5. For more information about HCDE Head Start, go to http://www.hcde-texas.org/Head-Start. Source: HCDE