One of the best things about living in the Brazos Valley is the generous spirit of our community. No matter what the needs are, people in our hometowns always step up to give, so very generously, from their hearts, most especially at times of need. It’s an overwhelming feeling of pride with which I describe our towns to others who don’t live here. It’s a place filled with love for everyone, especially during the holidays.
This week alone, you’ve seen KBTX staffers standing in freezing weather for 12 hours to collect hundreds of thousands of pounds of canned goods and funds to buy Food for Families. You’ve seen Salvation Army bell ringers braving rotten rain and wind, coming to your cars, so you don’t have to get wet, making your donation.
Stearns Build saw that Project Unity’s Beck St. location needed major renovations and just volunteered to make it happen at no cost. Angel Trees abound! The Salvation Army’s tree in Post Oak Mall was first up; then, in town, is an Angel Tree fellowship for children and families of prisoners; plus, the Bryan PD Blue Angel Project for children; attorney Chad Jones’ Coats for Kids, donating 330 coats to kids here locally. So uplifting to see these here!
Blue Baker has a tree at their University Drive location with donations being accepted all week; CVS Pharmacy on Rock Prairie has a tree cosponsored by Home Instead Senior Care & Area Agency on Aging, especially for forgotten seniors.
When you shop for someone, anonymously, envision their delight and relief at being remembered. Your personal joy will overflow.
One of the neatest new things I’ve seen this year is that the Brazos Valley Area Agency on Aging has teamed up with Home Instead and CVS to host a tree especially for area senior citizens! Although we rightly focus on children each year, we definitely want to remember our senior friends and neighbors who may not have family left in the area. We want them to be foremost in our thoughts, too, each year. Remember, they were our first generation to teach us about the spirit of giving. We are all, always, children at heart.
In the photos here, you can see the requests for gifts are so simple. A bottle of hand lotion (often unscented works best for those with allergies), or a nail care kit. How about puzzle books and word games that will help time go by quickly on days that are so long because they may be confined to their beds and not able to mix and mingle with others who can enjoy long-term care facility activities? They’re accepting gifts you buy at CVS (plenty of things in stock, and you buy them there and CVS will put them into the special collection box they have. Know that some very special smiles will be on the faces of area seniors. Remembering those sometimes forgotten…priceless. Buy before December 17th!
Over the past week, we saw the team at KBTX-3 Food for Families Food Drive collect over $100,000 in donations and over 100,000 pounds of food for families in need. Last Saturday, friends at Reynolds & Reynolds volunteered their time assembling bicycles that would be gifts for the families of Brazos County first responders. Last year Reynolds & Reynolds provided bikes for children of local soldiers. Doesn’t this very special thoughtfulness make you happy?
Doing for others. That’s what my parents taught me for as long as I can remember. One of the first donation boxes I recall was for the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots. Big boxes were decorated for us to come by and place a new or very (very) gently used toy for someone to love this holiday. In town, you can find the donation boxes up at Toys ‘R Us on Harvey Road in College Station.
In more photos here, the Blue Baker Tree at the University Drive location is still accepting gifts this week as well. Walk in, take a deep breath of the amazing baked items fresh on the shelves and adopt an angel from the tree. Return with something for a child (each angel has a different request and age/size specified).
This winter a snuggy new coat would make a major difference for many children. Also, a single soccer ball or basketball is all it would take to bring a smile to a child’s face. When you return to Blue Baker with the gift(s), well, you’ll have a treat in store when you check out the peppermint brownies, the cranberry orange sweetbread, the Christmas sugar cookie, or the Chocolate Chip Toffee Blondies. All week long. If you were looking for an excuse to snack…
Project Unity is collecting gift cards for their client families, both at their offices at the Carter Creek location or at Artisan’s Rejuvenation Med Spa in South College Station. It can be HEB, Target, Wal-Mart, or gasoline cards in any amount. The impact you will make will be phenomenal. Restaurant gift cards are not as helpful because these clients often don’t have transportation or gasoline for their cards to use them.
There are so many things we take for granted that we can do daily…and it’s a major reality check to those whose families work two and three jobs just to feed and clothe and house their children. More frequently now, we see single moms or dads trying to handle all this duty, with the help of loving relatives to pitch in.
There’s no way to cover all the wonderful churches’ giving programs in town, or the tremendous efforts made by so many, especially the ones who don’t have ways of telling others what they might need where you can help. Look for angel trees around town or call local nonprofits to see what they need.
Each one of you reading probably has a favorite special program of giving that you like as your favorite. Please use the Comments section at the end to recommend a program that is your favorite as we now have 12 more days until Christmas Eve. There’s still plenty of time to enjoy shopping for others! Do it for all those who can’t be here with us this year, but who used to love Christmas every year! From your heart to the heart of the Brazos Valley—you will make a difference.
Each of you is truly a part of the giving heart of the Brazos Valley! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Cody D. Jones ‘02
Owner & Community Member