Sharing the spirit: BPD, BISD host drive-thru toy giveaway

The Brownsville Police Department held a drive-thru toy giveaway for children who need it the most at the Brownsville Independent School District’s Central Administration Building on Wednesday.

With the Christmas spirit, police officers and BISD employees were seen wearing Christmas hats while placing and organizing the toys for the children inside the vehicles. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BPD was not able to host their yearly toy drive but has adapted and partnered with several community programs to still be able to help.

Unfortunately, because of the pandemic and the growing numbers throughout our community, we could not do our traditional toy drive,” Chief Felix Sauceda said.

“But we also recognize that because of the pandemic there’s that much of a higher need, the need has grown exponentially and we need to make sure that we help make a merry Christmas for every family that we are able to. So we vetted a group of students from BISD, some of the most economically deprived within our city, and we are going to serve them today.”

The event, which is also sponsored by BISD, drew dozens of vehicles that lined up hours before the distribution started. Sauceda said this year the event is much needed because of financial burden the coronavirus brought to the community.

“It’s been a very hard year for everyone, for everyone, but most importantly for them. There is a higher need for everything that the pandemic has brought, so we needed to make sure that we really took care of those individuals,” he said.

“The spirit of giving, there’s nothing bigger than to be able to give a special gift for the underprivileged. They are the ones who need it the most, we want to be able to help, and, to me, it personally affects, because I was there, that was me when I was that age.”

Timothy Cuff, assistant superintendent for Support Services at BISD, said even though there are several events like this one where BISD participates throughout the years, this year is extra special because there is a greater need.

“I think every year we have it, but this year is really special because of the economics that we are in right now with the COVID virus. The less fortunate people and people that are not working, so this giveaway it’s certainly making these families happy today and that’s what we are all about,” he said.

“We just want to thank the Brownsville Police Department along with BISD working together, hand in hand, for a great cause, for the kids. It’s just tremendous.”

The children who received the gifts are part of the Youth Connection Project, which ensures educational rights and protections of children and youths experiencing homelessness under the McKinney-Vento Act.

Disney dolls, Disney shoes, Play-Doh sets and plastic dinosaurs were among the gifts children at the event received. While in line, BPD and BISD would survey the cars and ask the number of children and the gender of their children to make the line move faster.

“It’s a nice event for the community, we are giving out toys for Christmas time to people that signed up through the homeless department,” Cuff said. “They are coming by and picking up toys today in their car. I think the kids will be smiling from ear to ear.”