There’s the perfect gift, last minute gifts, and the dreaded unwanted gift.
But some could go out without any gifts this upcoming Christmas.
The Cameron County Sheriff’s Department is trying to change that for some in need.
It’s not the North Pole, and there’s no elves wrapping gifts. Instead the Cameron County Sheriff’s Department is collecting gifts, inmates are wrapping presents before they go out to children in need.
Inmate and current toy wrapper Jill Lopez says, “It’s refreshing since I can’t be with my own family. It’s been something that has helped me get through this Christmas Season.”
This program started back in 1997. That is nearly 20 years ago. Over 2,000 gifts have been donated by the community.
“They bring it out here, then we have these young girls here that are detainees at the present time and they did a great job throughout the week and they wrapped them up,” says Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio.
And after the gifts are wrapped, they’re delivered to rural areas of Cameron County. This is going to be going on all week. And it’s not just toys for the children. Some of the families out here are getting turkey, they’re getting food and they’re getting something so they too can have a Merry Christmas.
“I know we’re making somebody’s life happy. … we wish we could do this every single day, especially during the holidays, we want to make sure the kids enjoy a little toy,” says Lucio.
The areas are selected by officers. Either areas they’ve been to before or places known as poor areas. Gift recipients don’t know the gifts are coming. The Sheriff is visiting cities where students are out of school.
“Real poor people,” says Lucio, “they see the youngsters, you see the houses, some dilapidated houses, dilapidated trailer homes that are way out there in the middle of nowhere.”
“I hope that they really enjoy receiving what they get and I hope they receive fun and joy out of it,” says Lopez.
The gifts are going to Rural areas, although they are far from many, they are not forgotten this holiday season.
Sheriff Lucio says he’s happy to help children who would have otherwise received nothing.
The giveaway will continue across Cameron County this week.