McALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Earlier today, CBS 4 and NBC 23 partnered with H-E-B, The Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley and Blue Sunday Child Abuse Prevention for the “Share Your Christmas” initiative.

Although the annual initiative was put on hold for a few years due to the pandemic, the initiative was reinstated just in time for this year’s holiday season.

As a result, over 600 pounds of food and hundreds of toy donations were collected at H-E-B locations in Brownsville and McAllen.

CEO of Foodbank RGV, Libby Saenz, states, “The food bank serves 76,000 individuals every single week. And then, when the holidays come in, we spike about 20 percent of that.”

As a way of making sure every family can enjoy a nice meal this season, the food bank accepted non-perishable food items including canned and pantry food, bottled beverages and more.

“The food bank is struggling right now,” Saenz says. “We have a lot of empty shelves. Our racks are empty. We’re hoping that ‘Share Your Christmas’ will kick off the holiday season.” 

Blue Sunday, a non-profit organization focused on helping children since 1994, also accepted donations in the form of unwrapped toys for foster children under the ages of 12 in the Rio Grande Valley.

Blue Sunday Representative, Lauren Corzine, says, “I believe that every family, every child is entitled to open gifts on Christmas. It is very important to me that children that are in bad situations or are less fortunate have the opportunity to open gifts on Christmas.” 

Local Rio Grande Valley organizations also contributed towards today’s event through charity – DHR Health donating $1,000 and Salazar insurance Group donating $3,000.

Jody Salazar, who works for Salazar Insurance Group, says, “Giving is just so wonderful for everybody around – for the people who give and for the people who get – even if it’s just a little bit or a lot. “It’s just great to do at this time of year,” she adds.