The Cross Community Church gym and parking lot at 510 River St. in Cleveland were packed with hundreds of children and parents on Dec. 15 for the annual Repair the Breach Ministries’ Share Your Holiday/Angel Select event.
Nearly 900 children received gifts of toys, food and candy as made their way through the gym. They visited booths sponsored by Health Center of Southeast Texas, McDonald’s, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Entergy and Met Head Start/Early Head Start, where they received other gifts and information about services.
Repair the Breach partners with Houston Food Bank to provide food baskets for every family who signed up to receive aid, said Cheryl Driver, Repair the Breach founder. Each family received a box of canned goods, 12 pounds of frozen food items, including fish, poultry and pulled pork, dairy items and a bag of potatoes.
Repair the Breach’s Christmas event receives toy donations from Toys for Tots and monetary donations from the community, Driver said.
“We started in 2007 in the private sector. We started showing up at the homes of families where we knew they didn’t have enough to get through the holidays,” Driver said. “We helped 50 children the first year. Then it grew quickly to what it is today.”
This year Toys for Tots allotted enough toys to accommodate 1,000 children, Driver said, though she was a little hesitant to sign up 1,000 knowing that last-minute requests for help are a certainty every year.
“We had 897 children registered by the day of our event. We had more who came in our office for assistance the following week. A little more than 900 children were helped by the time Christmas arrived,” she said.
Many of the families assisted by Repair the Breach are single-parent households, Driver said.
“Others have lost their jobs or had a death in the family. There are many people in our community who have fallen on hard luck,” she said. “We know the stories behind their households because we have dealt with them previously.”
Organizations, individuals and businesses sponsoring the event include McDonald’s, Cross Church, El Burrito, The Clay Family, NAPA, Walmart, H-E-B, The Big Kahuna, Prosperity Bank, Green Bank, Pace-Stancil Funeral Home, Health Center of Southeast Texas, Cleveland ISD JROTC, Livingston Pediatric Clinic, St Mary’s Catholic and Entergy.