Pictured: ACC President Dr. Christal M. Albrecht helps distribute donated food with a student during Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 5.
Christmas is one of the busiest times of year for Pearland mother Brandi Bowers. It’s hard to get an opportunity to give her children a chance to visit with Santa during the holidays, she said.
Alvin Community College, Alvin ISD and many volunteers gave her children the opportunity to talk with Santa during the Breakfast with Santa event on Dec. 5.
“The kids love coming to this every year,” Bowers said. “This is great because it helps so many families.”
More than 250 area families in need were treated to a pancake breakfast, donated food items and toys. The event has been held for the past 25 years in conjunction with the ACC Can Feed the Hungry/Alvin ISD Shellie Garza Memorial Food Drive.
The college hosted two locations-at the ACC campus in Alvin and New Hope Church on 288.
“This annual event reminds us what the Holiday season is all about. Community members working together for the wellness of our community and giving back,” said Liz Sitta, ACC recruiting specialist and coordinator of the event.
All 22 AISD campuses participated in the food drive. Several tons of nonperishable food were donated to the food drive from the Alvin ISD schools and ACC. Almost 10 tons of food were donated to the families through the drives.
There were dozens of volunteers including ACC students and staff, Bunky and Son Construction, United Way volunteers, Alvin ISD students, teachers and more. Alvin ISD employees and ACC’s Culinary Arts students cooked the pancake breakfast. Volunteers also opened a petting zoo.
“The impact that we are having on our students and community would not be possible without strong partnerships with local organizations and businesses, such as Alvin Community College, New Hope Church, Toys for Tots, and numerous others,” said Tomika Gamble, Alvin ISD communications coordinator. “We are thankful to have these organizations in our corner, and for the continued support of many.”
Other organizations that helped make the event a success included Alvin Sunrise Rotary Club, Alvin Church of Christ, Westside Church of Christ and many more.
“We are so grateful for the organizations that have donated their time, energy and funds to help make this happen for over 400 families,” Sitta said.
One of those families included the Savage family. Susan Savage, of Alvin, brought her four kids and a nephew to the event. They look forward to it every year, she said.
“They were smiling when they were getting ready this morning,” she said. “It really is a blessing.”
In addition, the U.S. Marine Corps’ Toys for Tots provided each child a wrapped toy, a stocking stuffer and a stuffed animal to take home.
Almost 4,000 items were handed out to children.