For years, students and teachers at The Varnett Public School have collected tons of toys for the Houston Fire Department's Operation Stocking Stuffer program. Now, HFD has returned the favor in donating gifts to East Campus students in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
Mr. Paul Box, communications specialist supervisor for HFD's public affairs division, spearheaded a drive to collect gifts for the roughly 350 students who were displaced from school by the hurricane.
"We got a letter from (East Campus Director Gayle Voltz)...letting us know that the kids at her school were severely impacted by Hurricane Harvey," Mr. Box wrote to his HFD team. "Like so many, her kids lost so much and many are displaced even after these few months."
Students filled the East Campus multi-purpose room Wednesday and waited for their names to be called to collect their gifts. Their parents and guardians were on hand to join the fun. Gifts included games, books, toys, basketballs and other goodies.
"HFD's Operation Stocking Stuffer is right around the corner and we are not going to let Hurricane Harvey ruin (the holiday season)," Mr. Box said.
Ms. Voltz and Ms. Leidy Martinez, East Campus parent liaison, offered their thanks. "The Operation Stocking Stuffers' generosity was greatly appreciated," they said in a statement. "We wish you and your loved ones a safe and Happy Holiday!"