UBM volunteers play Santa every year

Published 7:05 pm Friday, November 25, 2016

One local ministry wants to make sure every child has a merry Christmas.

For 20 years the United Board of Missions at 6650 Ninth Avenue near Lake Arthur Drive in Port Arthur has been giving away toys to boys and girls in need. This year they have registered more than 650 children to receive a toy, according to Director Mae Terro.

The UBM will also be accepting toys from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, at the mission. In addition to new toys, the UBM staff can restore some used toys if the toy is cleaned and the batteries work.

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The toy giveaway is from Wednesday, Dec. 14 through Friday, Dec. 16.

Also, as a child grows, they give away their toys and that toy can become a nice toy for someone else.

“They (the volunteers) work all year long. They’re Christmas elves. They’re very dedicated,” she said.

Terro said the number of children in need goes up every year. Sometimes someone will need a toy at the last minute to give away

“We make sure every child who comes through here has a toy,” she said.

When registering, the UBM asks parents the number of children and their ages for the number of toys needed.

She added, though, children sometimes open gifts before Christmas and they don’t have anything left on Christmas morning.

“We hope they take the toy, wrap it, and put it under the tree so the children will have something on Christmas morning,” Terro said.

The toy giveaway is set up like Toys R Us with different sections. The volunteers take them to the proper section.

“A lot of volunteers were their Christmas attire. They have as much fun as the parents do. The volunteers come back every year. We’re asking for volunteers. It’s a very heart-warming experience,” she said.

Prior to the toy giveaway, the UBM gave away 50 Thanksgiving baskets of turkeys and fixings. Many of the donations came from Nederland High School students and Girls Scout troops.

David Ball: 409-721-2427