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CHRIS DUQUE — Plenty of holiday spirit, giving opportunities in Nederland

For many of us, the month of December is the happiest month of the year. People celebrate important holidays, including Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

Chris Duque

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the community’s largest holiday events – the Nederland Chamber of Commerce’s 15th Annual Lighted Christmas Parade and the City’s 12th Annual Christmas on the Avenue event.

Both events were canceled due to COVID-19 safety concerns with large gatherings.

The City apologizes to the children and families of Nederland and the surrounding area who will miss these wonderful experiences. The events will resume next year – Dec. 7, 2021, for the Parade and Dec. 4, 2021, for CoA.

These events are important and part of our holiday traditions, but the spirit of the holidays is more than lights, free candy and prizes.

Sadly, there are far too many people whose holiday will be affected by more than the cancellation of a parade and community event.

There are people without food on their table or without clothes and blankets for the winter. There are children without hope of any presents. And there are senior citizens who are often forgotten at the holidays.

Fortunately, there are many opportunities for us to do our part to try to make someone’s holiday merry. The Community Care Prayer Outreach Center on Nederland Avenue accepts food, blankets and toys to help the less fortunate in Nederland.

CASA of Southeast Texas, Inc. organizes an event to provide presents to children in foster care.

“Be a Santa to a Senior” is sponsored by Home Instead Senior Care to provide necessary items to local senior citizens.

Nutrition and Services for Seniors is holding a Share the Warmth event collecting new blankets for senior citizens; new blankets can be dropped off at JK Subaru on the Highway 69 frontage road.

There are also numerous local churches and non-profit organizations that will be out during the month working to help the less fortunate.

I want to thank our City employees for their generosity to help the less fortunate.

In late November, a toy drive was hosted, and the City employees donated a plentiful number of new toys.

In December, the City will host a food drive, and we expect our employees to deliver again. The City will also host a LifeShare blood drive on Dec. 15; the LifeShare bus will be across from City Hall.

City Hall has a “Be a Santa to a Senior” tree for those who want to help a senior citizen.

From the City of Nederland, we want to wish the community a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

If there are any questions regarding City operations, please contact the City Manager’s Office at 409-723-1503.

Chris Duque is city manager for Nederland. He can be reached at CDuque@ci.nederland.tx.us.