NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Tonight, some Nacogdoches parents have presents under the tree for their kids thanks to two charitable shopping events. Both are designed to make sure every child has a present to open on Christmas morning.
Head Start's "Buck Days" lead to two busy shopping days.
There's actually no money exchanged. Head start parents trade in points on free gifts for their children.
"They earn points by coming to parent trainings, parent workshops," said Patrick Sanders, the Head Start administrator. "They earn points by reading to their kids at home, turning in their reading logs. Different things like that."
It's not a bribe, but rather an incentive to create good parenting skills.
"I learned a lot of different things that I did not know," said Coquese Skinner, a Head Start parent. And yes, it's very uplifting and positive impact on us."
And if you made a return to Walmart during the year and given them back an opened package, you've actually played a small role in this effort.
Walmart donates opened merchandise to Head Start. Toys for Tots comes through too.
"We're going to have a very happy boy," one parent said. "Sure am."
Across town, shoppers are found at Christmas blessings. Right now the last of 300 families are shopping.
"They have appointment times," said Laura Williford, the Christmas Blessings coordinator. "We have 25 people coming every hour from 9 in the morning until 8 o'clock tonight."
At least three toy collection efforts consolidated. This allows a tighter review of applications and less double dipping. As a result, some people accustomed to the handouts were denied this year.
"They were denied because they did not have custody of the kids," said Sherry Williford, a Christmas Blessings member. We're trying to serve the kids that are actually in the family so we're able to serve more families that way."
So far, all participants agree the clearing house method is successful. Donations of funds and items are always needed. Both Head Start and Christmas Blessings will accept help all year long.