NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The children of Rowlett and Garland are going to receive a visit from Santa, not at Christmas, but as early as Friday.
Lone Star Santas, a non-profit organization, is planning a Convoy of Toys this month to bring some cheer after December's devastating tornadoes. East Texas News met with two Nacogdoches members who are asking East Texans to help with the cause.
Ever wonder what Santa and Mrs. Claus do in their down time? Help children, of course.
"Children have unique needs and special attention requirements," stated a public service announcement from Lone Star Santas. "Introducing Lone Star Santas. Trained, capable and willing to respond to the requirements of children in need following disasters."
The mission is Convoy of Toys, started in 2011 following the Joplin, Missouri tornado. Since then Lone Star Santas have shown up with trailers full of donated and purchased new toys for more children of natural disasters.
Members David and Carol Stanley of Nacogdoches will attend their first Convoy on Friday. They'll hand out collected gifts to North Texas children.
"Garland and Rowlett tornadoes, there were twelve on the day after Christmas," said David Stanley, a Lone Star Santa member. "Our first estimate is that we will have 5,000 children served."
Before they leave the couple is in a fund-raising mode asking East Texans to help the charity fulfill the need.
"Seeking donations in any form be it toys, be it financial or just support in other areas," Stanley said.
Networking has led to several individuals and volunteer groups from Nacogdoches willing to help the Santas out.
"She would be glad to be a toy drop off," David Stanley said. "Fantastic."
The love, hope, and joy are left to the Lone Star Santas.
"A smile and a hug and a listening ear is really what we go with, said Carol Stanley, a Lone Star Santas member.
The toys replace what the children have lost. The hugs and smiles are gifts of reassurance that convey, "Everything will be all right."
Now this is how you can help out. New teddy bears and toys can be dropped off at Texas State Optical at 4729 Northeast Stallings Drive. The Stanleys can pick up checks, or they can be mailed to the Lone Star Santas Charities at P.O. Box 1821, Cypress, Texas 77410. You can also visit the Lone Star Santas Website here or send an e-mail to David Stanley. David Stanley's phone number is (936) 560-5905.