Tis’ the season of giving

HARLINGEN — From lavish meals to presents, the upcoming holiday season brings joy to many but can also create financial strains for others.

Knowing that, several organizations are continuing to help make sure others have all the help they need to have happy holidays.

A car show, barbecue and toy drive fundraiser will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Elks Lodge #1889 in Harlingen located at 1426 South Commerce Street.

Donations received from the event will benefit local military families that cannot afford to buy their children presents during the holiday season.

The fundraiser was created in partnership between the Elks Lodge #1889, the Rio Grande Valley Chapter Antique Automobile Club of America and the South Veterans Youth Initiative.

According to event organizer and South Veterans Youth Initiative member Cwana Cooks-Allen, the event was created seven years ago.

Last year’s event helped donate more than 300 toys to close to 80 families.

“I started it because I found out many veterans had financial issues and were struggling around the holidays to receive just basic needs,” she explained. “So far this year, we have well over 50 families that need services and we’re probably one third there as far as collecting items for those families.”

To register a car into the car show, individuals need to donate two unwrapped toys, one for a girl and one for a boy, valued at about $10 each.

Registered car show participants will be served a barbecue meal.

The event is open to the public and there isn’t a fee for attendees wanting to look at the cars in the show.

In addition to the car show, special appearances will be made by Santa Claus and the Grinch.

“It’s such a good feeling to be able to help these families,” event organizer and Rio Grande Valley Chapter Antique Automobile Club of America member Jon Lindstrom said. “It’s a tough time of the year when people aren’t able to provide for their families and we just want them to know that we’re here for them and we care.”


WHAT — Holiday Toy Drive and Car Show

WHEN — Saturday, Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

WHERE — Elks Lodge #1889, 1426 South Commerce Street, Harlingen

For more information, call Jon Lindstrom at (956) 366-4548.