LYFORD — Veronica Rivera, 40, said her Christmas shopping would not be complete this year.
Her family is in the process of getting a new mobile home, which is where all her savings went.
Luckily, the Lyford Independent School District surprised Rivera and 25 other families Friday, Dec. 20 with a Christmas meal as well as presents for everyone.
According to Superintendent Dr. Kristin Brown, this is a tradition that started four years ago.
“It started in our central office administration. Instead of giving gifts between themselves, the staff decided it would be better to open a fund,” she said.
It is called the Christmas Joy Project, and anyone is welcome to donate to it.
According to Brown, school board members contribute as well as businesses and others who provide services, such as Driscoll’s Health Plan and the Willacy Livestock Show board.
“We buy a turkey and all the sides to give to the families for them to cook as well as stockings for the kids, presents for each person and a family board game,” Brown said.
“We really think our students are our children, and we are a part of their family. Counselors nominate those who need extra help during the holidays and we prepare,” she said.
Members of the school district such as teachers, students and others participate in the deliveries.
When it came to Rivera’s household her children were not at home.
“They actually came by when they were in school, which I am glad. My oldest knew I would not be able to buy presents this year but now these are the gifts they are getting,” Rivera said.
Rivera has three girls of her own and three foster children. She said this is the first time she had ever received a surprise of the sort.
“I am very thankful and appreciative. We have always lived in Lyford and been a part of Lyford CISD. We are really blessed to be a part of it,” she said.