Rotary Club sends Christmas presents

By ELSA CAVAZOS

Staff Writer

Santa Claus is going across the bridge to deliver toys from the San Benito Rotary Club.

President Olivia Rivas said the club came up with the idea of an international project for the Christmas season. On Friday, the club delivered donations they collected as well as gently used toys at 10 a.m. at the Our Lady Queen of the Universe Catholic Church.

“ We made these little bags with sanitary masks, candy, a small toy, a T-shirt and a little blackboard. We made 300 of these and in addition when people in the community found out they donated gently used school bags and toys,” Rivas said.

“ Before we knew it we had so much, people have been so generous. Christmas is about making other people feel good and giving to others,” she said.

Rivas said they contacted the priest at the church because he had the proper contacts to be able to donate to a village in need across the border.

This is the first year the Rotary Club created an international project, considering the proximity with Mexico it became easier, Rivas said. The club began working on the project three months ago.

“ We got a call from a teacher in San Antonio who said there were several backpacks and sweaters never claimed from their lost and found closet,” she said.

“ She sent them and one of the local schools here sent them, too. Everything is for small children and teenagers,” Rivas added.

Dafne Maldonado, who is a Rotarian and a member of the San Benito Chamber of Commerce, said H-E-B donated around 600 items to the cause. Another grand donation was from Winter Texan Rotarian Jerry Humble from Illinois.

In the morning a representative from the Parroquia San Felipe de Jesus, from Poblado Anahuac, Tamaulipas, presented a letter in gratitude to the donations from the Rotary Club.

Father Mario Castro said he was reached by the club recently and members of his church about the project. He had the proper networks and said there are 10 missions in the surrounding areas where donations were needed.

“ This is primarily something to cheer up the kids in the Christmas season. This is the first time we have put the church in contact with the givers,” Castro said.

“ I feel delighted to help. In this pandemic we are so limited to the things we can do and we are always looking for ways to brighten people’s lives and bring joy to people’s lives,” he said.

ecavazos@valleystar.com