TEXARKANA, Texas (KTAL/KMSS) – Christmas is the season of giving and the Domestic Violence Prevention Group (DVP) of Texarkana is asking for the community’s help with donations as they gear up for its 5th Annual Santa Store. Time is running out, just two days before the collection deadline, the group is short on monetary donations.
Most parents want to give their children the perfect Christmas but in reality, some just cannot afford to, which includes many victims of domestic violence.
“It’s really special for the parents to come in and actually shop for their kids. It’s something magical and just heartwarming when the parent gets to come in and pick out toys that their kids might want,” said Trinity Gardner, DVP Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator.
Each year, the organization hopes to provide a Christmas to at least 150 to 170 kids, by giving parents the resources to shop for Christmas toys. This year, they’re helping 200 across the ten-county area.
“We do believe with the pandemic going on that it has caused a lot more parents to seek safety and help,” said Gardner.
The opportunity to shop in the Santa Store will be available to families who’ve stayed at the DVP shelter or who have received outreach services at shelters like Randy Sams or Salvation Army in the past year. The Santa Store will be in a secure location. Gardner says it makes parents happy to see their kids smile on Christmas.
“They’re going to go to school after Christmas and they’re going to be talking to the friends about ‘hey, I got this and I got that’ and we’re going to be able to provide them with toys to talk about,” said Gardner.
The goal is to raise $20,000 which is given each parent $100 per child. With the help of donations from local businesses, Gardner says they’re $1,000 away from reaching their goal.
“You’re sponsoring half of a full Christmas for one child. you know, so even though your donation may be small for you, it’s going to be big to a kid,” said Gardner.
Financial donations or donations of new toys can be dropped off at DVP’s office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at 424 Spruce St., Texarkana, Texas 75501 or mailed to the same address. All donations should be in by Dec. 11. You can also give online by visiting their website.
Call DVP at 903-794-4000 for more information. Anyone who needs help escaping a violent situation can call the 24-hour crisis line at 903-793-HELP (4357).