Sleigh bells will be ringing and children joyfully singing thanks to the first-ever “Stuff the Sleigh” holiday toy drive benefiting Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) pediatric cancer patients and their siblings. Currently underway, the Katy/Fulshear-based drive will culminate with a party for the children and their families the week before Christmas, highlighted by Santa Claus reading “The Night Before Christmas” and handing out the toys to the children.
“We welcome those interested in supporting ‘Stuff the Sleigh’ to stop by the Firethorne Community Center to select a ‘sleigh’ gift card from the life-size Firethorne sleigh. Each ‘sleigh’/card will have one wish list item on it from a young cancer patient or their brother or sister for donors to purchase,” explained Garrett Ashmore, “Stuff the Sleigh” Co-Founder/Coordinator.
Ashmore and his wife, Kelli, Firethorne residents, had a brainwave six months ago to do something to support young cancer patients and their families to help ease their financial and emotional burdens during the holidays. “As the parents of two healthy children, we wanted to do something to help those who may be hospital-bound this holiday season and provide them with as joy-filled, meaningful and worry-free a Christmas holiday as possible,” Garrett said.
Since its inception, the “Stuff the Sleigh” toy drive and holiday party have received a tremendous outpouring of community support, according to Garrett Ashmore. The project is the official toy drive of Cinco Charities this year, as well as the “Pay It Forward” project of the first graders of Odessa Kilpatrick Elementary School in Katy I.S.D. Corporate sponsors include Texas Children’s Hospital, Voice Runner, Katy’s local phone and Internet company; Firethorne, Deloitte, H-E-B, Country Park Portraits, Best Buy and Frost Bank. “A special thanks, too, to ‘Santa’ Tom Gibbs,” added Ashmore.
The goal for “Stuff the Sleigh” is to continue and grow the project at the new Texas Children’s Hospital-Katy that is opening next year.
After purchasing toys, “Stuff the Sleigh” organizers hope to have enough additional funds to provide grocery gift cards or gas cards to the children’s families. For individuals and companies that want to participate in the “Stuff the Sleigh” drive, donations may be made to “Stuff the Sleigh”-C/O Firethorne Community Association, and mailed to 4707 Ingersoll, Houston, TX 77027. One hundred percent of the toys and monetary donations will go directly to benefit the Texas Children’s Hospital patients and their families.
Firethorne, located 15 miles west of Houston’s Energy Corridor, blends the best nature has to offer: 150 acres devoted to parks and recreational amenities, a 12-acre lake with surrounding greenbelt, hike/bike trails, parks and playgrounds, tennis courts, Fitness Center, resort-style swimming pool, discovery-rich wildlife observation area and a natural bird habitat. Served by highly acclaimed schools, Firethorne combines the vibrancy of West Houston with the small-town charm of Katy/Fulshear. The Firethorne Community Center is located at 28128 North Firethorne Road in Katy/Fulshear.
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