By the time the last deliveries came in from the school campuses, the gray meeting room at the Spring ISD Community Engagement Center looked more like a toy warehouse. Superintendent Dr. Rodney E. Watson picked up a small plastic car as he carefully stepped through the mountains and valleys of donated gifts.
“You can’t help but feel like a kid when you are surrounded by toys, and I couldn’t help but think about all the families and especially the kids, how happy they are going to be,” said Watson.
The mountain of brand-new dolls, games, race cars and teddy bears came from generous Spring community members who brought them to their school campus to support the Northwest Assistance Ministries (NAM) Annual Toy Drive. The goal is to ensure that struggling families are still able to provide their children with joy this holiday season.
“When we have an opportunity to give back to the same people who give to us, it really shows that we are only as strong as our community and our community is only as strong as us,” said Watson. He added that Spring ISD, which has gathered over 2,400 toys, encouraged its neighbors, Klein ISD and Aldine ISD to donate to NAM as well.
For Les Cave, President and CEO of NAM, the toy drive need is always great, but this year, it’s even more so.
“We have traditionally served about 800 families. This year because of all the suffering and struggling that is going on in Northwest Houston, the number is almost doubled,” said Cave. NAM will sort the toys and distribute them, along with food items, to more than 1,700 families that registered and were approved for the program.
Watson said he was impressed with the generosity and flood of donations.
“Our Family and Community Engagement Department has done some miraculous work,” he said. “We just asked our community and you can see that they responded.”
As NAM and Spring ISD staff made several trips to load two large box trucks, Cave expressed gratitude for everyone’s support and noted the tremendous impact the gifts will have when they are delivered.
“It’s heroic, what Spring ISD is doing,” he said. “It overwhelms you, it really does. You count your own blessings, and you are grateful to be a part of other people’s blessings.”
NAM is a nonprofit, community-based, multi-program social service agency that strives to meet basic human needs through Neighbors Helping Neighbors. NAM provides assistance in areas including food, shelter, health, education, safety and financial education.