Humble Area Assistance Ministries (HAAM) has kicked off their food and toy drives so that all may enjoy the holidays, especially since so many are still recovering from the damaging storms that have taken place this year.

“Thanksgiving is just around the corner and HAAM is seeing an increase in the number of families needing food assistance since Tropical Storm Imelda,” said Millie Garrison, HAAM executive director. “The Seasons of Sharing program will provide holiday foods to all families beginning the first week of November leading up to Thanksgiving. During Thanksgiving last year, HAAM provided food and a gift card for close to 3,418 individuals.”

In addition to monetary donations (every $30 feeds a family), they are accepting a reusable grocery bag filled with boxes of stuffing, cornbread and brownie mixes, a box of instant mashed potatoes, two cans of vegetables, one can or mix of turkey gravy, one pound of dry pinto or red beans, and one pound of rice. They are also seeking $10 Kroger gift cards to go toward the purchase of a turkey for families.

In addition to Thanksgiving food, for Christmas, supplemental holiday food will be provided and families may also register to receive toys for their children. HAAM’s Community-Wide Empty Stocking Toy Drive invites everyone, community members and businesses, to participate in collecting toys for families in the HAAM coverage area, which is the northeast Houston region.

HAAM is preparing to give toys to 2,500 children and hopes to provide 2 toys and a stocking stuffer for each child. Last year they were only able to provide one toy per child. Garrison said that people are under the impression that the ministry has toys already stockpiled to give away, but this is not the case and they are in great need for new toy donations. For information on how you can donate, contact volunteer coordinator Cathy Schrof at 281-446-3663, extension 120 or visit their website at where you can also find additional information.

New toys may be dropped off at any HAAM location, including Black Cat Junction, as well as many other locations around the community, including The Tribune office. All locations can be found on HAAM’s website.

Garrison also announced, “We are so excited to share a new collaboration for toy distribution with our partner, Humble ISD. This year, Humble ISD will have their own special day to shop at our HAAM Toy Store. Staff members from Humble ISD will volunteer to help families shop for toys for their children. We anticipate an increase in the need for toys which is why the community-wide Empty Stocking Toy Drive is so important.”

Families have to register at HAAM Social Services in advance to receive toys and toy distribution begins Dec. 18. The HAAM Toy Store is set up by age and gender so that it is an easy way for families to select gifts for their children.

There is also HAAM’s annual Giving Tree at Deerbrook Mall on the first floor near Macy’s beginning Nov. 29. Volunteers are needed to encourage the selection of a gift tag from the Giving Tree. Each tag lists the gender and age of a child in need with instructions on where to deliver the unwrapped gift. To sign up for volunteering, visit the website. Children under the age of 16 who wish to volunteer must be accompanied by an adult.

Everyone can share the joy of the holidays with those less fortunate by donating money, food, toys and/or time. HAAM and its many clients will be most appreciative!

Sarah Mertins
Author: Sarah MertinsEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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I grew up on a farm in New Mexico and miss eating hot chile and having four seasons. I didn't start college until I was already a mother and double majored in English and anthropology. I received an Honors B.A. from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and was named “Outstanding Student” in English. My honors thesis is titled “The Enduring and Ever-Changing Legend of La Llorona.” I worked as a police reporter for a bit before staying home in Kingwood to raise my two daughters. My hobbies include reading, gardening, cooking and traveling.

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