Members of the Southlake Chamber of Commerce joined in a cheerful and generous mood Thursday night to benefit the children and families served by GRACE Christmas Cottage.
The monthly event is usually planned as a “mixer” for chamber members to meet and chat with other Southlake-based business people, shop owners, entrepreneurs and others. However, December’s meeting served as a Christmas Party and a celebration of another successful year.
The festivities were hosted by First Financial Bank in Southlake, and all guests were asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy for GRACE Christmas Cottage. More than 200 toys, games, books and other gifts were collected thanks to their generosity.
With Christmas Cottage now open and serving families, the stock of toys, games, bicycles and clothing will decline rapidly. Toy drives throughout the Christmas season help Christmas Cottage maintain a good selection of gifts, and help make Christmas brighter and merrier for all those in need.
Christmas Cottage manager Lori Stevens highlighted several groups who visited Christmas Cottage this week, including the staff from Southlake’s Office Equity Solutions, who continued their 10-year tradition of giving to Christmas Cottage.
“Jim Lancaster [Office Equity Solutions’ CEO] and his whole staff came by on Tuesday,” said Lori, “with over $8,000 worth of gifts!”
Students from Grapevine’s Faith Christian School took a “shopping fieldtrip” this week to buy toys for Christmas Cottage.
“The children were so happy knowing they were helping other kids,” said Lori. The students then toured, and placed their gifts in the displays around Christmas Cottage.
Even four-legged friends of Christmas Cottage showed their support this week. Furry ambassadors of Rockwall-based Patriot PAWS—and their two-legged friends—toured Christmas Cottage Wednesday morning and “retrieved” an assortment of toys and gifts.
Christmas Cottage will be serving families through December 21. Several local businesses, church groups and others have toy drives planned for the coming weeks, but by the end of next week, said Lori, “our shelves will be getting pretty bare.”