Events and Programs - Christmas Program
Bringing Christmas To Children Who Otherwise Would Have None
The Christmas Program is where Navidad en al Barrio started in 1987 and remains our primary focus. We invite you to learn more, attend and see for yourself, contribute, volunteer, or become a corporate sponsor. Your help is always needed and appreciated.
View our Christmas Program pictures here.
Selecting The Children
Principals at each of the inner city schools that have been invited to participate have a large population of low income children. These principals are given the task of designating candidates and their best judgment is relied upon to identify those children they feel are most in need.
Many of these children come from single parent homes with poverty-level incomes. In view of need, Navidad en el Barrio truly welcomes the worst of the worst.
After the children are selected, school representatives meet with Navidad en el Barrio officers, complete the necessary planning and paperwork, and submit their students by age range and sex.
The Essay Contest
In addition to the nomination of students, each student has an opportunity to write an essay entitled "If I had three wishes, I would wish for ...".
Winners in the Essay Contest are given special recognition and gifts, such as bicycles, $25 gift check from Fiesta Marts, Inc. for groceries, and a plaque.
We invite you to read a selection of student essays here.
The Gift Wrapping Party
This is the section which requires the greatest effort and relies heavily on volunteer support.
Total gift requirements are calculated and gifts are purchased from low cost wholesalers. In 2001, over 7,000 gifts were purchased and delivered.
On the day before the event, gifts are delivered to the venue in semi trailers. The crated toys are unloaded, inventoried and stacked.
Gift wrapping stations are set up and the wrapping of 7,000+ gifts continues until all gifts are wrapped.
Once wrapped, toys are bundled according to age group and sex. These bundles are then distributed to a separate location on the gift floor for each school in response to the number of children, age and sex.
THE ALBERT VASQUEZ MEMORIAL AWARD
This recognition is given in memory of Houston Police Officer Albert Vasquez who was killed in the line of duty while arresting drug suspects. Officer Vasquez paid the ultimate price protecting those he swore to defend and left behind a beautiful son and wife. Albert loved helping people and this award is a small token to keep his spirit alive within all of us.
Every year, Navidad en el Barrio recognizes an officer who goes above and beyond his volunteerism with the program.
The Christmas Program
The morning of the program, school busses roll into the venue for hours unloading students.
The entertainment portion includes local celebrities, entertainment groups, a special visit from Pancho Claus (Richard Reyes), and the arrival of Santa Claus.
After the entertainment program and lunch, gifts are distributed to the children.
We invite you to view a collection of Christmas Program pictures here.