Odessa Non-Profit Looking for Help to Make Christmas Brighter for Needy Children

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA-- Even though they're getting help from local firefighters and businesses, it might not be enough.

"Right now, the only thing I'm asking for is help with the toys for the kids," Faye Rodriguez, Executive Director of Catholic Charities, Faye Rodriguez.

Catholic Charities is always there for those in need.  This year, over 300 kids, from 3 months to 17 years old, could go without a gift at Christmas.

"I think the economy has a lot to do with the problems we are having now.  Normally, we've been able to take care of the number of families that have needed help.  This time, we just did not anticipate the large numbers," Rodriguez explained.

They can be anything from single, working mothers to families where dad's salary just doesn't stretch quite far enough.

According to Saul Ortega, President of the Odessa Fire Fighters Association, "A lot of times, that's all they need.  They have enough to pay the basics, the utilities and things like that.  They just don't have that little extra to give to their children."

The word went out from Catholic Charities, last Wednesday, that toy supplies were running low.  Southwest Bank came through with over $1,000 worth of toys and the Odessa Firefighters Association is pitching in too.

Every toy is in a bag.  Every bag has a number on it.  That number represents one child in Odessa that will have a toy to unwrap this Christmas morning, all thanks to the generosity of Catholic Charities and Blue Santa.

"Usually, when people see us, it's in a crisis.  It's in and out.  We don't get a whole of touch with the families.  This is a way for us, to give back to those families, that we know that are out in Odessa, that need assistance," Ortega said.

Ortega says, Blue Santa will provide enough toys to fill the applications on file at Catholic Charities.  According to Rodriguez, they can still use all the help they can get, "If they will come to Catholic Charities and bring us the toys, someone will be here to receive them."

Both organizations collect and deliver year round to those who need help.  But it just means a little more this time of year.

"We really need the community to help us out, because we don't want the kids to go without Christmas," Rodriguez said.

"Every child should have a gift on Christmas," Ortega added.