San Antonio – EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this story misidentified the event for residents at Alazan Apache Courts as a “toy drive” and, based on information from SAHA, included an incorrect tally of how many presents and children were included. After further reporting, these errors have been updated.
In a true display of the holiday spirit, the collective generosity of San Antonio residents on Sunday far outweighed the greed of thieves who looted a toy distribution event for needy children.
The event, meant to benefit about 60 children at the Alazan Apache Courts, had roughly half of its gifts stolen Friday night. But less than two days later, the San Antonio Housing Authority says so many toys and monetary donations have come in that it should actually be able to expand the program this year to additional properties aside from Alazan Apache Courts.
“I will tell you that it brings tears to my eyes,” said SAHA Board Chairwoman Ana Margarita “Cha” Guzman after a two-hour toy drive at SAHA headquarters Sunday, which she says drew “hundreds” of trucks filled with toys.
“The message from all of the residents that came to give us toys was, ‘we do not want any child left behind without toys,’” Guzman said.
A SAHA spokeswoman did not have a total tally on the collections but said the housing authority had received hundreds of toys and enough monetary donations to buy hundreds more. It also expects more donations to come in in the next few days.
It’s enough that SAHA believes it may be able to provide gifts to children at up to two additional public housing properties.
Other organizations are also stepping up to help. Members of the Christian motorcycle group, Servants of the Cross, already had a toy drive planned for Sunday for their own toy distribution program when they heard about the theft.
Chapter founder Danny Lopez told KSAT that some of their members and sponsors decided to help replace some of the stolen toys.
“We want to put the message out that regardless of bad doings and evil things that are going out in the city of San Antonio that there’s still good people that want to help and give back and make sure that they have good Christmases as well,” Lopez said.
SAHA officials say any additional donations can be dropped off Monday at the SAHA headquarters at 818 South Flores where it will be sorting toys. The toys will be distributed on Tuesday and Wednesday.