SAN ANTONIO – Now in its ninth year, the Christmas toy giveaway by the Center for Refugee Services has gone from several hundred children to what could be its biggest yet, said Jean Sherrill, the center’s assistant director.
Since 2019, Sherrill said the center has seen 2,200 children arrive in San Antonio.
She said of those, “We have 1,400 children who left Afghanistan in 2021 when Kabul fell.”
Sherrill said not all of the new arrivals will take part, but the center is prepared to give away that many new toys and children’s clothing through Friday.
With so many more expected, Sherrill said the event was moved to the larger location at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the 7400 block of Huebner Road.
But since many of the newest arrivals don’t have transportation, Sherrill said other refugee families are offering them rides, and the center will make some deliveries after the holidays.
Not only do Afghan families make up the majority of the refugees served by the center, Sherrill said San Antonio is their top destination in Texas.
“They have found San Antonio to be a welcoming city. They have found jobs. They have found that the standard of living is better,” Sherrill said. “So they have brought their cousins, their family members and others from other cities.”