By PAMELA CODY
Special to the PRESS
Scores of families and children waited patiently in line as members of the Port Isabel Police Department distributed more than a thousand free toys and gifts to area children this past Friday at the Port Isabel Event and Cultural Center.
Police Chief Robert Lopez has been on the job for a year and a half. He walked through the line that snaked through the waiting area, handing out raffle tickets and bottles of water to excited kids and their parents. He spoke about the toy drive, saying, “This event had been going on for many years before me. This year we added a raffle for three TVs and we’re also feeding all the kids. We also added a photo booth to take pictures of the kids with Santa, and, of course, everything is free of charge.”
Lopez said the department noticed last year that the kids got restless while waiting in line to receive their gifts, so they decided to provide snacks for them. Bag lunches with a hot dog, chips and a bottle of water were a welcome distraction for frazzled parents doing their best to keep their excited kids occupied while waiting their turn to see Santa.
Chief Lopez continued on a personal note, underscoring what this event means to him. “We have people in our community that are less fortunate, and we just try and make it a happier Christmas for them. A happy holiday for me is making others feel happy. A lot of people go through hardships during this time of year. I thank God for giving me the tools to make other people happy, that’s what it’s all about.”
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