Last minute Christmas-giving miracle a success

Dec. 29, 2017 at 4:21 p.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

Santa's Workshop Charity Christmas Store was an amazing success thanks to the donations and volunteer work contributed. I had a few late donations given to me by the Cox family of Fort Worth to aid the Harvey victims. That supply sparked the idea of opening a building, decorating it like the North Pole and giving donated gifts to the needy. Some claimed I must have lost my mind.

With only two weeks before Christmas and a table of donations, I knew this was the place for a Christmas miracle. I believed in this mission and sprinkled the Christmas spirit all over town. The 2,000-square-foot office space donated by Elaine Thurman, with electricity provided by Roland Grote, transformed into a winter wonderland. Gary Moses graciously provided radio coverage, while Jesse Kelley covered my story on the local news. Individuals donated, but the bulk of donations came from GoToys&Games out of Austin.

Walmart on the Houston Highway made a substantial contribution. The Family Dollar store on Sam Houston pitched in. The volunteers Sammie Musselman and Nelda Gonzalez from Twice Blessed brought coats, cookies, toys, household goods and personal grooming items along with a day of backbreaking work. Stacy Long and Coraima Grifaldo from the Allstate office were a great help. Katie Pettigrew worked night and day by my side. Michelle Fink, of Victoria, covered the baby needs, including food and clothing. Miscellaneous gifts were provided by Jessica Diercks, of Seadrift. The crew from A-1 Party Rental delivered presents to the victims in Refugio.

Children got their photos taken in a Santa poser. Hugs, candy canes, cookies and love were given, as over 2,400 Christmas gifts were dispersed.

I thank all who pitched in. I thank those we gifted for irreplaceable memories. I started with a carload and filled a 2,000-square-foot building with almost $9,000 in gifts. The gifts were all gone by 5 p.m. on Dec. 23.

In less than two weeks, a Christmas miracle took place in Victoria. Thank God I could be a part of it. Cash donations will help fund next year. Please email me for more information at

Sharon Arnold, Victoria



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