As we approach the holiday season, Christmas spirit may be hard to come by for many people in southeast Texas who experienced flooding in their homes. Some flood victims have said that it is hard to even think about decorating for Christmas when they are not in their own homes and have lost so much of their holiday decor.
Meredith Love had an idea to help replenish holiday decorations for those who lost theirs. Initially, she thought she would try to get some donations of ornaments and décor and use her garage to store and display the items for shopping. After talking with her long-time friend, Gretchen Scoggins who is the Coordinator for Special Programs and Communications at Lumberton ISD, the idea grew into something larger than Love had imagined.
Love posted on Facebook, “What started as God tapping me on the shoulder five weeks ago telling me to plan a decoration drive out of my house, ended in a Christmas decor give away palooza for those in need.”
Scoggins and Love became the team with a dream and were able to get others on board with their plan.
Their dream became the Deck the Halls- Holiday Décor Relief Effort. It was held on November 19 at the Lumberton ISD Performing Arts Center and guests were able to come in and shop for free. The auditorium was filled with tables covered in ornaments, wreaths, garland, books, and much more. Artificial Christmas trees lined the hallways.
The Hardin-Jefferson, Lumberton, and Silsbee high schools jumped in and held contests for students to collect donations. LHS was in charge of procuring ornament donations, H-J HS handled the donations of lights, and SHS managed tinsel and garland donations.
The Hardin-Jefferson Starlettes greeted guests as they entered the PAC. The Lumberton High FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America) had the enjoyable task of helping children make ornaments and holiday crafts to take home. There are heartbroken families whose precious ornaments and mementos made by their children over the years were destroyed. This was perhaps an opportunity to make some new memories.
iRule Dance School collected stockings and Wesley Day School gathered Christmas DVDs and books.
Walmart (Beaumont) donated wrapping paper. Altus and the Lumberton Chamber of Commerce teamed up to take photos of excited youngsters with Santa Claus.
The Facebook page (Deck the Halls – Holiday Décor Relief Effort) is still active for anyone who was unable to attend the event or if they have specific requests. Love has asked them to compile wish lists that can be fulfilled by donors who can contact recipients directly..
Shopping bags were filled with wreaths, tinsel, and ornaments and, even more so, hearts were filled with gratitude for the generosity of others.