Pflugerville, Texas-based nonprofit Celebration of Love is now collecting toys for its 13th annual mission of ensuring all children of Fort Hood troops have a good Christmas meal and presents under the tree through its Soldiers of America Program.
Caliber Collision has partnered with the nonprofit and has a donation box at each of their locations in Central Texas. Killeen’s Nocked & Loaded, 5001 S. Fort Hood St,, also has a toy donation box on site for the Celebration of Live toy drive.
Each year, the nonprofit gives a primary gift of a bicycle to each child they help. This year, Celebration of Love will be giving out 1,200 bicycles, according to founder and president Tom Ramsey. Along with the bikes, military families are also provided additional toys per child and all items needed for a full holiday meal.
“We always need more toys — we’re hoping to have at least three toys per bag we hand out,” he said.
Caliber Collision has also donated three vehicles refurbished by veterans training as mechanics this year to be given to families in need. Hundreds of names have already been submitted and the organization is in the process of choosing who will receive them, Ramsey said.
“This is just to show gratitude to our soldiers,” he said. “This is a small token in comparison to what they do for us.”
Two pre-events are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday. The bike assembly will begin Monday at 10 a.m. and toy sorting on Tuesday at 10 a.m. All events will be located at the former Warrior Way PX, located at the corner of Old Ironsides Avenue and Martin Drive on post.
The Celebration of Love will begin at 6 p.m. Dec. 7 with the presentation of the vehicles.
“We’re expecting to help about 3,000 people,” Ramsey said. “If they are in need, there are no questions asked, no processes or selections.”
A separate organization is also scheduled to kick off soon on Fort Hood. Fort Hood’s Santa’s Workshop will officially kick off the giving season with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4 p.m. Thursday at the workshop, located adjacent to the Clear Creek Commissary.
Santa’s Workshop is a nonprofit organization that works throughout the year collecting toys and hosting events to raise funds to purchase toys, books and board games for Fort Hood families experiencing financial hardships. Eligible parents are notified when the workshop is about to open for families to shop and select toys for their children based on gender and price.
For more information on the upcoming Celebration of Love events or to volunteer, contact the organization at 512-251-4800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Santa’s Workshop, visit www.forthoodsantasworkshop.com.