TSC brings the magic of the holidays to local elementary school

TSC Board Chair Ruben Herrera during the college's Angel Tree toy distribution.

Keeping with its holiday tradition, Texas Southmost College recently delivered toys to the children of Rosa E. Del Castillo Elementary School in Brownsville to help make Christmas a little brighter.

Every year, TSC selects a different elementary school that will benefit from the Angel Tree Toy Drive hosted by TSC Student Life and garners hundreds of donations from TSC students, faculty and staff over the course of several weeks.

This year, TSC was able to help every student from Rosa E. Del Castillo Elementary School – 263 to be exact.

“Our TSC community always comes through,” said TSC Board of Trustee Chair Ruben Herrera. “It’s all about helping our future Scorpions and helping a child who may not be expecting presents under their tree.”

Although this year’s toy distribution was a drive-thru event due to the ongoing pandemic and included face masks to ensure the safety of everyone involved, the children’s eyes gleamed with excitement over the new toys being presented to them by the TSC Board of Trustees, TSC President Jesus Roberto Rodriguez and college staff.

Santa Claus even made an appearance.

Rosa E. Del Castillo Elementary School Principal Petra Torres said she jumped for joy when she found out that TSC would be collecting gifts for her students.

“I am so grateful for everything TSC has done for my students. It brings happy tears to my eyes,” Torres said. “I love all of my kids and I know for a fact that this will make a huge difference. It’s important that they know that even through this difficult time we are celebrating them.”

Torres added that she commends TSC for not allowing the pandemic to be a barrier and continuing with this project.

“On behalf of our staff and students, we thank TSC,” she said. “It is community partnerships like this one that allow us to work together to build our community and continue to grow and prosper our city for better tomorrows.”

Rodriguez agreed that it’s toy drives and service projects like this that make an impact in the community especially during these unprecedented times.

“There are a number of people who have been affected by COVID-19,” said Rodriguez. “Either they’ve become ill and are recuperating or they’ve been displaced from their jobs. There are people struggling right now and we hope this can bring a little relief and some happiness.”

The TSC Angel Tree Toy Drive is a stranding tradition and Rodriguez said there is satisfaction in knowing that the college community has been able to make a difference in the lives of others.

“Today is a big deal for these children and their families. I can see it in their eyes,” said Rodriguez. “I’m proud and honored to be able to serve our community in this aspect. These are our future Scorpions and we have to do whatever we can to keep the magic of the holidays alive.”

TSC’s Executive Director of Student Life and Civility Armando Ponce said he is appreciative of the support this service project has received throughout the years from the TSC community.

“I am thankful for the efforts and contributions that make this event possible for us and the children and families we serve,” said Ponce. “This toy drive and distribution positively affects our community and keeps this tradition alive.”