Captain America Joins Forces with 2nd Brigade in Monumental Toy Drive

In a heartwarming display of generosity and community spirit, the Texas State Guard’s 2nd Brigade played a pivotal role in this year’s ‘Young Heroes of the Guard Toy Drive.’ On December 7, 2023, members of the 2nd Brigade made a significant contribution by delivering over 2,500 toys to the Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Texas. This event marked the ninth consecutive year of the brigade’s participation in this noble cause. Accompanied by Captain America, the guardsmen, in collaboration with Child Life specialists and hospital volunteers, distributed the toys, ranging from items suitable for newborns to teenagers. The efforts of these guardsmen brought not only toys but also a much-needed holiday cheer to the pediatric patients. Alyssa Luksa, the director of Child Life and Expressive Therapies at the hospital, emphasized the crucial role of the Texas State Guard in providing a continual supply of toys, games, and arts and crafts materials. These items play a significant role in uplifting the spirits and improving the well-being of the children, not just during the holiday season but all year round.

The ‘Young Heroes of the Guard Toy Drive,’ initiated in 2009, has since become a beacon of hope and joy, touching the lives of countless children across various settings such as schools, hospitals, daycares, and shelters. To date, this initiative has collected over 600,000 toys, a testament to the unwavering dedication and effort of the Texas State Guard soldiers. Balancing this extensive toy drive with their regular duties, the guardsmen exemplify a profound commitment to fostering strong connections between the military and the communities they serve. As the holiday season approaches, the Texas State Guard reasserts its vow to ensure that no child is left without a toy. This toy drive transcends a mere charitable act; it symbolizes the profound values of protection, service, and community unity that the Guard upholds. Through their acts of bravery and compassion, the soldiers of the Texas State Guard are committed to spreading the warmth of the holiday spirit, one toy and one smile at a time.

Guardsmen of 2nd Brigade, Texas State Guard volunteer their time at the Walmart stores in Navasota and Caldwell, Texas, to collect new toys for the Texas State Guard – Young Heroes of the Guard Toy Drive since Nov. 17, 2023. Many thanks to the local communities! Toy collection will continue at the Navasota location, 1712 E. Washington, each weekend (Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays noon to 4 p.m.) until Dec. 17, and at the Caldwell location, 475 Hwy. 36, Dec. 2-3 (same times). Toys collected at these locations will be distributed to Baylor Scott and White in College Station, Texas Children’s Hospital in Katy and the Woodlands, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, Children’s Protective Services and other children in need. Thanks to all who help spread a little joy especially to those children who may be spending the holidays away from home. Please see the following link for more information about the Toy Drive: https://texastoydrive.org/home

As part of the Texas State Guard – Young Heroes of the Guard Toy Drive, Guardsmen from 2nd Brigade, Texas State Guard delivered more than 2,500 toys to patients at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, Houston, Texas, Dec. 7, 2023.
In what has become a tradition over the past 9 years, guardsmen, joined by Captain America, paired up with Child Life specialists and hospital volunteers to visit the children to bring a toy and a little holiday cheer. The toys selected for pediatric patients from newborn to teenage, are distributed by Child Life specialists, not only during the holiday season, but throughout the year. Alyssa Luksa, director of Child Life and Expressive Therapies, explained that the hospital depends on the Texas State Guard each year to provide toys, games, and arts and crafts to bring joy and improve the well-being of each patient. With generous toy donations, 2nd Brigade is able to provide toys upon request all year round. (Texas State Guard photos by Warrant Officer 1 Gregory Illich and Pvt. Lynashley Sainer)

Source: Texas State Guard

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