The Palmview community came together over the last week to make some families’ holidays a bit brighter.
Starting last Monday Dec. 14, the city of Palmview launched their C.A.R.E.S. (Community Assistance Reaching Everyone Supportively) Donation Center. The center, temporarily located at the Palmview Recreation Center (406 W. Veterans Blvd.), began accepting food, household items and clothing donations from members of the public.
Alexandra Flores, newly elected to the Palmview City Council, noticed that some families are in dire need when she was campaigning to serve.
“I saw a lot of things I never knew were among us,” Flores said. “The level of poverty in some of our colonias is unreal, so it was one of the first things I knew I needed to help out with.”
The first 100 donors to the Palmview C.A.R.E.S. Donation Center received a free t-shirt. After gathering items through Dec. 18, the city began distributing the donations Monday Dec. 21, 2020.
“These are very trying times, so it’s very important that we pull together and help each other,” Flores said. “People are losing jobs, people are dealing with new circumstances that were unexpected.”
Flores added that some people are blessed right now, and encouraged them to give back to those less fortunate.
“We saw this as an opportunity to introduce the idea to everybody in our city,” Flores said. “We want to continue giving throughout the year, as we can.”
Though this center is the first of its kind in Palmview, city leaders have a goal to make more and set up permanent locations. Considering the struggles many residents are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city felt it was more important than ever to give back.
Palmview Mayor Ricardo Villarreal said it is better to give than to receive.
“Christmas is about the birth of Christ, it’s about giving,” Villarreal said. “We should always be giving, not only of gifts, but of our time. Giving is spiritual, and it works within ourselves.”
Villarreal added that the pandemic has made it even more clear that opening our hearts is vital for the success and flourishing of any community.
“I’ve learned to grow in the spirit of giving,” Villarreal said. “For some people, it means a lot.”
Several members of the community donated hundreds of items to the center.
“We still have people who are giving,” Villarreal said. “It’s a beautiful thing, it’s awesome. It makes my heart feel great.”