LAKE JACKSON — Seven area nonprofits will receive a plethora of items for children this Christmas thanks to Women Building Community’s annual Mrs. Claus Party, Executive Director Barbara Franklin said.

With 46 members pledging to donate $5,000 over five years, the 15th charity event encouraged its members and the public to drop off supplies for small children and infants, including diapers, clothing and formula, Franklin said.

Over refreshments and twinkling Christmas lights, the members of Women Building Community took over the Lake Jackson Civic Center on Wednesday evening, organizing donations and joining in fellowship with one another.

“We now have an endowment of over $350,000,” Franklin said. “We give grants in the springtime, but this is our only event like this. The items will be divided up between seven organizations.”

The organizations that partner with Women Building Community for the drive include the Alvin Food Pantry, Brazosport Cares Food Pantry, Food Basket, Grandparents as Parents, Pearland Neighborhood Center, the Pregnancy Help Center and St. Thomas Center.

There’s no set goal for collecting items, Franklin said. But everything will help someone in need.

“Formula is so expensive and we don’t know how people afford it, so we try to donate that,” Franklin said. “But these items just fly off the shelves.”

Women Building Community member Leslie Lowrey believes it’s important to give back to the community through these donations, she said.

“You know, giving back to these people that are in need is the main thing,” Lowrey said.

Her late husband served on the community foundation’s board of directors, and since his passing, Lowrey has pledged to match each new member’s donations, Franklin said.

While the foundation doesn’t do any fundraising, it is members’ hope the organization continues to draw new participants in order to provide for area families, Franklin said. Showing newcomers how starting small and donating can really make an impact on the community is one way it nurtures new members, she said.

“We usually get new members through our summer garden party because people really see how we are helping in the community,” Franklin said. “And that’s really the goal of this foundation.”

Courtney Blackann is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0152.

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