FREEPORT — Dozens of Brazosport ISD students and family members turned out Saturday for Freeport Intermediate School’s Pancakes with Santa, connecting the school with the community and kids with items on their holiday wish lists.

This is the second year the school and Brazosport Association for School Nutrition partnered for the event.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to give back to our community and give back to our families,” Freeport Intermediate Principal Ian White said. “It’s our whole district coming together to provide for our families.”

Students who are part of Freeport Intermediate’s PALS organization and Brazosport High School’s Health Occupations Students of America volunteered by organizing games for the children and serving breakfast.

Every elementary and middle school in Brazosport ISD had students participating, said Esther Olivares, child nutrition manager for Freeport Intermediate. Counselors at each school selected two students to attend based on need, and Olivares called parents to invite them. Every child in that household is welcome, no matter which school they attend, Olivares said.

“I live in Lake Jackson, and it’s cool that she didn’t just do Freeport,” said Missy Dandrige, who came with her sons, Sebastian, 12, and Skylar, 10. “I just moved here, and it’s nice to see the community come together.”

Each child received personalized gifts. About 100 kids were expected to attend, and there were extra presents in case more happened to come.

“Some of our families, this might be the only Christmas they have,” White said. “The presents are very specific to what the kids need and want.”

The families make wish lists, and event organizers do their best to provide for those wish lists, White said.

Donations were contributed by several organizations, including the Natalie Woolsey Toy Drive, and by the school’s teachers and staff members.

“We thought we had a big donation, which fell through, and these teachers stepped in and started making donations,” Olivares said.

The support from the community members went a long way toward making the event a success, she said.

“I know what it is to struggle,” Olivares said. “I don’t want any of these kids to do without.”

Corinna Richardson is the features writer for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0150.

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