Not every Santa’s Sack is a big bag filled with toys and carried to homes by an old man in a red suit with white hair and a beard. There are at least 1,500 Santa Sacs that are much smaller that are carried to schools in the Houston area.
The paper sacks are filled with about $15 worth of gifts then distributed to some of the students served by Communities in Schools. A non-profit that aims to keep at-risk kids in school so they can succeed in life.
CIS Development Coordinator Jessica Reyes says the bags are made up in groups for elementary, middle school and high school students–red bags for girls and green bags for boys.
This year CIS is in 89 schools in four school districts in Houston. Of the 36,000 students it’s served over the last year, about five thousand are on case load. CIS would like to be able to give a Santa Sac to each of them but usually only has enough money for 1,500 to 1,800 sacs.
Rachel Gower is President of the Friends of CIS Board or FOCUS . She says as things stand each school gets about 20-bags, when each really needs about 40.
Gower says in some cases schools have adopted schools and families have shopped together to fill five or ten bags. Jessica Reyes says the job of distributing Santa Sac is done at each school.