Join CBS 11, TXA 21, FOX Sports Southwest and the Texas Rangers to help Cowboy Santas! We’ll be collecting new toys and books for the program, which helps needy Tarrant County children. Come see us in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square on Thursday, December 15 from 4 until 7 p.m.
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – It was a cold afternoon to be standing outside, yet hundreds of parents lined a city block in downtown Fort Worth Sunday to collect toys and books from the Cowboy Santas.
“The line is pretty much really, really long,” said Derrick Ruffins, who showed up three hours early for a spot at the front of the line. Ruffins has had a rough few years. “It’s hard finding enough work.”
Still, he’s hoping to make this Christmas special for his young children.
“Let them have better Christmases than we had when we were growing up,” he said.
Sunday afternoon, Cowboy Santa volunteers handed out more than 600 bags filled with toys, each of them for a different family struggling through this holiday season.
“I want them to still believe in Christmas,” said Jessica Becerril, carrying the younger of her two daughters.
Carol Brown created this charity 32 years ago, and she still runs it.
“I grew up in a low income neighborhood. My mother was a maid, my father was a bricklayer,” she said.
“It’s always been my concern that kids get left out and overlooked all year long. Christmas is a special, magical time and you just don’t want any child to go without on Christmas,” she added.
This year, she hopes to provide five thousand families with presents to put under their tree.
But, just as the economy in recent years has increased the need for donations, it’s also made it harder for people to donate, officials say, leaving many of the organization’s shelves bare.
As supplies dwindled Saturday, though, another batch of toys suddenly arrived, donated by a local car club.
“Anything is wonderful,” said Chanel Ramos, who is participating for the first year.
“It’s good to know all these people need help – and the community came together to help everybody.”
Thursday, CBS11 will host a toy drive for Cowboy Santas at Sundance Square in Fort Worth from 4 to 7 p.m. for unwrapped toys and books.