Caller-Times Children’s Christmas Appeal: How to help South Texas kids
Here’s what you need to know about the Caller-Times Children’s Christmas Appeal campaign.
Mary Ann Cavazos Beckett, Corpus Christi Caller-Times
KINGSVILLE — Hands raised overhead, small fingers splayed wide and wiggling, Mia squinted with the concentration more of an Olympic gymnast on the mat than a 5-year-old on her living room floor.
Clad in a hand-me-down, tie-dyed unitard, she took a deep breath and dropped to the ground, folding herself into a somersault. On the theatrical curl up, Mia was jubilant, inspiring a series of leaps when returning to her feet — each eliciting a trill.
“Look!” she said. “I’m touching the ceiling!”
Her daughter’s floor routine isn’t drawn from formal instruction, said Anna, her mother, as she awarded her daughter a 10-out-of-10 score.
That wouldn’t fit into the budget.
She has newly become the sole provider for herself and her two children, having recently broken away from an abusive relationship.
“Any extra money goes to gas,” Anna said.
Anna has been steadfast in carving out a new and better life for herself and her children.
Although she has a job and her family helps with what they can, it has been financially challenging.
On a December day, Andy — her long-lashed 3-year-old son — was trying his best to emulate his big sister’s somersault. He giggled as he performed something closer to an off-kilter headstand, occasionally pushing himself off the carpet with a little hop.
His energy level matched his sister’s in the amateur tumbling session though he has struggled with ongoing health issues.
“He’s a very active little boy,” Anna says. “He rides bikes, climbs trees … just a very normal 3-year-old.”
Andy loves his dinosaurs, including the long-necked brontosaurus and the fearsome, sharp-toothed T-Rex.
Both kids have hopes for Christmas — Mia wishes for a Barbie camper, while Andy is a big fan of Monster Trucks.
What they need, though, are winter clothes and boots, as well as bedding for Andy, according to their mom.
The children represent thousands who will be helped by the Caller-Times Children’s Christmas Appeal. The names of the families profiled have been changed to protect their privacy.
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