November 1, 2021
The holiday season is fast approaching, and some of those served at HHS public hospitals and state-supported living centers will be spending the holidays away from loved ones.
Staff at HHS Health and Specialty Care System facilities and volunteers in their communities work hard to make the holiday season bright for patients and residents, and they may need your help.
Lynn Hopper, director of community relations at Lufkin SSLC, said the holidays are the most exciting time of the year for their residents, who have intellectual or developmental disabilities.
“Some school-aged residents have already asked me if Santa Claus is coming this year,” she said, adding that she reassures them. “They love to talk about it. We decorate the campus. Everyone has a decorated tree in their house and at least three presents to open on Christmas morning.
Hopper said a resident observes Chanukah and the Lufkin SSLC chaplain helps the home staff prepare appropriate meals each evening.
Every establishment works just as hard, but the state cannot pay for special gifts and treats for the people we serve. This funding often comes from the Volunteer Services Councils (VSC) which work with each hospital and nursing home.
VSCs play a pivotal role throughout the year to help support and improve the lives of residents and patients. Last year, they contributed over $ 1.8 million in goods and services.
But many generous members of the community (including HSCS staff) also make the holidays extra special, throwing parties and giving gifts.
Monetary donations to VSCs are always welcome and allow more flexibility, and many facilities have specific wish lists for donated items, such as games, toiletries, clothing, and music CDs.
Additionally, COVID-19 has limited on-campus volunteer opportunities that have existed in the past. Those interested in getting involved should contact their local community relations department for more details.
VSC Holiday Wish List
If you or your group would like to donate to a VSC for the holidays, see the information below. Donations benefit those served in SSLCs and public hospitals. Even if you can’t donate, you can still help – spread the word in your community through social media, word of mouth, etc.
Abilene State Support Center
- Call Shae Butts at 325-795-3547.
Austin State Hospital
- Monetary donations are accepted on ashvolunteers.org.
- Items still needed include men’s and women’s watches, bound journals (no spiral), and playing cards.
- Call Cindy Reed at 512-419-2333.
Austin State Support Center
- Volunteers have many opportunities to organize end-of-year parties in residents’ homes.
- Call Aylin Ortiz at 512-374-6160.
Big Spring State Hospital
- Call Carl Reid at 432-270-3141.
Brenham State Supported Living Center
- Items needed include wallets for men and women, simple card games, drawing pads, colognes, and lotions for men and women.
- Call Christy Shelton at 979-277-1507.
Corpus Christi State-subsidized Life Center
- Monetary donations are accepted on corpusvsc.com.
- Items needed include sets of body cleansers, sprays, and lotions for men and women.
- Call Lori Garcia at 361-844-7815.
Denton State Supported Living Center
- Monetary donations are accepted on vscdenton.org.
- During the week of December 13-17, WBAP 820 AM radio station will host Christmas Is for Caring, an annual fundraising event for the Denton VSC. To donate, call 972-764-8484 from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
El Paso Psychiatric Center
- Call Zulema Carrillo at 915-532-2202.
El Paso State-subsidized Life Center
- Items needed include DVD players, CD players, radios, men’s and women’s pajamas (all sizes), hats, gloves, scarves and backpacks.
- Call Maria Martinez at 915-782-6488.
Kerrville State Hospital
- Monetary donations are accepted on kerrvillevsc.org.
- Call Caryn Talarico at 830-896-2211, ext. 6150.
Lubbock State Support Center
- Items needed include blankets, scarves, gloves, and cologne and perfume sets.
- Call Sandy Anderson at 806-741-3632
Lufkin State Subsidized Living Center
- To donate and access the list of needed items, visit vsclufkin.com.
- Call Lynn Hopper at 936-853-8262.
Center of life supported by the State of Mexia
- Call Tonya Cockrell at 254-562-1301.
North Texas State Hospital – Wichita Falls and Vernon
- Call Ronna Akins at 940-552-4184.
Richmond State Assisted Living Center
- Items needed include AM / FM / CD clock radios, CDs, DVD movies, fleece throws, men’s and women’s pajamas, men’s and women’s socks, backpacks, sketchbooks, colored pencils and watercolor paints.
- Call Brenda Rangel at 281-344-4525.
Rio Grande State Center
- Monetary donations can be made at rgsccvc.org.
- Call Terri Lievanos at 956-364-8255.
Rusk State Hospital
- Items needed include men’s caps with plastic clasps on the back, puzzle books, men’s and women’s socks, cosmetic bags, and grocery gift cards (to purchase fresh fruit for them). low).
- Call Kimberly McDaniel at 903-683-7613.
Life center supported by the State of San Angelo
- Monetary donations are accepted on vscsanangelo.org.
- Items needed include slippers, men’s and women’s pajamas, MP3 players, and Bluetooth headphones.
- Call Heather Cavin at 325-253-7920.
San Antonio State Hospital
- Items needed include board games, card games, puzzles, wallets, watches, coats and socks, shower gel and shampoo.
- Call Jessica Ruiz at 210-531-8130 or Annette Delgado at 972-531-8004.
San Antonio State Support Center
- Items needed include hats, gloves, coats, men’s hoodies, CD boomboxes, country music CDs, cowboy hats, handbags, women’s bathrobes, pajamas, body lotion and pocket radios with headphones.
- Call Maria Rodriguez at 210-531-3729.
Terrell State Hospital
- Monetary donations can be made at http://paypal.com/us/fundraiser/charity/1808938.
- Items needed include board games, card games, puzzles, shower gel, shampoo, wallets, watches, coats and socks.
- Call Sheila Kunick at 972-551-8639 or Alison Novak at 972 551-8451
Waco Youth Center
- Donations can be made at wacovsc.org.
- Items needed include board games, card games, and puzzles.
- Call Prissy Allen at 254-745-5174.