The cold weather couldn’t hold off the thousands of families who gathered in downtown Austin today to catch the 22nd annual Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade. The popular parade has raised toys for the Blue Santa program, which gives presents and Christmas dinner to needy Central Texas families, since 1989.
“You can’t live in Central Texas without coming to the Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade,” Denise Behr said.
Berh and her family woke up early Saturday morning to drive from San Marcos and take part in what’s become a treasured holiday tradition.
“The husband doesn’t hunt today because of the parade, the son is not hunting this morning because of the parade and this is just the way we start off our Christmas season,” she said.
Vince Trevino took his three-year-old Vinny for the first time to the parade. Vince says he isn’t surprised that thousands of people are willing to come out and give what they can to make a child’s Christmas dreams come true.
“This is a great giving community and we’re just glad to be a part of it,” Vince said. “We’re expecting a fun time.”
This year’s floats, bands and pageantry drew out a large crowd and organizers hope to collect enough toys to provide gifts for 15,000 children who would get nothing without this help.
After all, many of the kids that brought toys to give to other children understand what it would be like to not have anything waiting under the tree.
“Well, I would kind of feel sad,” India Johnson said.
“I really wanted to give them something for Christmas and I think it would feel good to do that because they don’t really get presents like we do,” Ashley Allison said.
And with all of the outpouring of Christmas cheer, both parents and kids remember what the season is all about—and Central Texans show their generous spirits.
“I think that giving back is the lesson, to learn it’s better to give than to receive sometimes,” Ashley’s mom Keri Allison said.