66th Annual Toy Coffee celebration benefits local children; see how you can help

Published 12:40 am Wednesday, November 23, 2022

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The Brown Estate is a historical home located off Highway 90 in Orange.

The home’s design was inspired by the Greek Revival-style style mansion, Linden of Natchez, located in Mississippi. Notable features of the estate include the solarium, original furnishings, works of art, picturesque landscaping and a lake on the sprawling grounds.

The former family home of business magnate and philanthropist Edgar W. Brown Jr. of Orange is currently owned and managed by Lamar State College-Orange.

A tour of this historically significant location is offered to participants in the 66th Annual Toy Coffee hosted by the Service League of Orange.

The nonprofit has been serving Orange County since 1954 with charitable programs that address poverty and more.

To participate in the Toy Coffee, individuals, nonprofits, civic groups, businesses, schools and all interested parties are invited to bring a new unwrapped toy or cash donation to benefit those in need in Orange County.

The 66th Annual Toy Coffee celebration is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 1 at The Brown Estate, 4205 West Park Avenue.

In exchange, participants will be gifted with a tour of the home and offered refreshments to enjoy.

All donations, including toys and monies, support the Salvation Army of Orange’s Angel Tree program.

Student groups from West Orange Cove CISD are scheduled to participate. Among them are the WOSE student council, WOSMS student council and WOSHS Early College High School. Student groups from Orangefield OISD will also participate.

According to Service League member, Rita Savage Ballard, last year, they were able to raise enough money to help 115 families in Orange County.

“We gathered 702 toys and $10,001, and it went directly to the Salvation Army,” Ballard said.

The “Grinchmas” celebration will feature Service League members dressed in Whoville attire.

This year The Salvation Army has received 400 applications for Christmas toy assistance.

Captain Jan Zuniga of the Salvation Army, estimates that the Angel Tree program will serve at least 450 children this year, including emergency families and “forgotten Angels.”

“The Toy Coffee makes an impact in making sure that every child we’ve committed to is taken care of, as well as any emergency families,” Zuniga said. “The Toy coffee plays a huge part in making sure that no child that we have taken in gets left behind .”

All donations are due to the Salvation Army by Dec. 9 to prepare for the Dec. 14 distribution.

— Written by Shari Hardin