Photo:  The community showed their support for last year’s inaugural Bicycle event and gift giving for deserving kids spearheaded by Brittany Hilton.

By Debby Schamber

For the Record

There are 22 weeks until Christmas and it’s not too early to start planning for the annual Bridge City Police Department bicycle and gift giveaway to area needy children.

What began as a simple request has become something much larger but also a way to make a child’s Christmas merry and bright. Initially, Hilton was asked by someone wanting to help out to find about 10 children in need of some Christmas gifts. The person was wanting to donate 10 bicycles. Hilton began her search for the children and posted a message on Facebook. She found the 10 children, plus many more since times have been hard as people struggle to make ends meet. 

The names just kept coming and the list growing larger. At one point she ran out of bicycles and gifts to give to the children. But, this did not stop Hilton as she worked to collect more. In the end, 43 bicycles were given away. In addition to the bicycles, each child received a helmet, a stocking filled with goodies and a bag of wrapped gifts. 

“We would like to give away the same number of bikes this year if not more,” Hilton said.” Last year was a huge success. Bridge City police department has never had an event like this and we were able to help so many families.”  

Hilton has already began collecting gifts for boys and girls of all ages. She is also looking for anyone who wants to volunteer for this fabulous event. In addition, she is already collecting names of children needing a bike. She is wanting to have all of the names of needy children by Thanksgiving. 

The event last year was a trial run and from it Hilton gained experience. Now she plans to make this event even better. So far, she is planning to have booths at the event with fun-filled activities. One thing for sure that will remain the same is the appearance of Santa and his elves. 

“For me, this has been important to bring holiday cheer to the community,” Hilton said. “It would be nice for the whole community to experience it.” 

She added, she would like to see some “Christmas Cheer” in the community. The smiles and joy on the children’s faces is something everyone should experience. 

Brittany Hilton, of the Bridge City Police Department, presents Ethan Shull with a bicycle. He was chosen to be a recipient last year because he was so generous and brought gifts to all the local police departments for all the officers and dispatchers.

“Every child deserves to feel special and what a better time to do that then Christmas,” Hilton said. ” Children can’t help if they come from families who are struggling or having financial trouble, but that is where we as a community can come together and help make this a magical time for everyone. The true gift is that of giving to those less fortunate.” 

To be able to help all the children on her list, Hilton really needs donations. She needs bicycles, helmets and toys for all ages. She is also looking to collect stockings and stocking stuffers. Donations are accepted at the Bridge City police station located at 110 Rachel or the Bridge City Library located at 101 Parkside Street. 

For more information on what is needed or about the event, Brittany Hilton can be contacted at 409-474-3186.