Spirit of Christmas to feature RGV families in need

The Monitor and United Way of South Texas are partnering this holiday season to draw attention to families from the Rio Grande Valley who are in need.

A spiritual successor to AIM Charities’ efforts to raise tens of thousands of dollars for local nonprofits, which would then distribute 100% of those funds to people in need, the new Spirit of Christmas series is a campaign designed to profile individuals who’ve suffered tragic losses as a result of flooding, fires and financial distress, leaving them in squalid conditions and struggling to make ends meet.

The hope, according to Monitor Publisher and Editor Stephan Wingert, as well as United Way, is to encourage donations from the community to assist the families who will be featured.

“In our duty as news leaders and journalists covering stories that matter to the people of the Rio Grande Valley, it’s incumbent upon The Monitor and AIM Media Texas to raise awareness of those who are struggling in our communities and neighborhoods,” Wingert said of the launch of the Spirit of Christmas campaign. “Thanks to our friends from the United Way of South Texas and the commitment of AIM Media Texas to help our neighbors in need, we’ll again be in a position to tell the stories of those who are in dire need of assistance, and call upon our readers — who are some of the most generous individuals in South Texas — to show their generosity and help where possible.”

Like these families to be featured in the Spirit of Christmas series, Wingert stressed that there are many more in South Texas who live in poverty, and said those published in The Monitor will add faces to the plight of the Valley’s less fortunate.

Scheduled from Dec. 1 to 12, The Monitor plans to publish stories profiling more than 10 families — identified by United Way — to raise awareness of their specific needs.

For information on how you can donate, call the United Way of South Texas at (956) 686-6331 between 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and inquire about contributing to the Spirit of Christmas campaign.

Coming Sunday: As Leticia Lopez’s family copes with the tragic deaths of their loved ones in a fire more than one year ago, their needs continue to mount after having also lost everything they owned in the blaze.