Thanksgiving came a little earlier than usual for a dozen needy HISD students this year, but they were still delighted to receive free turkey dinners with all the trimmings from local members of the National Latino Peace Officers Association (NLPOA).
Each year, the greater Houston chapter of the NLPOA hosts a number of fundraisers to support its programs, which include holiday giveaways in the fall and winter and college scholarships in the spring. This year, 12 students from the Pilgrim Academy, Hartman Middle School, the Energy Institute, and Bellaire and Challenge Early College high schools came to the Pilgrim campus on Nov. 22 with their families to receive the free dinners, along with large boxes full of fresh fruits and vegetables generously donated by Chef’s Produce.
“Originally, we had only budgeted enough for 10 families, but we decided we can’t just leave two families out like that,” said HISD Police Officer Danny Avalos, who also serves as the Houston chapter’s president. “Our job is to make sure our campuses are safe places for kids to learn, but we also try to give back, and this helps show another side to us.”
“I think it’s important for people to know that our officers truly care about their community,” added Pilgrim Academy Principal Diana Castillo. “They put their lives on the line to protect and serve, but they also go above and beyond to try to help the needy.”