The holidays offer the Coastal Bend  and South Texas a time of community togetherness and celebration. I wanted to take the opportunity to continue to touch on some of the highlights of the holidays in our area, as well as ways families can join together in the spirit of the season. I also wanted to take a look back to the White Christmas of 2004, and how that event has impacted our area.

Continuing in the season of giving

During the holiday season, many families choose to participate in the holidays by giving back to the community. This could include volunteering at a local food bank or soup kitchen. The Coastal Bend and South Texas (Food Bank) are currently taking volunteers to help sort and process food donations that have been made during this busy holiday season. The Food Bank, which began operations in 1982, does not only serve Port Aransas and Corpus Christi – it is estimated that 19,000 people from around the Coastal Bend and South Texas have access to food from the Food Bank weekly. You can find more information on their hours, location, and practices at Coastal Bend Food Bank. Other options to participate in the season of giving include simple things such as assisting with clothing donations to individuals in need. Metro Ministries, for example, offers weekly volunteer opportunities such as sorting clothing donations and are now accepting donations for hygiene kits and hardcover books for all ages. There are endless ways to help those less fortunate, which can range from starting a canned food drive in your neighborhood, volunteering at local senior centers, or simply bringing extra canned goods or clothes to donation centers around the area. 

The South Texas Christmas Miracle: A Look Back

In 2004, a rare weather event occurred on Christmas Eve, which was eventually known as the “South Texas Christmas Miracle” and “White Christmas in South Texas,” among others. South Texas had already been experiencing an unusually cold air mass from the north that day, with temperatures in the low 30s. A disturbance developed along the western Gulf of Mexico, creating the opportunity for snow to fall in the southern area of the state. While there was some light snowfall on Christmas Eve morning just to the north of our area, the bulk of the snow began accumulating later in the evening, continuing throughout the night and blanketing much of the area by Christmas morning.

In Corpus Christi, the snowfall broke the 4.3 inch record set back in 1895. Approximately four inches fell in Port Aransas. It was the only white Christmas in the area since 1918, when 0.1 inches were recorded as falling. In 2014, the United Parcel Service (UPS) filmed a commercial in our area, commemorating the White Christmas event in the Coastal Bend. 

As always, I want to hear your ideas and suggestions as we get closer the start of next session. These ideas and information are important forms of feedback and I hope that you will not hesitate to contact my office.

If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this week’s article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office.  Please always feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas state agency, or if you would like to contact my office regarding constituent services. As always, my offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).  
 
– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32 
 
Rep. Hunter represents Nueces (Part) County.  He can be contacted at todd.hunter@house.texas.gov or at 512-463-0672.