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CFISD athletic department, teams celebrate giving spirit of holiday season

Rowe Middle School student-athletes were among the numerous groups in CFISD athletics to participate in holiday giving.
Rowe Middle School student-athletes were among the numerous groups in CFISD athletics to participate in holiday giving drive and projects. One of the largest projects was the department taking part in Christmas Wishes, a toy drive joint venture between KSBJ radio and Be A Resource Houston to help ensure children in child protective services have presents for the holiday.

Dec. 20, 2021—As part of the CFISD athletic department’s mission, a number of high school and middle school teams and student-athletes participated in various community service projects and volunteer efforts during the holiday season.

Of the many service projects, the largest across the entire athletic department was taking part in Christmas Wishes, a toy drive joint venture between KSBJ radio and Be A Resource (BEAR) Houston to help ensure the more than 12,000 children in child protective services have presents for the holidays. Coaches made more than a dozen trips to deliver all of the donations.

Cypress Lakes High School Softball Coach Meghan Taylor loads a truck bed with toys as part of the school’s contribution.
Cypress Lakes High School Softball Coach Meghan Taylor loads a truck bed with toys as part of the school’s contribution to Christmas Wishes, a toy drive joint venture between KSBJ radio and Be A Resource Houston.

"We are very proud of the collective effort of our athletes and coaches in organizing the collection of gifts and toys for the BEARing Gifts program," said Ray Zepeda, CFISD director of athletics. "The Bearing Gifts program provides brand-new holiday gifts to children under the care of CPS. The overwhelming response of our campus athletic programs resulted in thousands of gifts being donated to this incredible program. This will mean that literally thousands of kids in the CPS system will get to have a great Christmas experience this year. I continue to be amazed by the servant’s hearts of our athletes and coaches and their incredible capacity for generosity."

A number of campus athletic departments and teams collected and donated items to Toys for Tots, a program run by the U.S. Marine Corps to distribute toys to children for Christmas. Among them were Langham Creek High School, Cypress Falls and Cypress Woods wrestling teams, Cy-Fair High School baseball and Cypress Ridge, Cypress Ranch and Cypress Springs swimming programs.

The Cypress Lakes and Jersey Village girls’ soccer programs came together during a scrimmage Dec. 10 for a “Sauces for Soldiers” game. In total, the two teams collected more than 700 bottles of hot sauce to send to soldiers stationed at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, Africa.

Members of the Cy-Fair High School baseball team pose with donations they collected for Toys for Tots.
Members of the Cy-Fair High School baseball team pose with donations they collected for Toys for Tots, a program run by the U.S. Marine Corps to distribute toys to children for Christmas. The Bobcats were among numerous CFISD teams to participate in the drive.

A number of girls’ basketball teams did the same as district play began. Bridgeland and Cypress Ranch collected blankets to donate to a local nursing home. Cy-Fair and Cypress Ridge also held a blanket drive, with the donations going to Star of Hope. Cypress Falls and Cypress Woods collected socks with all the items donated to be sent to the Family Crisis Center of East Texas.

Swimming teams from Cy-Fair, Cypress Creek, Cypress Ridge and Cypress Ranch collected toys and canned goods at the seventh annual “Maeve the Brave” College Format Invitational, with the items to be donated to local charities.

A number of teams and student-athletes also volunteered their time in giving back.

The Cypress Lakes and Jersey Village girls’ soccer programs pose with some of the hot sauce bottles they help collect.
The Cypress Lakes and Jersey Village girls’ soccer programs pose with some of the hot sauce bottles they help collect for their “Sauces for Soldiers” game on Dec. 10. The two teams collected more than 700 bottles of hot sauce to send to soldiers stationed at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, Africa.

The Cypress Springs girls’ basketball team spent time on Dec. 18 at the Children Like Loni Santa’s Workshop. The Cy-Fair boys’ basketball team helped prepare meals at the Faith over Fear Transition Center’s second annual Holiday Giveaway. The Cypress Ridge volleyball team visited BeeHive Homes and sang holiday carols to the assisted-living care residents.

“I’m proud of how our coaches and student-athletes look to find ways to impact those that might need help,” said Kirk Eaton, CFISD associate director of athletics. “Too often seasons and the hard work it takes to be successful can keep a team from finding time to give back. The work our programs do are so much bigger in scope than just a two-hour game that keeps score. They teach life through each respective sport played in CFISD.”

Members of the Cypress Springs girls’ basketball team spent time on Dec. 18 at the Children Like Loni Santa’s Workshop.
Members of the Cypress Springs girls’ basketball team spent time on Dec. 18 at the Children Like Loni Santa’s Workshop. The student-athletes joined many others across CFISD to volunteer their time during the holidays.