12:01 PM

Give Warmth this Winter

STC history instructor organizes campuswide drive after observing lack of resources during Valley’s February freeze


STC Mid-Valley faculty holds campuswide donation drive for adults, children and pets. All donations will be distributed to local organizations and animal shelters for the freezing temperature ahead reminding us that the Valley can get cold too.  

As we enter the month of giving and as we prepare for an inevitable change in weather, STC Mid-Valley history instructor Dr. Rainlilly Elizondo and colleagues have organized a “Share the Warmth” coat and blanket drive through November to help Valley residents and pets. 

“Organizations and charities across the Valley for both humans and animals are in need during this time,” said Dr. Elizondo. “Animals in shelters for instance typically have outdoor kennels so they need blankets and towels to use as warm bedding so I decided to make it a general share the warmth drive by asking for several winter items such as coats, sweaters, blankets and even pet food. Donations are needed for adults, children, and animals.” 

In what came as a shock to Valley residents February 2021, was one of the coldest months experienced for many who were left in the cold. From power outages to the panic of gas shortages, families to animals lacked resources to help keep warm.  

“I think back to when we had that big freeze because I haven't forgotten that I was one of the unlucky ones without power for a couple of days,” shares Dr. Elizondo.  

That experience motivated her to act considering what other residents and animals endured through in the same freezing temperatures. 

She shares that her family was able to make do with a backup generator and heavy winter gear to help keep warm but that a lot of Valley residents did not have those resources. 

“Lots of people in the Valley have only light jackets because we don’t normally experience temperatures like this, but with my husband being from Missouri which we visit during the winter break, we had the winter clothing that others didn’t,” said Elizondo.  

With the help of her colleagues she is collecting, sorting and distributing the donations from STC campuses to local organizations.   

“This all depends on how much of an item that we get in,” said Elizondo. “If we get coats, we will donate them to Channel Five’s Tim’s Coats, and if we get a lot of women’s and children's clothing, they will go to Mujeres Unidas. Pet supplies will also go to the Palm Valley Animal Society shelter.”  

Not only has the drive expanded from campus to campus but to local businesses. 

“We actually have RGV Pediatrics Dentistry that has reached out to us in volunteering as a drop-off location so we can get more of the community involved,” said Elizondo. 

Donation boxes can be found at the following locations: 

  • Mid Valley Campus- Building G staircase, Building F lobby, Library, or Office G240 

  • Pecan Campus- Building P.3-116 

  • Nursing and Allied Health Campus lobby

  • RGV Pediatrics Dentistry at 1601 W Trenton Rd. Edinburg, TX 78539 

Boxes will be collected Dec. 3 and sorted for distribution to local shelters and organizations.  

“I think after watching the news, a lot of my colleagues were just moved by the stories of Valley residents who did not have the resources to thoroughly stay warm, said Elizondo. “I mean, I grew up in the Valley, and that was the first time I had ever experienced it being that cold and without power at the same time.  The temperature in my house dropped into the 30’s, it’s not something I want to experience again.”   

For more information about drop-off locations and donations email relizondo17@southtexascollege.edu .