By Kim Hilsenbeck
Players from TopFlight Volleyball, a local club volleyball organization owned by Charlie Tamez with nearly 100 athletes from Hays County, adopted two families for Christmas. Nine children received gifts they wouldn’t have otherwise thanks to the generosity of the athletes, who range in age from 11 to 18, and their families.
This past Wednesday evening, TopFlight members, their families and the adopted families, gathered in the red gym at Hays High School to meet Santa and distribute the presents.
As they waited, the Natal family from San Marcos sat together in the hall. Dad Daniel and mom Rebecca, together with their children Elijiah, 6, Josiah, 8, Daniella, 9, Isaiah, 11, Daniel III, 14 and Mariah, 15, talked about what they wished for and how grateful they are to TopFlight.
What were their gift requests?
Skateboards for Elijiah and Josiah, a baking set Daniella, a puppy for Mariah, a BMX bike for Isaiah, and shoes and XBOX video games for Daniel III.
Rebecca didn’t want anything for herself.
“I just wanted them to have a nice Christmas,” she said.
Though sometimes they argue about it, Rebecca said her children are generally helpful around the house.
Daniel Natal also said he didn’t want much for Christmas, just gifts for his children.
“I appreciate everything everyone has done,” he said.
Inside the gym, Santa called out the names of all the adopted children one by one. First up were twin sisters Alycia and Zeliah Webster, 4, who each received a bike and other gifts. Toys and clothes went to baby sister Isha Webster. Their mom, Becky Chavez, received some clothes and shoes, while the girls’ dad, David Webster, who was not at the event, received a bike. A family member said the couple doesn’t have a car so the bike will be a form of transportation for David.
Hays High students Saskai Hammer and Kaela Llanos, both 17, said being part of a team that adopts families for Christmas is really special.
“I love helping others and seeing what impact you can give and it’s just really cool seeing everyone come out here; I feel really blessed,” Kaela said.
The Natal family received their wish list gifts and more. There were smiles all around.
Both Rebecca and Daniel Natal said this year has been especially difficult for them as a family.
“It’s been a rough year,” Rebecca said.
Her eyes filled with tears and she wiped one away.
Is she looking forward to a better 2015?
“Oh yes, I’m expecting it.”