How to lend a helping hand this holiday season in Hays County

Marine Toys for Tots is open to donations through Dec. 8. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)
Marine Toys for Tots is open to donations through Dec. 8. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)

Marine Toys for Tots is open to donations through Dec. 8. (Zara Flores/Community Impact Newspaper)

With the holidays fast approaching, here are a few opportunities to help those in need locally, from kids to animals.

Marine Toys For Tots

Support the Marine Toys for Tots’ mission of providing toys to children in need by donating new, unwrapped toys. The nonprofit was founded in 1991 to help economically disadvantaged kids at Christmas and can be organized locally for specific communities.

When: through Dec. 8 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Nov. 24-26 for Thanksgiving

Where to donate: 203 Railroad St., Ste 1B, Buda, and 217 Railroad St., Buda


Hays County Brown Santa

The county’s annual Brown Santa program is taking money, food and toy donations to help families in need in the area. In 2020, over 650 families received assistance via food or toys through the program, according to a press release from the county. Families within Hays County must apply by Dec. 8 at 5 p.m. to receive assistance from any of these locations:

  • Hays County Sheriff’s Office: 1307 Uhland Road, San Marcos

  • Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Beth Smith: 5458 FM 2770, Kyle

  • Precinct 5 Justice of the Peace Scott Cary: 500 Jack C. Hays Trail, Buda

  • Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Andy Cable: 200 Stillwater Road, Ste 104, Wimberley

  • Precinct 4 Hays County Office: 195 Roger Hanks Parkway, Dripping Springs


When: through Dec. 10 for unwrapped toys; through Dec. 13 for wrapped toys

Where to donate:





Santa Paws

Residents and pets are invited to take photos with Santa Paws. All proceeds go to the San Marcos Regional Animal Shelter.

When: Dec. 4 from 2-4 p.m.

Where: The Porch, 129 E. Hopkins St., San Marcos
By Zara Flores
Zara joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in August 2021. Prior to CI, she interned at Picket Fence Media in Southern California and graduated from Cal State Fullerton where she was assistant news editor for the Daily Titan and copy editor for Tusk Magazine. Zara covers education, business, government and more for Buda, Kyle and San Marcos.