Season of Giving | Rockwall Helping Hands Festival of Trees and Toy Drive

The staff and volunteers at Rockwall Helping Hands once again finished the year strong with their largest annual fundraising events. The months of November and December are the busiest for the organization that helps so many Rockwall County residents in need of assistance.

Festival of Trees

The Festival of Trees weekend was November 16 & 17 at the Hilton Dallas/Rockwall Lakefront. The market and luncheon were attended by shoppers and supporters, and the Saturday evening gala was a sold out event.

Photos with Santa

Helping Hands’ chairman of the board Vicki Wallace Alexander began the evening and introduced internationally known artist Rolando Diaz who was on stage to begin his painting from a blank canvas. Throughout the dinner and awards, the painting came to life and was purchased by a live auction winner.

Diaz, a native Cuban-American, maintains a solid collector’s list and has exhibited in museums, galleries and private homes around the world. A documentary film about the artist titled “Recapturing Cuba” has won two awards at the Sundance Film Festival and has been an inspiration to many people.

Helping Hands recognized several staff members, volunteers and supporters, including:

Chairman’s Award: Maggie Hatfield
President’s Award: Vicki Alexander
David Lensch Award: Laura Cervantes

Helping Hands Annual Toy Drive


Melody Hail, Tarren Oswald, Chloe Rose and Brian Llewellyn

The Toy Drive gathered toys and monetary contributions from generous donors. The distribution was held Saturday, December 15. Over 1,000 families received toys and fun items for children who might have gone without this festive part of Christmas. Popular items chosen were trucks, dinosaurs and cooking toys. Also in demand were the Candy Land games and Barbie. Gift cards were available to teens, who are often overlooked during gift giving at Christmas.

Helping Hands strives to help Rockwall County residents in need during the holidays. Their goal of three gifts per child is fulfilled with the help of Rockwall’s caring community — “Neighbors helping neighbors.”

Sharon Lewis
Planet Rockwall