Spreading holiday cheer with a hearty meal
A group of volunteers took time on the weekend before Christmas to make sure families throughout Windcrest and San Antonio had the food they needed for a holiday meal.
Members of Northeast Bridge Builders, an organization comprised of local business and community leaders, packed their vehicles Dec. 21 and 22 with frozen turkeys, hams and an assortment of nonperishable food items at the Windcrest City Hall parking lot. The group made deliveries to 200 homes.
Northeast Bridge Builders was established four years ago, according to James McFall, a former Windcrest councilman. McFall, who retired from teaching in 2010 after 31 years, wrapped up his career in health and physical education at Rogers Middle School in the San Antonio Independent School District.
“We wanted to get more involved in the community, as we wanted to help out at schools in this area,” he said. “We got donations, raising about $3,500 in two weeks just so we could buy for, and feed, about 200 families.”
Boxes, crates and bags were loaded into the vehicles of volunteers, who then shuttled turkeys and meals to appointed homes on the Friday before Christmas and on the following day.
McFall’s son, Carlos McFall, was instrumental in the formation of the Northeast Bridge Builders organization.
“We came up with the idea to found this organization a few years back to help the community, and this is just another effort we’ve put forward this year,” Carlos said.
Carlos McFall played football for Roosevelt High School, graduating in 2004. McFall attended Stanford University on a football scholarship. He now practices media law in San Francisco.
In 2015, he got together with fellow 2004 Roosevelt graduates Corey Bennett, Darnell Barnes and John Smith to launch Northeast Bridge Builders.
“We want to ensure that students within our area, who oftentimes don’t have the resources that exist in other parts of town, have the same opportunities to achieve as anybody else,” Carlos McFall said. “We all benefited tremendously being on this side of town, and want to make sure we can give those same opportunities to the kids that are still here.
“We worked with counselors and principals to target students who were in need,” he said, adding that the system honored students’ privacy.
The elder McFall said the food drive started more than 30 years ago on San Antonio’s South Side, at his middle school in the Highland Hills area of the city.
McFall said he wanted to thank the numerous sponsors and donors who made the event happen, including Windcrest City Council members Cindy Strzelecki, Greg Turner and Joan Pedrotti.
“The whole objective, within this region, is to double it for next year,” he said.