Old Landmark Committee hosts second annual toy and food donation drive

The event was a drive-thru which sent those who came by off with a bag of groceries, toys, and a BBQ sandwich

The Old Landmark Committee hosted their second annual drive-thru canned good, toy, and BBQ sandwich give away at the American Legion Hall. Anyone was welcome to stop by and pick up a grocery bag filled with food, toys, and a free lunch plate which included a BBQ pulled pork sandwich.

Joyce Ellis is a volunteer with the event and says it’s all about just giving back to the community she lives in.

“We try to do things that are for the community. We want to feed the community, we want to make the kids happy with a toy, and we want to make the community happy with a nice pulled pork BBQ sandwich, they are excellent, melt in your mouth, heaven in your mouth. But yes it’s just giving back to the community and that’s what we all love to do,” says Ellis.

Although this is only the second year doing the drive-thru food and toy drive this event has been going on for nearly 30 years, founded by Verline Sandra Avery. In years past the event was held at a local middle school in which the public was invited to come by for a free meal and take home free groceries and toys, this year and last was drive-thru style due to the pandemic. Verline Sandra Avery’s son, Sanders Wilkerson, hops to continue that legacy of giving back to honor his mother.

“My mother was a cook, she cooked at Pattie Welder, she cooked at Dudley, I think at O’Connor, and her biggest passion was making sure the kids had something to eat, that was her biggest thing. When she retired it was like I want to make sure my kids eat,” says Wilkerson.

Avery passed away earlier this year but volunteers with the event say that her presence was definitely felt today throughout the donation drive.

The cooks for the BBQ sandwiches are all former Victoria residents themselves, all high school buddies who try to come back to Victoria to give back to their community, making their way from Beaumont, El Paso, and even St. Louis, Missouri.

The old landmark committee estimates that around 500 cars came through to today’s event. You can visit their Facebook page here.