East End area families shifted gears for holiday cheer on Saturday, December 12, 2020, at El Centro de Corazón’s 2020 East End Posada. The annual event shifted to a drive-through format this year to accommodate COVID-19 precautions and was held at El Centro’s John S. Dunn Health Center at 7635 Canal St.

El Centro has partnered with local organizations and small businesses to host this event since 2012. Previously, the morning would feature hands-on games, photos with Santa, family-friendly exercise classes, and lunch. But with COVID-19 precautions to consider, those activities were not possible. The El Centro de Corazón community engagement team came together and organized the drive-through alternative. “With so much insecurity, we knew that cancelling our annual East End Posada was not an option,” said Jorge Olvera, Community Engagement Manager at El Centro.

With the support of generous sponsors and volunteers, El Centro safely distributed toys to over 130 East End children in need this year. Nurses from local schools—including Burnet, Carrillo, DeZavala, Franklin and Gallegos Elementary—identified students who were most in need and submitted their names for the distribution, not necessarily those students who had the best grades or attendance. Sponsors were then given a de-identified list of students’ ages and genders to buy toys appropriate for each child.

The gifts also came with resources to help families have a healthy holiday. In addition to age-specific toys, families were given healthy snacks provided by Kids’ Meals, with holiday messages in English and Spanish written on each bag. Books to promote literacy were provided by Chevron SOMOS and the Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy. And to further support the families, parents were given grocery vouchers for La Michoacana, a neighborhood institution and one of the few grocery stores in the area.

“We have heard countless stories of patients who have lost their jobs or savings as a result of COVID-19,” said Olvera. “Our goal this year was to help parents keep the holiday sparkle alive through the season and help our kids finish the year on a joyous note after such a stressful year.”

El Centro de Corazón’s 2020 East End Posada was made possible through the generous support of our sponsors: Identity Plus LLC, The Gonzalez Law Group, Chevron, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, GE Healthcare, Kids’ Meals, ABB Engineering, the City of Houston Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy, the Centeno Family, La Michoacana, PJS – Professional Janitorial Services and Webtropolis.


Watch our 2020 East End Posada Recap Video

About El Centro de Corazón

Founded in 1994, El Centro de Corazón (El Centro) is an accomplished Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) with four health center locations in Houston’s East End and offers a comprehensive range of adult and pediatric health care services for the underserved, uninsured, and underinsured, which includes primary care and family medicine, women’s health, dental, and behavioral health services. El Centro also provides ancillary services to assist patients to overcome barriers to accessing health care. In 2019, El Centro provided direct patient care to 12,978 low-income children and adults for a total of 46,595 patient visits.