Victoria family receives a gift of brand new furniture for the home | Victoria
Santa jumped out of a bright red SUV and headed determinedly to a house in a quiet, sleepy suburb on Tuesday morning. When Victoria Police Department proprietor and detective Christina Tate opened the door to greet the cheery man dressed all in red with a big fake white beard, she was shocked at what she saw.
Parked in front of Tate’s yard was a giant moving van filled to the brim with new furniture. A team of movers and some VPD officers unloaded mattresses, bed frames, bedside tables, rugs and more into Tate’s house to his complete shock. The furniture giveaway was such a surprise that the movers had to stop halfway and leave items like a dining table, chairs and sectional sofa on the truck to figure out the logistics of getting the new ones in. furniture in the house and old ones.
“Not what I expected!” Tate said after being greeted by Santa Claus, a moving truck and a small crowd of supporters there to witness the good deed.
Santa Claus came to a family in Victoria early this year, but instead of a sleigh full of toys and games, he had a truck full of furniture.
Kamin Furniture donated furniture of household value to Tate and her family, said owner Buddy Kamin, who dressed up as Santa Claus for the occasion. The furniture giveaway is an annual tradition, he said, and it’s always aimed at giving the furniture to a first responder or veteran.
Tate, who was nominated for the gift by Victoria Police Chief Roberto Arredondo, is a single mother of three, she said.
“I feel very blessed,” Tate said. “I have three children and, especially with young boys, it’s hard to keep nice things, so we usually don’t have any. We just get what we need and that’s it.
Tate has been raising her three children – aged 7, 9 and 16 – on her own since her husband, Brian Tate, died in 2016 in an accident when he knocked down live power lines.
The surprise was accomplished through the use of “contractors” who came to Tate’s home to repair a tub and sink in his bathroom, said Eline Moya, captain of investigations for the Victoria Police Department. The contractors replaced Tate’s sink, but they also served as spies who examined the house and determined the size of the house and what they could fit into it.
“They were able to go into the house and take notes on what she needed,” Kamin said.
Tate’s three children were staying with their grandparents in San Antonio when the furniture was delivered, and she said she planned to keep it a secret until they got home from the holidays.
“I think they’re going to be as shocked as I am,” she said.
Kamin has been making these gifts for 40 years, he said, and believes veterans and first responders are among the most deserving people.
“I’m always very particular with whoever I want, because I want to be able to leave knowing that I’ve made a difference in someone’s life,” he said.
Furniture prices don’t matter to Kamin, who said their only concern is what the owner needs. From there, the store “just starts grabbing the stuff” it needs.
Tate was nominated for the gift because the police department recognized she needed help, Arredondo said.
“She struggled,” he said. “She is doing a fantastic job maintaining her life, her children’s lives and her home. But she would need a little help, and the Kamins and the community were ready to help a little.
Cody covers the beat of business for the lawyer. He can be reached at (361) 580-6504 or [email protected]