Mostyn Moreno Foundation Records Record Year for Christmas Lights Program

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The Mostyn Moreno Foundation had a record year helping 1,034 children with special needs celebrate an amazing Christmas!

Christmas Lights, an annual program for children with special needs in Texas, is celebrating its most successful year ever.

Organized by the Glenda Jean Mostyn & Joe E. Moreno Educational Foundation of Houston, Christmas Lights provides children in 12 public independent school districts across the Gulf Coast, East Texas, and Southeast Texas with a variety of holiday activities, including an experiential training event at Wal-Mart for students with disabilities. In total, the Christmas Lights program served 1,034 special needs students in Whitehouse, Tyler, Henderson, Athens, Kirbyville, Buna, Port Neches Groves, Nederland, Galveston, Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Jacksonville. This number is an all-time high from since the program began.

"Although we do this every Christmas, I enjoy it a little more every year," said Monte Osburn, the Executive Director for the Mostyn Moreno Foundation. "Getting the opportunity to fully incorporate these children into the holiday season is a wonderful gift to everyone involved."

The program helps children with disabilities by allowing them to utilize life skills taught in the classroom in real world situations. With teacher assistance, the students put their education in decision making, social skills, budgeting, and compromise into practice to select items for themselves, friends, and family. Along with a $50 allowance per child to buy Christmas presents, the children were also treated to special lunches at area restaurants. Parents, teachers, and administrators were encouraged to join the festivities with as many as 525 people attending each event. The foundation has been providing Christmas gifts through this program to Texas children for the past 12 years.

"We're deeply committed to the education and advancement of children with special needs in Texas," said Osburn. "Programs like ours are important in helping to integrate these students more completely into society."

The foundation was created by Houston trial lawyers Steve and Amber Mostyn, in honor of Steve's mother Jean who spent years helping children with special needs before passing in 1996. The foundation also honors the memory of state representative Joe E. Moreno who advocated for children and education. Today, Mostyn Moreno Foundation provides assistance and support to programs that teach children with special needs important life skills. Programs like Christmas Lights reinforce social and academic skills, such as decision making and math.

In addition to the Christmas Lights Program, the Mostyn Moreno Foundation also sponsors events throughout the year. One of the most popular, Ritch's Little Raiders, takes place every year in conjunction with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and involves 300 kids chowing down on barbeque. The foundation also works with families with children with special needs to facilitate access to community resources.

To learn more about the Mostyn Moreno Foundation, please visit

About the Mostyn Moreno Foundation

The Mostyn Moreno Foundation was created in 2006 to honor Glenda Jean Mostyn and Joe E. Moreno’s service to Texas children with special needs. The foundation focuses its activity in southeast Texas, East Texas, and the Gulf Coast with extra attention to the Houston area. Along with seasonal programs, the Mostyn Moreno Foundation also assists families with children with special needs and provides assistance to similarly aligned non-profit organizations.

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Monte Osburn