“Stuff the Box” initiative a success

October 13, 2010
 Edna Villarreal, M.P.H.

Edna Villarreal, M.P.H.

Faculty, staff and students from the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) School of Rural Public Health (SRPH) McAllen campus recently helped provide 200 children with gift bags full of school supplies through a “Stuff the Box” initiative organized by Edna Villarreal, M.P.H. (Master of Public Health), program manager.

“I started ‘Stuff the Box’ four years ago, and it has slowly grown with the help of local churches and SRPH faculty, staff and students,” Villarreal says. “I love to help the community, which is also a reason I became interested in public health.”

Villarreal designed and built with her father the boxes used to collect donations to the program. She estimates


Ann Millard, Ph.D., and Norma Garza

approximately 2,000 elementary students to date have benefited from the “Stuff the Box” program.

Ann Millard, Ph.D., associate professor, and Norma Garza, a current M.P.H. student, helped Villarreal with distribution of school supplies, which largely went to the colonias in the Edinburg, Texas, area. The remainder went to children from a Mexico border city.

Villarreal completed her master’s degree in public health in May 2010 from the TAMHSC-School of Rural Public Health.

— Rae Lynn Mitchell