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For the past four years, the County of Hidalgo Urban County Program (UCP) employees, as a group, decided to forego an employee gift exchange to assist families in need. For the past four years UCP, in conjunction with Proyecto Azteca - a non-profit housing organization, has identified and adopted families in need of assistance to provide their families with Christmas gifts. This year, UCP raised more than $800 from staff and more than $200 dollars from local businesses. Also, the UCP has received, from various businesses and generous individuals, more than $700 worth of toys, bikes, food baskets and clothes for four selected families. In addition, UCP learned of a family whose head of household is 18 years of age and who is responsible for his 15-year-old brother. UCP’s assistance to this family helped them make their December 2012 mortgage payment. Upon hearing of the family's situation, Precinct 4 Commissioner Joseph Palacios and his staff pledged additional funds to help cover several more mortgage payments for the family for 2013.