With fall around the corner and the holiday season not far behind, Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital is once again offering Fort Bend and surrounding area residents the opportunity to donate a gift and receive a free flu shot.


 Houston Methodist Sugar Land, in collaboration with the Exchange Club of Sugar Land, Fort Bend Exchange Club, Rotary Club of Sugar Land, Rotary Club of Fort Bend and Toys for Tots Fort Bend, is offering free flu shots on Saturday, Oct. 12 to community members who participate in Santa’s Gift Exchange. Fort Bend and surrounding area residents can bring a new, unwrapped toy or clothing item in exchange for a free flu shot. The toys and clothing will benefit local children in the Fort Bend area.


“We are proud to partner again with the local Exchange and Rotary clubs and Toys for Tots to provide this community offering,” said Chris Siebenaler, CEO of Houston Methodist Sugar Land. “This is a great way for the community to stay healthy while also putting smiles on children’s faces during the holiday season.”


In 2018, Santa’s Gift Exchange provided toys and clothing to nearly 5,000 economically disadvantaged children in Fort Bend County.


“Everyone's assistance is needed to meet the challenge of providing toys for children who will not have toys this year without our help,” said Brad Porter, chairman of Santa’s Exchange 2019.


“We look forward to partnering with Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital for a ninth year. This is a great collaboration; get a flu shot and in return you are able to give back to the children in your community,” said Porter, a fourth year member of the Exchange Club of Sugar Land.


“Our community is well known for its philanthropic values, so we encourage you to participate by dropping off toys or clothing even if you have already had your flu shot,” Siebenaler said.


If you want to participate in this community event, please bring a new, unwrapped toy or clothing item to the Brazos Pavilion Atrium of Houston Methodist Sugar Land between 8 a.m. and noon on Saturday, Oct. 12. One flu shot per unwrapped toy or clothing item. For more information, please visit events.houstonmethodist.org/flushot-sl or call 281.274.7976. No appointment is necessary.


The flu kills as many as 20,000 people a year. The vaccine is indicated for active immunization for the prevention of influenza disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and B. Vaccination with the flu vaccine may not protect all people who receive the vaccine. Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital will distribute a limited supply of the influenza vaccine to persons age 18 and over with no history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome or rubber latex allergy and who are not pregnant.