Operation Blue Santa
It was a sunny Saturday afternoon in Texas when Protect America volunteers came together in a large warehouse parking lot. It might not have been very cold, but everyone wore Santa hats and drank hot chocolate anyway, because why not? Christmas music blared from a parked car as more volunteers joined the group and mingled with excitement.
These volunteers came together for a special cause – to make sure underprivileged children received Christmas presents this holiday season!
About Operation Blue Santa
There’s no greater gift than giving your time to a good cause. When our staff heard about Operation Blue Santa, we knew we had to get involved. Blue Santa is a nonprofit program run by the Austin Police Department. Its goal is to collect donated gifts for children whose families cannot afford Christmas presents. The community-based corporation receives help from the Austin Fire Department, Austin Energy, Austin Water Utilities and Texas National Guard.
Austin Police Operation Blue Santa is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit which provides each family it serves with a full holiday meal and wrapped Christmas presents for each child under the age of 14. The organization began in 1972 and only served about 20 families. Today, Operation Blue Santa serves over 3,800 families!
Busy, Busy Elves
Protect America staff gathered around a huge police Hummer vehicle and listened as Operation Blue Santa staff explained the history of Blue Santa and why they are passionate about helping the community. Our volunteers couldn’t believe how much growth and success the operation had experienced! After learning why Blue Santa is so important, the group took a tour of the warehouse and got right to work building boxes, which were to be shipped off the following week.
Volunteers, surrounded by crates of toys and gifts, created an assembly line and stacked countless boxes as Christmas jingles played in the background. Other employees helped with a variety of tasks and got some real teamwork experience as an Operation Blue Santa leader guided them. You might say it was Santa’s toy factory!
Kindness Is Infectious
Sometimes, giving is better than receiving! Protect America is proud to get involved in the community and thankful that Operation Blue Santa opened its doors to our staff. The Austin Police Department helps thousands of families with this program, and we are honored to be involved any way we can. Protect America team member Sarandy Parker said it best: “Being invited to participate in Blue Santa was a gift in itself,” she said. “Not often enough do we get to gather together in our own neighborhoods/office to help the bigger picture of the community. It is comforting to know that within our reach there are many people with giving hearts eager to help. Kindness is infectious!”