The Austin Chronicle

Operation Help Blue Santa

By Jordan Smith, November 30, 2012, 12:46pm, Newsdesk

Since 1972 Operation Blue Santa has been helping Austin's needy children enjoy a happy holiday season. And this year, they're really in need your help to make sure that the charity's 40th Christmas keeps that tradition alive.

Blue Santa, an Austin Police Department charity – started by a couple officers delivering gifts to kids out of the trunk of a patrol vehicle – is supported by the Austin Fire Department, Texas National Guard, Austin Water and Austin Energy. For years the charity had also been partnered with the Christmas Bureau of Austin and Travis County. This year, however, the bureau's executive director is M.I.A., the APD has begun a criminal investigation into the Bureau's apparent demise, and Blue Santa is left scrambling in an effort to take up the slack. "The ED went MIA and we've got to figure out what's going on," says APD Chief Art Acevedo.

In the meantime, Blue Santa is hoping the community will step up donations to cover Christmas for the thousands of families previously taken care of through the Bureau:

Find a list of recommended toys for donation here.

Find a list of donation drop-off sites here.

Come to Chuy's Children Giving to Children Parade tomorrow, Saturday, Dec. 1, starting at 11am, with a new, unwrapped toy in hand to donate.

Make donations online here.

Help your neighbors have a happy holiday season.

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