In its ninth year, Wharton Police Department’s Blue Santa program delivered a record 1,004 children with Christmas gifts.
After several weeks of collecting toys and other donations from the community, Blue Santa and his elves (including Precinct 1 Constable Bill Copeland) spent Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons delivering gifts and goodness throughout the community.
“The community has embraced the Blue Santa program, knowing that our goal is to make sure that no area child does without,” Police Chief Terry Lynch said.
He said the program has grown each year since Lt. Ariel Soltura suggested it after he participated in it at a former department he worked for.
“We’ve gone from 30 kids in 2014 to over 1,000 in 2022,” Lunch said.
He said Soltura “brought it to the table and Lt. Ben Guanajuato and Makyla Monroe ran with it. We’ve been partnering with businesses, local organizations, and donors to make grow every year.”
After Wednesday’s deliveries were complete, Lynch posted pictures and commented on Facebook.
“This year’s event is record-setting for our program and I am excited to say that for the 2022 Christmas year, we have served 357 area families with 1,004 individual children. This is an increase from last year’s event totals of 238 families with 689 children! Wharton County children are definitely smiling today,” he wrote.
Lynch thanked all those who were involved in the program.
“This event could not have come to fruition without the tireless hours from all of our volunteers and contributions from our generous donors,” he said. “This event requires an almost year-long preparation for it to be successful. Reaching out to donors, working with local businesses, organizing volunteers, yearlong shopping; it has morphed into a full logistical operation.
“Let me make one thing crystal clear. This is no longer just a Wharton Police Department project. The Blue Santa Program has become a community endeavor that so many people have become invested in. Times are tough and regardless of our current economic condition, our group is determined to ensure that our area children are provided for. Spreading love and smiles. To all of our donors, volunteers, community partners … we humbly thank you for helping make this program successful,” he wrote.
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