ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) - Giving back to in need or at-risk children and families in Abilene, the 3rd annual Abilene Operation Blue Santa event is preparing for the Christmas season.
On Saturday, Dec. 9th, Abilene Police Officers will pair up with children and their families to make sure they have Christmas gifts, food, toiletries and other household items that they are in need of.
The children selected for the program are recommended by teachers, school counselors and school resource advisors within the Abilene and Wylie Independent School Districts.
In 2016, one kindergartner, Briana, was able to participate in this event. Briana was paired up with Patrol Officer Catherine Eberhardt.
Briana was able to select toys, clothes and new shoes with her Blue Santa. Officer Eberhardt recalled that Briana was "excited about the toys, but she was more excited to have new shoes that wouldn't hurt her feet."
This event was humbling to Officer Eberhardt. Although she is used to daily interaction with families, most interactions tend to be through "tragic, emotional and sometimes hostile situations." The Abilene Operation Blue Santa provides a more positive interaction outside of tragedy. Officer Eberhardt says, "I felt that Operation Blue Santa was a great opportunity to positively impact a family."
The Operation Blue Santa event has seen great success over the past two years thanks to the generosity from the Abilene community. In 2016, 86 children and their families were able to benefit from the program. The steering committee is aiming to surpass this number and reach 100 children and families this year.
A few ways for the community to get involved with the event is through donation and purchase of raffle tickets.
To learn more on how to get involved, visit Abilene Blue Santa.
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