The Rockport Police Department (RPD), in conjunction with other area law enforcement and public safety agencies, will be gathering at the Rockport Walmart at 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 20 for the annual Operation BLUE SANTA event. Operation BLUE SANTA allows for economically disadvantaged children from the Rockport area to come and “Shop with a Cop” and purchase holiday gifts for themselves, family members and special people in their lives.

The program came to Rockport in 2007 and has become a highlight for local law enforcement officers. “Many of these kids may not have much of a Christmas. Blue Santa gives us a chance to brighten up the holidays for them,” said RPD Commander Larry Sinclair.

Aransas County Independent School District counselors choose participants and there are about 150 children each year.

“It can be quite an emotional day as there are some children who chose to purchase groceries for the family rather than toys for themselves,” Sinclair said. “Then there’s the comic element of an officer trying to shepherd four kids and several overflowing baskets.”

The funds that support Operation BLUE SANTA come from various community groups and private individuals, as well as the officers themselves, who are associated with the RPD, Aransas County Sheriff’s Office, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Anyone interested in donating to Operation BLUE SANTA should contact Nikki Yarnall at the RPD at (361) 790-1101 or

Donations can also be made at the Rockport branch of Prosperity Bank, c/o BLUE SANTA.

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