Local law enforcement and emergency personnel hosted Operation Blue Santa for economically disadvantaged children in Aransas County Friday, Dec. 17 at the Rockport Wal-Mart, 2401 Business 35.
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 Rockport Police Department (RPD) Commander Larry Sinclair.
Emergency personnel participating in the event were from the RPD, Aransas County Sheriff’s Office, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), and the Aransas County Independent School District (ACISD) Police Department.
ACISD 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,” said Sinclair. “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 County, and the TPWD.