AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Police Department will once again hand out toys and food to families in need as a part of Operation Blue Santa.
The toy drive started back in 1972 by two police officers who realized some families in Austin would not have food or gifts to give their children for Christmas. Retired Austin Police Detective Mike Sheffield and Santa’s helper Monique Romero-Green, with Austin Super-Shuttle, joined us in the KXAN studio with details on how you can help.
“Our mission is to collect toys and food for Austin families in need during the holiday season. We collect over 20,000 toys for 5,000 families — huge growth since 1972,” said Sheffield. “We’ll collect until Dec. 10 and then thousands of volunteers come together for delivery on Saturday, Dec. 17.”
The Super-Shuttle at the Austin airport is also helping out this year. When you ride to the airport, you can leave a new or unwrapped toy with your Super-Shuttle van or ExecuCar driver.
“We will make sure it gets to the Blue Santa warehouses. If you’re not traveling this year, Austin fire stations are donation sites. We do weekly pick-ups at around town to get all the toys from fire stations to the Blue Santa warehouse,” said Green. “SuperShuttle Austin owner, Billy Carter, is on the board and the company steps up to do more and more each year.”