People who need a little extra help providing Christmas gifts for their children can apply next month for the Blue Santa program, which is the cooperative effort of local law enforcement, CANHelp and Empty Stocking.
Applications for Blue Santa will be distributed and collected starting Nov. 1 and continuing through Nov. 29, at CANHelp, located at 613 Gilmer St. CANHelp will be handling the application process, distributing and screening applications for compliance and providing a spreadsheet with the number of participants for each family to Empty Stocking.
Empty Stocking purchases and stores all toys during the year; the nonprofit organization is able to obtain toys durin g the year at low cost rates and purchase in bulk. Empty Stocking also secures the distribution location, coordinates toy movement between storage and distribution sites, organizes toys and volunteers, and conducts the Dec. 15 distribution.
Blue Santa (local law enforcement) has already started putting out the designated signature blue barrels in businesses, schools and other locations throughout the community to allow people to donate new toys for children of all ages. Blue Santa volunteers are responsible for collecting donations of toys and money as they come in, with all donations collected by Dec. 4.
Blue Santa also will conduct the annual toy and donation drive with STAR Country Dec. 2-3. This live radio broadcast allows people to donate toys, bikes or money to make sure all needs are met. Thousands of dollars and toys are donated during this time, with donors recognized on the radio. People, groups and businesses also challenge their peers and other agencies to match or meet their contribution to spur giving.
All enquiries for Christmas assistance should be referred to CANHelp starting Nov. 1.
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