Individuals and organizations driving the local Blue Santa Campaign have one major attribute in common; their sincere joy in making sure Christmas is bright with toys for the children of local families who are facing hard times financially. In Hopkins County, sign-ups to receive Christmas toys are going on at CANHelp, 613 Gilmer Street, during business hours. (Special late hours will be held Dec. 3-6) Families must reside in Hopkins County and must be parents of legal guardians of each of the children signing up, in addition to meeting income qualifications. According to Shanna Martin of CANHelp, already 250 children have been signed up, and she expects close to 1,000 names total by the time sign-ups close on December 7. That means Blue Santa may need 5,000-6,000 toys to distribute this Christmas for children age 0-16. How can you help?
For individuals and families, placing new toys in the blue barrels located in shopping areas is the easiest way. Your group, church or organization can pool funds to purchase toys or bicycles. And if you are an employee of a company or industry, you might assist through a group donation which can be matched by your company. Don’t forget, age-appropriate items for teens like music, personal electronics and grooming sets are always needed.
Attend the Blue Santa Toy Drive on the Lowe’s parking lot in Sulphur Springs on Monday December 3 and Tuesday December 4, from 7am til 7pm. Just drive up and hand your toys or personal checks to a member of law enforcement who will be on duty there. Or bring your donations to the night time Christmas Parade downtown Sulphur Springs on Friday December 7, and hand them to Sheriff’s Dept. volunteers walking in the parade. Another way that Blue Santa raises money for toys is through a Sack Lunch Sale on December 3 and 4 during lunchtimes. Brisket sandwiches prepared by CJ Duffey with chips and drink are just $5 each. Or you can order for delivery using a phone number listed on the Blue Santa Facebook page.
Blue Santa Distribution Day is Saturday December 15 through First United Methodist Church volunteers. And remember, you can help any time of the year, as monetary donations which arrive late will be earmarked for the 2019 Blue Santa campaign. Merry Christmas!