It’s off to a great start, but you can still help! This year’s two-day “Blue Santa” Toy Drive, sponsored by local business and industry, charitable organizations, law enforcement and media, yielded a successful report from Day One. A crew of volunteers accepted toys and donations from drive-ups while others cooked and served BBQ sack lunches and street tacos. At the end of the day, Lowe’s cooks had taken in $1,935. in donations and collectively had contributed $4,000 worth of toys. First responders and law enforcement gathered monetary donations, and with the first day’s BBQ Sandwich Sack Lunch, proceeds amounted to another $2,577 for Blue Santa needs. That’s a healthy start to fill an even greater need for Christmas 2018.
Set up on the Sulphur Springs Lowe’s parking lot on December 3rd and 4th, the Blue Santa drive is held from 7am til 7pm, and the trailer and barrels are being filled by persons who drive up and hand off their donations of new, unwrapped toys as well as monetary donations. Toys, games and personal/grooming items for children through age 16 are needed. Donations are being accepted there until 7pm on Tuesday December 4. (clothing needs are being filled by other local organizations)
Another way you can donate comes on Friday night Dec 7, 2018 during the Lions Club Christmas Parade. Starting at 7pm from Buford Park, bring unwrapped toys and find a place alongside the parade route. You can hand these off to first responders walking in the parade who will place them on the Blue Santa float. It is estimated that 5,000 to 6,000 toys will be needed for this Christmas season’s local needs. Some funds gathered in 2017 were used early this year to purchase large lots of popular toys at off-season prices, and were warehoused locally. Some bicycles were also purchased. Current monetary donations will be used in the same way for next year’s purchases. The Blue Santa mission is to provide toys for the children of local families in need, and achieves this goal with the generosity and goodwill of Hopkins County residents, businesses, and civic groups.
Toy and bicycle donations are being collected and sorted for Distribution Day, which is Saturday December 15 for local families who have signed up to receive Blue Santa blessings this Christmas. Distribution is a massive operation provided by teams of local volunteers and law enforcement, headquartered at Sulphur Springs First United Methodist Church.