Blue Santa has been making his rounds throughout Turlock, visiting with local children, families and senior adults. The Turlock Police Department started Operation Blue Santa in 2012 with the mission of providing toys and other donated items to families in need, while also providing holiday safety tips.
Blue Santa and his team of elves delivered toys and other items to 57 families this year, said Crime Prevention Officer Michelle Balacek, who spearheads the program.
Balacek said the best part of the program is delivering the presents: “When you walk into the house and see a Christmas tree and no presents and then you go put presents under the tree and see their faces light up.”
She also emphasized the importance of the relationships built between the police department and the community through Operation Blue Santa.
It’s not just the children who appreciate a visit from Blue Santa. On Friday, Santa made a stop at Paramount Court Senior Living facility. When Blue Santa asked one woman if he could give her a hug, she replied “you can have five hugs.” Along with numerous hugs, Blue Santa was met with waves, handshakes and even a harmonica serenade.