The Turlock Police Department is continuing its tradition assisting local families, while providing holiday safety tips to all, through Operation Blue Santa.
The program was started in 2012 with the goal of gifting toys and donated items to children and families who need them most. From 2012-2018, Operation Blue Santa gave gifts to an average of 163 children and 82 families each year. Key components of the operation are school and home visits by Blue Santa and presentations on crime prevention and safety. It also relies heavily on volunteers to go out on shopping blitzs with the wish lists of families and gather for gift-wrapping sessions.
After budget and labor constraints put a halt to the program in 2019, Operation Blue Santa successfully returned in 2020 to help 60 underserved families and a total of 180 Turlock children, in spite of economic hardships brought on by COVID-19.
Though Blue Santa has already begun making deliveries this holiday season, community members can still help with monetary donations, store gift cards or donating blue wrapping paper, bows and tape.
For more information on how to help, contact TPD’s Crime Prevention Specialist Melanie Suffecool at 209-656-3153 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations can be brought to the Turlock Police Department at 244 N. Broadway, Turlock.