Blue Santa thanks volunteers, kicks off application season
Fri, 2015-11-20 12:37 News Staff
By DAVID J. HARDIN
Tuesday Night volunteers and staff of the Copperas Cove Blue Santa Program came together for a light reception, and it was also an opportunity for the charity to thank all of the hard working volunteers that help make Christmas brighter for many local area children and their families.
The mission of the charity is to annually assist families in need with providing Christmas toys for children between the ages of 0 and 16 years of age. Monetary and toy donations are received from dedicated community individuals, organizations, and annual fund raisers efforts.
The Blue Santa team works year round preparing for the giving season. Periodic fund raisers are held to raise awareness. September and October are the kickoff months for the program, and it includes calendar of events, inventory review, toy purchase and planning and making contacts with community partners. The dedicated officers of the Blue Santa organization are Vesna Codugan (President), Lana Kasten (Vice-President), Kelly Dix (Secretary), Kathy McCain (Treasurer).
Kelly Dix says that she has been a part of this program for over 15 years. She said generally they help around 500 area families each year. Last year they provided Christmas toys to over 600 families and their children.
“We provide two toys per child, and we match up those toys with a wish list that each child provides,” Dix said. “It takes many people to make this program successful.”
Ana Rojo has been a volunteer of the Blue Santa Program for over 5 years. She contributes art work, and prepares signs and posters that get disseminated throughout Copperas Cove. Ana adds that she gets a lot of joy in spreading Christmas cheer to children and families in need.
Upcoming Blue Santa events include the Tri County Toy Run which will be held on the first Sunday of December, collecting donations during the Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade, as well as the Copperas Cove Golf Association Blue Santa Tournament, held on the second Saturday of December.
The application process begins in mid November and is held at the Blue Santa Program headquarters, which is located at 338 Cove Terrace Shopping Center, Copperas Cove, next to Sherwin Williams. This process lasts two weeks. During this time contact is made with area representatives and the media informing the community that we are accepting applications for assistance. Collection boxes are placed throughout Copperas Cove and in local area businesses. Santa Sacks are completed by mid December, and families are allowed to pick up those sacks from the Blue Santa Headquarters.
For families seeking assistance who would like to submit applications can do so by visiting the Blue Santa Program Headquarters located at 338 Cove Terrace Shopping Center, next to Sherwin Williams. They can be reached at (254) 449-3944. Blue Santa also welcomes volunteers.
The Blue Santa Program helps provide Christmas gifts to children and families in need. The program was created in 1999 by a group of community volunteers who wanted to organize an event that would help provide Christmas gifts for children and families in need. A nationally recognized program, Blue Santa incorporates the help of many volunteers, local area businesses, and organizations like the Salvation Army, and the VFW. The Copperas Cove chapter began as a partnership with the Copperas Cove VFW, the Salvation Army, the City of Copperas Cove. Over the years this partnership has evolved into an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit entity operated by a board of officers.