Blue Santa wraps up season in Copperas Cove
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Blue Santa of Copperas Cove helped make the season brighter for 234 families in the Copperas Cove and Pidcoke area this year.
The initial application period ran from November 17 through the first week of December. The organization extended the application period to December 8, with distribution of the gifts occurring on December 11.
With a total of 234 families served, Blue Santa was able to provide gifts for a total of 586 children ages 15 and under.
To qualify for Blue Santa, applicants had to provide proof of residency for Copperas Cove or Pidcoke, a photo ID of the person applying who had to be the guardian/have custody of the child and proof of relationship to the child. Any family with children receiving government assistance, whether in the form of TANF, food stamps, Social Security Income, Medicaid or WIC, was eligible to fill out an application.
Blue Santa President Kathy McCain said that the organization took safety precautions while dealing with the participants and volunteers due to COVID-19, but they still helped a lot of families.
Even though the official day for distribution was December 11, McCain said Cove Blue Santa ended up helping 10 more families who missed the application deadline.
“I think it went wonderful,” McCain said. “The community really turned out in spades to support us and all, so we didn’t have to worry about donations or money to make it happen. My volunteer pool was a little bit smaller because of COVID, but we made it work.”
Local businesses that collected toys included Burke’s Outlet, Cinergy Cinemas and Dollar General. Other businesses provided monetary donations, such as First Texas Bank, which is the bank that Cove Blue Santa uses, in addition to having a collection bin. The Copperas Cove Walmart provided a grant to Cove Blue Santa as well, McCain said. Others who helped make this year’s Blue Santa successful include Quine & Associates, the Scottish Rite Club, Samoa i Texas Sunday School, Clear Creek Meadows, TriCounty Toy Run, Hills of Cove Golf Course, Lil’ Tex Restaurant, Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce, Copperas Cove Police Department, Unit 24 Motorcycle Group, Punishers Motorcycle Chapter, Kelvin and Cassandra Holt, Gary L. Moore and Cathy Koch, according to the Cove Blue Santa Facebook page.
“It’s always satisfying to know that you can assist someone,” McCain said. “You know that the economy is bad right now and that some of these people maybe would not normally reach out and ask for help, and some of them are like, ‘Hey, I plan to pay this forward when I get back on my feet,’ so they’re just very appreciative of what we can do for them.”
McCain said that any items donated after the distribution period will be saved for next year.
For more information on Cove Blue Santa, follow their Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.