By BRITTANY FHOLER
The Cove Blue Santa program has begun accepting applications for families in need starting Wednesday, November 15.
This program is open to children ages 15 and under. The application window is November 15, 17, 28 and 30th and December 4th, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. each of those days, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 18.
This year marks the 24th anniversary of the Cove Blue Santa, which has been operating in Copperas Cove since 1999 and is run purely by volunteers. The volunteers are tasked with making sure every business that wants a collection box has one, and they are also responsible for divvying up the donations out to the students in need.
“It is possible through the support of the community,” said Kathy McCain, with Cove Blue Santa.
McCain estimated that Cove Blue Santa will provide assistance to close to 600 or more children in the Copperas Cove and Pidcoke this holiday season. For those who live in Killeen, McCain recommends those individuals reach out to Bring Everyone in the Zone, while Kempner and Harker Heights Fire Departments each have their own program as well.
In order to help out those in need, there will be collection boxes located around the area. Locations include Quine & Associates, Inc. in Suite 200 of the Cove Terrace; Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce; Lil Tex ; the Copperas Cove Public Library; the Copperas Cove Fire Department main station; the Copperas Cove Police Department lobby; Hills of Cove Golf Course; Armadillo Properties; Bill French Jewelry; and 1st Title Company. After Thanksgiving, Cinergy Cinemas and 1st Texas Bank will begin their collections. Bealls and the Dollar General located on FM 2657 also offer merchandise that can be purchased and placed in their collection boxes.
Items that are welcomed for donation include new, unwrapped toys, games, puzzles, books and more for children aged 15 and under. Donations can be dropped off during the application windows.
The applicant must be the parent or guardian and must bring a photo ID to show who is filling out the application. To show that the child is in their household, the applicant can use either school documents, insurance cards or medical bills, or SNAP or WIC authorization letters are common ways to prove custody. A birth certificate or Social Security Card will not be accepted as proof of custody, according to McCain.
For more information, contact Cove Blue Santa at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their social media page at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100064778015906.