Operation Blue Santa, Fill the Cruiser Toy Drive, collected toys for underprivileged kids in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, on November 28th, Black Friday, 2014. If you missed us at Walmart yesterday, you can still drop off a new, unwrapped toy at the Wheat Ridge Police Department at 7500 W 29th Ave, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 until December 9th, 2014.
It was a beautiful day for volunteering for such a worthy cause. The temperature reached a balmy 70 degrees so the shoppers at Walmart were cheerful and generous in their donations. Blue Santa and Police Officers along with us three Wheat Ridge Police Volunteers handed out candy canes as we collected the donated toys.
This was the 1st Annual Operation Blue Santa. It was a combined effort between the Wheat Ridge Police Department, Wheat Ridge Optimists Club, Wheat Ridge High School and Walmart at 3600 Youngfield in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Blue Santa has been participating in Christmas activities for many years. He's no stranger to young ones sitting on his lap telling him of their heart's desires.
This year one little guy even got to meet Santa for the first time. You can see his picture on the Wheat Ridge Police Department Facebook page. Every year Blue Santa always has a special story that tugs at his heart. A favorite story is the time he was at a Christmas party and before a little girl could sit on his lap, Santa was told that all she was going to ask for was for her daddy to come home for Christmas. Her daddy was serving in the military in Afghanistan. As it was her daddy was going to be home for Christmas but the family wanted Blue Santa to be the one to promise to bring him home. What a special Christmas blessing for Santa.
And it's not just the little ones that like to talk to Santa. Here is one of the volunteers, Helen, with Blue Santa.
With the lights on the police cruisers blinking in front of Walmart and Blue Santa sitting in his chair, it was an inviting opportunity to welcome Black Friday shoppers. Shy children carried their gifts to donate accepting their candy canes in return. Adults cheerfully chatted as they handed over their gifts. It was obvious the shoppers were having a wonderful time picking out gifts to pass on. Those of us collecting the presents marveled at the variety and fun we were gathering.
I would say that Operation Blue Santa was a huge success for the first year. Keep an ear tuned into the fun next year. I hope I'll see you there.