COPPERAS COVE — The elves were busy in the Copperas Cove Blue Santa gift center Thursday giving away nearly $10,000 in toys, games and new clothing to more than 200 needy families including 400 children.

“Chief Shopping Elf” Kathy McCain, Blue Santa treasurer, said she did a lot of bargain shopping getting items as much as 70 percent off to stretch the organization’s donations from businesses, churches, clubs and individuals.

“I am tired of shopping,”

McCain said, laughing. “My red truck has been completely full of toys at least five times. I call it my red sleigh.”

Sonjia Cabiness, of Copperas Cove, picked up a large plastic bag of items that will fill her four children’s wish lists.

“I’m going to go home and leave the items in the car,” the single mother said. “Once the kids are asleep, I will sneak them into the house, wrap them and put them under the tree.”

This is Cabiness’ third time to get assistance from Blue Santa. She said she is dependent on the gift donations to have Christmas presents for her children.

Blue Santa volunteers distributed 95 percent of the toys on Thursday.

The remainder will be distributed today from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Blue Santa headquarters in the Cove Terrace Shopping Center next to Sherwin Williams.

Contact Wendy Sledd at or (254) 501-7476

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