A bright light has turned on once again for the holiday season as the Blue Santa of Cove organization held their kickoff party during the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce’s monthly mixer on Nov. 14. The event was a chance to come together for a great cause.

The even featured a visit from Blue Santa, while toys were donated into big boxes by local area businesses. Those businesses were able to take boxes back with them so that their patrons can make toy donations. Great food was provided by Raising Cane’s, Chick Fil-A, and Jersey Mike’s.

“Last year we served 685 children,” said Kathy McCain, who is part of the Blue Santa program. “That was composed of 336 families that we helped support (to) make it a very Merry Christmas for those children and their families.”

Troy Carter, associate pastor of Christian Freedom Ministries, was at the Blue Santa kickoff event.

“Blue Santa is a well put together organization,” Carter said. “This organization helps those who are in need during this time. I like supporting them, because they also help a lot of organizations throughout the year as well.”

Also attending was Young Miss Five Hills Angelica Torres.

“This is a great organization because they give gifts to kids who don’t have presents to open on Christmas,” Torres said. “The best part of this open house event is to be able to bring the gifts for the children.”

Blue Santa is a 501c3 non-profit organization that is celebrating its 20th year of collecting toys and monetary donations for children up to age 15. Qualifying families who in need of presents must live in the Copperas Cove or Pidcoke areas. Donations are made by generous members of the community and local businesses who give so that the children in our community who may not have a toy for Christmas can unwrap a present that will make them smile.

Anyone who wishes to apply for the program must meet certain eligibility requirements. Families receiving government assistance such as Social Security Income, Medicaid, WIC, TANF or food stamps are eligible if they can show proof of Copperas Cove or Pidcoke area residency and proof of that assistance.

Applications can only be made at the Blue Santa office, which is located at 212 Cove Terrace Shopping Center, next to the Dollar General Store.

The only date remaining for families to fill out applications is Monday, December 9, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and then again from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Those wishing to donate to the Blue Santa program will find boxes at the Copperas Cove Fire Department, Copperas Cove Police Department, the Copperas Cove Public Library and the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce and Visitors’ Bureau.

All donations must be made by Tuesday, Dec. 10.

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