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Blue Santa to bring Christmas to Crossroads

By Bianca Montes
Dec. 10, 2013 at 6:10 a.m.
Updated Dec. 11, 2013 at 6:11 a.m.

Blue Santa, officer Jeff Parsons with the Victoria Police Department, pushes a shopping cart filled with toys Tuesday at H-E-B. The toys will benefit children with disabilities or developmental delays at Early Childhood Intervention.

Blue Santa parked his patrol car inside the H-E-B parking lot Tuesday evening and stormed the grocery store.

He needed toys. Fast.

Two small, blue elves carefully selected puzzles, books, blocks and other educational toys from the shelves, filling up shopping carts and laughing all the way.

While Santa and his helpers have spent the past couple of weeks collecting toys for children in the Crossroads, Tuesday's shopping excursion will benefit Early Childhood Intervention, a program assisting children with disabilities and developmental delays.

Supervisor Margaret Parsons said Early Childhood Intervention serves low-income families. The program serves 460 children in 12 surrounding counties, Parsons said.

"A lot of what we do is teach children how to play," Parsons said. "These toys will help enhance their development."

This will be the second year that Blue Santa has teamed up with the program. It's also the second year it teamed up with Toys for Tots.

"There are always people who need help during Christmastime," said Toys for Tots coordinator Mark Longoria.

"As the city grows, the needs grow," he said. "It was great that we can unite and do bigger things together."

The two groups also will pass out 9,000 additional toys to children at their annual distribution party Sunday. Children who've registered with the program can pick up a gift at the event, and all are welcome to enjoy games and a rideable train.

Free hot chocolate and cotton candy also will be available thanks to a sponsorship with H-E-B.

"It's a lot of fun for us to do as police officers," said police Detective Joseph Felan with the Victoria Police Department. "We do it because every child should have a Christmas."

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