Blue Santa spreads Christmas joy to children (Video)
Dec. 17, 2011 at 6:17 a.m.
Updated Dec. 18, 2011 at 6:18 a.m.
Christmas came early for Avery and Justine Cuevas when the Victoria Police Department's Blue Santa Program brought them the only Christmas presents they would receive this year.
Six-year-old Justine and her 5-year-old brother, Avery, woke up early and watched at the window to see when Santa Claus would arrive, said their grandmother Angie Cuevas.
Justine skipped down the sidewalk in her red pajamas to welcome Santa Claus and his helpers - uniformed police officers and their families.
"I wish Santa could come every day," Justine said.
She watched as Santa delivered presents to some of her neighbors, waiting patiently for her turn.
Avery and Justine clasped Santa's hands for the walk back to his truck where he had presents for each of them.
"I love you, Santa Claus," Avery exclaimed.
Santa handed Justine a stuffed reindeer.
"I can't give them all away, I need them to deliver presents," Santa said.
Avery and Justine each received three presents and Santa helped them carry them back to their Fox Run apartment, where they live with their grandmother.
Cuevas told the children while they may not get exactly what they want for Christmas, they should be grateful because there are children who won't get any presents.
The Victoria Police Department Blue Santa program delivered toys to about 600 children in neighborhoods and apartment complexes across Victoria this year.
"The number of people we helped went up a lot," said senior patrol officer Shane Wallace, who organized the program this year. "It seems like every year is getting bigger and better. It is good we can help so many people, but it is sad there are so many who need the help."
When Santa arrived in one neighborhood, one of the parents was jumping up and down in the street to greet him.
"Seeing the happiness on the kids and parents' faces - that is what makes it all worth it," Wallace said.
Justine and Avery put their gifts under the Christmas tree, but less than five minutes later, excitement overcame them and they started ripping off the wrapping paper.
"Momma look! It's a Monster Truck!" Avery squealed as he opened his second present.
"Santa even knew how old I was," Justine said. "I got a tea cup piggy!"
As the children played with their new toys, their grandmother was in tears.
"I couldn't have gotten them anything this year - this is all they'll get," Cuevas said. "I think it's real nice that they do this for the kids. I'm happy someone cares for them."