ORANGE — Christmas is still approximately three months away, but, for those in need, its arrival is coming all too soon.
The Blue Santa program, sponsored by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, will begin accepting applications Monday, Oct. 1, for the coming holiday season for families who will need assistance for toys this Christmas. The deadline is 5 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 1.
“If it wasn’t for the Blue Santa program, a lot of children in Orange County would not have Christmas presents each year,” said Deputy John Badeaux with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
The Blue Santa program is for children ages 13 and younger. Parents or guardians applying for assistance must provide four documents, including a current utility bill, a birth certificate for each child, social security number for each child, and the drivers license or state ID number for each parent on the application.
Two copies of each required document is needed, as well as the original application form and a copy of the form. A set of documents must be attached to the original and copied application form.
Donation boxes will be placed at various businesses across Orange County starting in November. Only new toys still in original packaging will be accepted in the donation boxes for children from infant to age 13.
Cash donations are also accepted and are very useful.
“We try to get five gifts for each child to match their wish list,” Badeaux said. “We have a $20 limit per present. Cash donations help us purchase these gifts. Even if it is a $5 donation, it helps go toward a gift for a child. And we take all of the donations we can get.”
The Blue Santa toy giveaway will be held from 9 a.m. - noon, Saturday, Dec. 15, at the VFW Post 2775, 5303 N. 16th St. in Orange.
Visit www.ocsheriffsoffice.com for more information.