For the last couple of weeks, Splendora Police Department has been crowded with bikes, toys and food donations in preparation for Blue Santa. In its third year, the Blue Santa event has grown in 2020 to help 200 local families in need.
“This year is six times bigger than it’s ever been. We have been blessed that a lot of people have contributed and brought forth a lot of gifts to help out people in need. This year, because of COVID-19, there is a lot of need. Some people have lost their jobs and those with unemployment might not be getting enough to cover everything,” said Splendora Police Chief Wally Wieghat.
On Friday, Dec. 18, the entrance to the police station looked like Santa’s workshop bicycles and bags of presents were carefully organized to distribute to the families.
Those who benefited from Blue Santa were carefully picked by Splendora ISD teachers and local churches. Police officers also provided the names of families in need of assistance.
“Local businesses have been super this year. They have helped us tremendously,” Wieghat said. “We are blessed that so many people have been so generous this year.”
Due to the generosity of the community, including the Splendora Police Association, no family was turned away, he added. Many families asked for assistance with Christmas presents for their children while others also requested food baskets.
“If we are short a bike or two, we make a couple of phone calls and make it happen. It was truly a community effort,” Wieghat said.
The chief thanked two of the department’s employees – Monica Enloe of Splendora and Tracey Walters of Tarkington – for organizing this year’s event. He is looking forward to the station returning to normal once the packages are distributed to the families.
“Our workout room, interrogation room and training room have been full of presents. We’ve had to just about tiptoe to get to the restrooms,” said Wieghat jokingly.