(Seguin) -- Tis the season for Blue Santa. Families wanting to make it onto Blue Santa's list this year are encouraged to apply now. The Seguin Police Department Blue Santa Program is gearing up for another season of making sure all kids find that special something under the Christmas tree. The program assist kids from zero to 12 years old in Seguin and Guadalupe County.
Officer Hope Vasquez, who also serves as Blue Santa's top elf, says applications are encouraged to be filled out and turned in as soon as possible. Vasquez says mother nature will definitely play a hand in this year's growing list for assistance. She says the community reports many new families living in this area -- families that had to relocate due to Hurricane Harvey and other emergencies this past year.
"We want to make sure that we reach out to those families that right now they're not thinking about Christmas gifts for the children because they're trying to get back on their feet. We definitely want to help them and of course also all the other families here from Guadalupe County and Seguin that are also having trouble because they might affect them as well. We may be having families out there as well. I would like to make sure that these people understand that we do want to help you. We are out here. We do have several locations they can go and apply. All they have to do is bring their current photo I.D. and any other documentation that confirms they are receiving some assistance from the government or if they're not receiving assistance, but they still meet the standards for the household income guidelines. We definitely want to help them as well," said Vasquez.
While some will fill out applications, others are reminded to give to the program this year. Vasquez says donation bins should have already been delivered to local businesses including the lobby of Seguin Radio KWED. She says each application will require the community's donation of a new toy or gift. She says after several years of soliciting $10 toys, the program has also officially increased that price limit to $15-$20.
"We'll be getting those boxes ready. We want to make sure that we have them in place before Black Friday so people can get the opportunity to also buy a toy for our children. We are asking like always, there's always a need for our zero to two children age group, all our little ones, our toddlers. Also, the older kids are always hard to shop for, of course the prices of toys go up a little bit higher. Now, we're asking for $15 to $20 gifts, because $10, we look for game boards and sometimes, it's difficult to even find a game board at $10. I do shop around and I do look at prices. I do see them and they are pretty actually more expensive than the year before. We haven't moved from that (price) bracket as well. We've been in this bracket for almost 10 years -- $10 value toys. Now, our $10 is not letting us get what we need so we have to move to a higher bracket," said Vasquez.
In addition to toys and gifts, Blue Santa is also reminding donors of other necessary items such as tape, scissors, wrapping paper, bows, gift tags and batteries. She says many of these donations can even perhaps be leftovers from last year.
"Besides toys, we also need supplies. The only supplies that I can see right now that I'm going through the things from Blue Santa is Scotch Tape. Scotch Tape can be expensive as well and we don't have enough Scotch Tape. Again, if you go shopping around and you buy some Scotch Tape for yourself -- if you can just buy an extra one for us as well. Like I said, going back with the toys, it can be for boys and girls, unisex toys could be game boards or something for the girls or something for the boys, but we definitely need them for both sexes," said Vasquez.
Applications are available at various locations including the Seguin Police Department and the Guadalupe County Sheriff's Office. The deadline to submit an application is 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 12. Toy donations and gift materials can also be dropped off at Seguin Radio KWED located at 609 E. Court St.
Blue Santa Application Locations
Seguin Police Department
Seguin ISD- District Office
Guadalupe County Sheriff Office
Seguin Housing Authority
Ball Childhood Center
Guadalupe Co. Head Start Prog.
Family Life Center
Seguin Community Council
Centro Esperanza [Redwood Area]