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Blue Santa in need of donations

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Christmas is fast approaching and tens of thousands of families need your help. Blue Santa needs toys, lots of them, especially for teens and infants.

Santa's helpers are busy, wrapping gifts and stuffing boxes, but pretty soon, there might not be any more presents to load up for delivery.

"Toy wise...we're at about 10 percent," said Joe Munoz with the Austin Police Department and Operation Blue Santa. "We're about three events behind on donations."

Each year the non-profit organization supplies Christmas dinner and toys to about 15,000 Austinites.

Munoz said, "Without the Christmas Bureau's current leadership, we're gonna go ahead and do their duties and make sure that those 6,000 individuals are met."

Christmas is less than a month away and now they need gifts for 6,000 more people.

"Our recommendation is do not donate to the Christmas Bureau right now," said Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo,

The strong message to the community comes after several red flags concerning the Christmas Bureau President, Shon Washington, surfaced like his recent arrest and detention for possession of crystal meth and his claim to have less than $200 in the charity's bank account.

Acevedo said, "Not to say there has been any criminal misconduct but the only way we'll find out is to launch a very thorough exhausted investigation."

Munoz added, "We have no ill will towards the Christmas Bureau. We have some concerns about their current leadership. That will come out later."

Blue Santa needs toys and money to help service the additional Christmas Bureau applicants.

"Single parent with a child and the elderly, those are what the Christmas Bureau normally takes," explained Munoz. "Families can come in and adopt a family and that's how they can get serviced...the other way is those that aren't adopted are given a gift certificate or a voucher."

Cash donations will go a long way.

"A normal individual that's going to purchase a toy, pays that one price, the retail price...we can buy two, up to three toys for the same price," Munoz said.

They're asking the community for help, so they can continue making Christmas wishes come true.

Donations are accepted here at APD headquarters, the Blue Santa warehouse or any fire station in town.

If you or your family needs help, you have until Nov. 30 at 5 p.m. That's when applications get picked up.

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