Operation Blue Santa in need of delivery volunteers
For several thousand Austin families Santa is coming Saturday morning. Operation Blue Santa no longer needs toy donations but volunteers are still needed.
Rows of Blue Santa boxes filled with toys are stack nearly up to the ceiling at a southeast Austin warehouse.
Work crews spent Friday afternoon clearing areas to help prepare for the big event Saturday. With all the boxes sealed volunteers and team leaders are getting a chance to catch their breath.
"It's been like you're on an assembly line that's going as fast as it can," said Lt Brian Gruetzner
According to Blue Santa Spokesperson Joe Munoz, 3,500 boxes are now waiting for an early Christmas delivery.
"This is what it's all about, getting these things ready, these boxes ready for delivery and for those anxious children that are out there awaiting them."
Along with a box of toys, food packages are also being sent. Smaller families will get a chicken to cook, while larger families will receive a turkey. Blue Santa now needs extra volunteers to show up Saturday morning to make deliveries.
"The quicker we can get these out and with the help of the public the faster these kids can get the boxes in their hands," said Munoz.
Delivery caravans start heading out at 8 a.m. in the morning. Volunteer drivers can pick up boxes at the north- south and east police sub stations, as well as the main location on south industrial.
Clearing out the warehouse, moving all the boxes doesn't mean the job is done for all the volunteers with the organization, in fact, they're trying to pick up the slack in another situation.
The collapse of the Austin Christmas bureau left about a thousand families in need. The Blue Santa management team promised to step in. About 200 families have been adopted so far. They will not get a box of toys but gift cards.
"We'll be able to pick up the slack for all those families that are not adopted we are prepared and committed on part of the directors of operation blue Santa board of directors, we're committed to that and stand by our commitment," said Munoz.
Once both campaigns come to an end, extra food will sent to local food panties and additional toys will be stored to be used next year.
BLUE SANTA DRIVER DISTRIBUTION LOCATIONS:
*Note: please arrive before 8 a.m.
12425 Lamplight Village Ave
812 Springdale Road
404 Ralph Ablanedo Dr
4101 S. Industrial