Santa Claus to Visit Kids at Elf Factory Saturday

By Sarah Naron

Messenger Reporter

PALESTINE – There’s still time to help make Christmas 2017 brighter for a child in need by donating a new, unopened toy to the Palestine Police Department’s toy drive, part of the department’s 5th annual Blue Santa program.

“We’ll be collecting donations until Dec. 20,” said Bernadette Capron, Community Liason for the Palestine PD.

According to Capron, those wishing to donate should bring their items to the Palestine PD.

“This year, we’re doing four different things,” Capron said of the program. “A couple of them, we do every year.”

Capron explained that the department will be continuing its tradition of having officers travel to the homes of underprivileged children in patrol cars to hand-deliver toys.

“We’re planning on delivering to 15 or 20 families,” she said. “We’re hoping to deliver on either that Friday or Saturday, the 22nd or 23rd.”

The children served by the program are residents of Anderson County. The PD works with the Children’s Advocacy Center of Anderson and Cherokee Counties to select the children who will receive gifts.

“We also have our bike program,” she divulged. “We give away bikes that are donated by Wal-Mart.”

In addition to delivering toys and bicycles to disadvantaged children in the county, the Palestine PD also plans to give one child a brighter place to lay her head.

“We’re decorating a room for a little girl that’s been abused,” Capron explained. “We have sponsors working to create a whole new environment for her.”

New to the Blue Santa lineup for this season is the Blue Santa’s Elf Factory, slated to take place at the Palestine YMCA on Saturday, Dec. 16 from 10a.m. to noon.

“It’s a free event; it’s family friendly,” said Capron. “We’ll be serving hot chocolate, donuts, cinammon rolls and coffee.”

The Jolly Old Elf himself will be on site for photo opportunities, and the event will also feature dance classes and book readings.

“We’re also going to do giveaways and show Christmas movies,” Capron went on.

Capron added that children attending the event are encouraged to do so in their pajamas. A deejay will be present to host a Pajama Jam for those interested in participating.

“We’re trying to get as many kids as possible to come,” Capron said of the event. “We know there’s not much to do before Christmas, and this seemed like a good way to give the kids something to do.”

According to Capron, the event is “starting small this year,” but the department hopes to see it grow in the years to come.

The Blue Santa’s Elf Factory will also provide an additional opportunity for individuals wishing to donate toys to do so.

For more information on the Blue Santa program, or if you are interested in providing assistance with Saturday’s event, contact Capron at 903-729-1635.

The Palestine Police Department is located at 511 N. John St. in Palestine.

Sarah Naron may be reached via email at snaron@messenger-news.com.