Blue Santa program delivered smiles in squad cars

WDIO
Updated: December 22, 2020 06:42 PM
Created: December 22, 2020 04:42 PM

Sometimes Santa's helpers drive squad cars. On Tuesday, Officer Jim Forsyth and Chief Mike Tusken stopped by Elliot's house in Duluth. They had an armful of gifts for him.

"I picked out things for me and my cousin to play with, for me and my mom to play with," Elliot said. He's a 3rd grader at Myers-Wilkins Elementary.

He even got to open up one right away. It was a giant teddy bear, which will be a brother to his beloved Bear-Bear.

This was all made possible thanks to the Blue Santa program run by the Duluth Police Department. 

Generous donors like the Irving Community Club and Target made it possible to donate $10,000 worth of gift cards to Target and Super One. 50 families were able to buy food or toys and gifts.

"Usually we go shopping with the kids. But this year, because of the pandemic, we did the gift cards. Forsyth said, "Let's face it. It's tough times with COVID. Some people are out of work. If families had to choose presents or food, we were able to help them out with that this year. That's what keeps us doing this year after year."

Kids could order online, and have the gifts dropped off at their house. Elliot chose that route. And he was not disappointed. "Thank you!" he said.

Chief Tusken added this is the most heartwarming program they do all year. "If you can make a kid have joy in their hearts, it automatically brings parents joy."

In the 10 or so years they've been doing this, the department said this was the biggest dollar amount Blue Santa program yet.

If you'd like to donate to next year's, contact Officer Forsyth at: jforsyth@duluthmn.gov

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