This year, Dropoff participated in Operation Blue Santa through the Austin Police Department. Its mission is to provide toys and food for families in need during the Holiday Season. The community-based non-profit began in 1972 when two patrol officers realized that some families on their patrol beat didn’t have gifts or food for their children at Christmas.
Each year, families are provided with a full holiday meal – complete with turkey and all the trimmings – and wrapped gifts for each child under age 14. The service began with approximately 20 families, and this year it will serve over 5,000! According to their website, it’s only possible because of the goodwill and big hearts of Austin’s citizens, businesses, and civic groups that support them each year.
Dropoff sponsored four families’ holiday celebrations this year. It was a humbling experience and every member of the Dropoff team contributed to the cause in some way — from speaking with the families to understand their needs and the items on their kids’ wish lists, to shopping for the presents and wrapping them, to delivering them in-person.
Members of the Dropoff Team also made personal donations and reached out to local businesses for donations based on the families’ specific interests. Among these were: a baseball signed by Jeff Kent and a professional Birdman Bat for a talented athlete who can now join his school’s team for the first time; tickets to a comedy show; a gift card for a young boy who is passionate about learning sign language to a restaurant where orders are placed through signing; and a set of wrestling action figures and a toy ring for a young boy who who loves the sport! None of this would have been possible without the support of local businesses and tireless efforts from Dropoff team members to ensure the families have memorable holidays.
One receiving family member in particular said, “Without you guys, we wouldn’t have a Christmas.” We’re proud to support this cause and give back to the community we call home.
Thank you to the Austin Police Department for developing this program to provide assistance to and share holiday joy with the less fortunate residents of Austin.