Madison fills Blue Santa's sleigh with hundreds of toys
Blue Santa and Stephen Swinny (Red Santa) hang out with the officers before packing up the toys.
Madison High School staff and students began to raise money for the San Antonio Police Department’s Blue Santa Toy Drive on Monday, Dec. 9, and in one week raised more than 1,300 toys for less fortunate children. The toy fundraising campaign was spearheaded by the campus Courtesy Committee led by Patricia Takas, English teacher, and Stephen Swinny, math teacher. On Dec. 13, Blue Santa himself along with SAPD officers visited the campus to pick up all the toys.
Swinny was so excited about the big event that he dressed up for the occasion, donning a red Santa suit and big white beard. “At first there was a slow turnout on Monday,” said Swinny. “But as we got closer to the due date, then suddenly it exploded and we had hundreds upon hundreds of toys coming in!”
SAPD’s Blue Santa program began in San Antonio in 1976 when officers from the Community Relations Unit adopted needy families at Christmas time. Back then, officers provided a few families with groceries for holiday dinner and presents for their children. This year, officers who have submitted nominations of needy children will deliver toy packages to more than 3,000 families.
“I feel so thrilled about this – I’m in my 29th year at Madison – and we always have great aspirations for these children and they have met those goals that we have set out for them,” said Swinny. “We are very fortunate to have such a fine bunch of children that go to school here at Madison High School.”
Amongst the 1,300 toys were tons of stuffed animals that kids will enjoy this Christmas.
Posted on December 13, 2013