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Kyle cops give kids a kinder Christmas

Submitted Report

With holiday carols filling the air, about a dozen volunteers helped the Kyle Police Employee Association Blue Santa program last week. Officers and community members sorted and wrapped presents for children in the Kyle area. 

Officer Genevieve Natal is in her first year as Blue Santa coordinator. 

“We’re now in our fourth year,” Natal said. “Each year we help more than 100 children. We’ve helped up to 250 children in the past.” 

This year, Natal said the group already had 114 applications from 39 Kyle families. 

“About 40 or so of those will receive a new bicycle for Christmas,” she said, adding that if the same family applied for help last year and their children received bikes, they wouldn’t be on the list for a bike this year.

The officers, who all volunteer their time with Blue Santa, often dig into their own pockets and wallets to help make Christmas a little more special for children who otherwise may not have such a good holiday, Natal said. The Kyle Blue Santa program also provides holiday meals for truly needy families. 

Members of the Kyle Citizen Police Academy Alumni Association also volunteer and help with toys and gifts for the children, according to Natal. 

She added that Blue Santa received an overflow of toys the weekend before the wrapping party, including donations from several local businesses such as Sports Clips, Starbucks, Budget Rent-a-Car, Dollar General (on the west side), and the two karate dojos in Kyle. 

“It’s great to see the members of the community, including the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association and the Kyle Police Employees Association, working together to help take care of those in need during this holiday season,” Kyle Police Chief Jeff Barnett said after the wrapping party. “They represent Kyle’s wonderful spirit, and the unity of the police department and the community we serve.” 

Natal said the final tally for Blue Santa was 64 families and 186 children helped, with 44 of those receiving toys, bikes and food.

“Officers and police department employees donated six bikes and three scooters,” she said. “TrustTexas Bank donated two bikes.”

The “big give away” for families that turned in an application takes place Dec. 19.

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