In the early 1970s, a Texas police department began a mission to be personal Santas for underprivileged children in their precinct. A few years later, they provided Santa Claus with a custom blue uniform as an official member of the law enforcement team.
Much like those early helpers, Santa also has a Blue Georgetown uniform and a brown Williamson County Sheriff’s uniform to work in parallel and make sure every family in the city or county will have gifts under the tree.
Santa has been visiting the Georgetown Police Department since the 1990s. He provides toys and clothing to more than 2,000 local children during the annual toy drive and distribution. You can see him arrive in style during the Georgetown Christmas Stroll, and he leaves bins and barrels for toy collection all over town until mid-December.
There are plenty of opportunities during the holiday season to meet Blue Santa and donate toys, which are sorted by an army of volunteers into age-appropriate groups and added to boxes for families who apply for assistance. Applications are available now, they require only proof of residency and the deadline to submit is December 1.
But, Blue Santa also provides support and assistance any time of year when families have fallen victim to fires or other home calamities, so he is happy to accept money or toy donations year-round. Checks to CPAAA Blue Santa may be sent to the Police Dept, c/o CPAAA Programs, 3500 D.B. Wood Rd, Georgetown, 78628.
For information about donation events and donations to Blue Santa, go to BlueSanta.Georgetown.org. Call (512) 930-2747.
Santa has been wearing his brown uniform at the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office for more than 25 years. His program there covers families in the county who do not live within specific city limits for other, similar programs. The program provides assistance to families living at or below poverty level guidelines or who have experienced a significant hardship during the year. Families with children up to age 17 receive toys, books, and other items to make Christmas merrier and positively impact families that, without Brown Santa assistance, will not have what some take for granted.
A Generous Nightmare Before Christmas
In 2008, former Williamson County Sheriff’s Office Detective Jeremy Brinkman came up with the idea to ‘haunt’ the old jail in downtown Georgetown and sell tickets. He got approval from the County Judge and a lot of people jumped on board right away. Today, the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department continues to host one of the region’s best haunted houses for two weekends in October to raise money for the Brown Santa program.
Brown Santa receives assistance and support from many different events and groups. Aside from the “Nightmare on Jail Hill”, you can meet Brown Santa at the Lighting of the Square ceremony on November 29, take photos, and donate toys to start the season. He is also the Grand Marshall of the teddy bear parade, during which students from Liberty Hill ISD shower him with toys that they purchased with their own money to donate to the Brown Santa program. As well, some of his biggest fans are the Blue Knights TX 30, the local chapter of a law enforcement motorcycle club who enjoy charity rides and host donation events across the county during the holiday season.
Applications for assistance are available now; please visit Wilco.org/BrownSanta for deadlines. If you’d like to give, you can donate toys or funds any time. If you want to volunteer, Santa will need many elves to sort and box the gifts purchased for the program. Email BrownSantaWilco@gmail.com for volunteer opportunities and dates.