By: Heaven Marquez
For the eighth consecutive year, the Pleasanton Police Department is hosting Blue Santa on December 18th, but due to COVID-19 things are a little different. Instead of having a big celebration, the Police Department is hosting a drive-by for those who need gifts on Christmas. Blue Santa is a program funded by the community to provide gifts to children in the Pleasanton city limits. Last year, Blue Santa received over 500 presents to give to 180 children and supplied around 60 families with gifts. “Every year we get a lot of families… who are in need of a little assistance,” said Patrol Sergeant Jessi Chia. “[Due to COVID] We definitely have more families in need this year.”
The pandemic has taken a toll on everyone in the community, whether it be in a business sense, or health issues, but the Police Department is still doing business as usual with the annual Blue Santa. Chief Ronald Sanchez stated, “That is our main focus-it’s the children… It’s very important to us that these children have a Christmas.” The Chief has said that every year, the Department averages at least 200 children that the Blue Santa will provide gifts to in the community.
Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, there will not be any festivities where people can wrap the gifts with the officers. “Usually, we collect all these bags of gifts and we have kind of like a wrapping party…and that’s going to be different this year, too,” sadly announced Sergeant Chia. “ [Now] We’re kind of wrapping them as we go.” The Department has adapted to the harsh pandemic and will carry on with helping the community like normal, and they are willing to take donations at the Station. Thank you to the Pleasanton Police Department for the very generous Blue Santa during this time, and be sure to donate if you’re able to. The staff from “The Quill” wish you a merry Christmas!