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The mission of the Austin Police Operation Blue Santa is to provide toys and food for families in need during the holiday season.

We can accomplish our mission only because of the goodwill and big hearts of Austin’s citizens, businesses, foundations and civic groups that support us each year.  Thank you Austin and surrounding communities!




  • To get the support and goodwill of Austin residents, businesses, foundations, and civic groups with generous contributions.

  • To provide families with food and toys for each child up to the age of 14

  • To have our volunteers deliver gift packages to selected families.

  • To also have the community and businesses adopt families.


Austin Police Operation Blue Santa is a 501(c)3  non-profit, community based corporation, governed by a board of directors and staffed by volunteers and employees of the Austin Police Department.  Support has been provided by the Austin Police Department, Austin Fire Department, Austin Energy, Austin Water, Austin Independent School District Police Department, area businesses, organizations, and the central Texas community.  This charitable outreach began in 1972 when two patrol officers realized that 20 families on their patrol beat would not have gifts or food for their children at Christmas. For years we provided each family a full holiday meal, complete with turkey/chicken and all the trimmings, and wrapped Christmas gifts  for each child up to the age of 14.  Our service began in 1972 with 20 needy families. This year we will easily serve over around 8,000 families and around 18,000 children. This is only possible because of the Austin citizens, businesses, civic groups, foundations and the community that supports us each year. Thank you, Austin!


In the Beginning

An interview with Ret. APD Lt. Ernie Hinkle - a founder of Austin Police Operation Blue Santa.

Retired Austin police officer and current Blue Santa board member , Scott Stephens , gives this written account of Blue Santa's origins.

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