The Austin Police Department hosted its Operation Blue Santa breakfast this morning. All proceeds will benefit the department’s Blue Santa initiative, which delivers hot meals and toys to underprivileged families each holiday season.
By all accounts it was a success: Police Chief Art Acevedo tweeted this afternoon that the event raised over $190,000. And Blue Santa can use all the help it can get.
Blue Santa announced last week that it would be picking up the slack for The Christmas Bureau of Austin and Travis County. The bureau had previously worked with Blue Santa and the Travis County Sheriffs' Office Brown Santa initiative, but has seemingly packed up its sled and skipped town.
With shuttered offices, disconnected phones and holiday cheer hanging in the balance, TV outlets have been all over allegations of misconduct at the bureau. KXAN has been following the unfolding Christmas Bureau saga.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott got in on the action too. This week, his office announced it was charging the Christmas Bureau and four of the organization’s current and past officials with “illegally soliciting charitable donations and misappropriating the funds that were donated to benefit needy Central Texas families.” He also froze the group’s assets, and issued restraining orders against past and current officials.
“Whether it’s a grinch or a convicted felon, the State won’t stand by while anyone steals Christmas away from deserving families in our community,” Abbott said in a statement.
Blue Santa will be making its deliveries to families Dec. 15.