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Longview police hand out 200 gift cards for Blue Santa program

Police spokesman officer Brandon Thornton said the department received an anonymous donation, which it used to pay for the gift cards.
Credit: Michael Cavazos - Longview News-Journal
Amina Roberson, 4, and Patrick Schooth, 1, visit with Longview officer Glenn Derr (Santa) during the Blue Santa shopping event.

LONGVIEW, Texas — Longview police officers spent time during the past week handing out gift cards in the city as part of the department’s Blue Santa program.

Police spokesman officer Brandon Thornton said the department received an anonymous donation, which it used to pay for the gift cards.

“Giving back to your community is a great way to stay connected to the community, seeing the officer in a non-enforcement role,” Thornton said.

Officers spent time Friday distributing the 200 cards and continued into this week in an effort to provide some assistance during the holiday season, selecting random people at various locations.

The Blue Santa program is known for its “Shop with a Cop” events. The local event on Dec. 6 through 8 served 343 children from about 140 families at Walmart off Loop 281 in Longview where children were given a $100 gift card to use. The program raised about $35,000 and benefited more than double the number of children in 2020.

Read more from our newspaper partners, the Longview News-Journal.