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Austin police officers, volunteers deliver Operation Blue Santa gifts to families in need

KVUE-TV Austin logo KVUE-TV Austin 12/15/2018 Jenni Lee

Hundreds of Austin police officers got their families up extra early Saturday morning to get in line, load up their cars and go knock on strangers' doors.

Hundreds of strangers' doors.

They were delivering gifts for kids and families all over Central Texas as part of Operation Blue Santa.

The entire Austin community helps get these gifts for kids that might otherwise not receive any.

And since there simply aren't enough police officers to give them all out, APD asks for help from volunteers.

Overall, Operation Blue Santa helps a total of 4,500 families and as many as 15,000 to 20,000 kids.

"This really allows for that connection, for the police department to fulfill that service role that we play.to serve our community...So often we're seen in the enforcement role, and this really allows us to show the heart that we have as well."

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Operation Blue Santa was started back in the '70s by two APD officers when they saw families in the area without food or gifts. They started it out of their patrol car -- and it's only grown from there.

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