Children in Alton were dreaming of a blue Christmas on Wednesday after local law enforcement handed out some holiday cheer in the form of a toy giveaway.
Neighborhood by neighborhood, the Alton Police Department delivered to children thousands of toys collected from two community drives for the annual Blue Santa event.
Blue Santa himself was there to help distribute the gifts and greet the families.
“It was wonderful to get out into the community and spread some holiday cheer,” Alton Police Chief Jonathan B. Flores said in a news release Thursday.
The chief credited those who donated and said the children who received toys Wednesday “were all smiles and extremely happy” as a result of the efforts.
“This is what it is all about,” Flores added.
The Alton Fire Department also participated in the toy giveaway in addition to the police and local Crimestoppers.
The drives from which the toys were collected for the giveaway were conducted by the Crimestoppers and by the family of the late Brandon Tadeo Alvarez, a child who was sworn in as an honorary Alton police captain — his dream — at the age of 9 before dying of cancer in May 2019.