Every day, when they put on the badge, police officers try to make the city of San Antonio a safer, better place to live. They are members of the San Antonio Police Officer’s Association (SAPOA) and proud public servants, so their duty to make a difference in the community, carries on, even when the badge comes off.

Police officer’s constantly see low income families struggling to provide their children with a happy and healthy childhood. That’s why there’s the San Antonio Police Officer’s Association’s benefit fund, Blue Cares. Two of the oldest and most successful Blue Cares programs are The Blue Santa Program and Project CJ.

Blue Santa was created to address the financial hardships families face during the holidays. Since 1976, Blue Santa has been working with local companies and volunteers to collect food, toys, clothes, and monetary donations. Then, every December, Blue Santa and his volunteer elves go out and deliver these gifts to children and families throughout this city.

Project CJ is another great program that serves students attending Title 1 Elementary schools. Most of these students are enrolled in the free and reduced lunch programs, so on weekends when there is not a school cafeteria available, some might miss a meal or two. Teaming up with Harris Dailey-Wells, police officers deliver delicious snack packs every Thursday for students to take home for the weekend. Project CJ even makes sure that extra snack packs are sent home for siblings too young to attend school.

In addition to these two great programs, Blue Cares also provides financial assistance for young people’s college career, because they believe if a student has the potential and desire they should not let financial hardship stand in the way. The Blue Cares scholarship was established in memory of Officer Patricia Calderon, the first female officer killed in the line of duty. This scholarship provides deserving high school graduates with financial assistance in the name of all officers killed in the line of duty.

Every one of these programs is supported by three annual fundraising events: the Sporting Clay Shoot, Casino Night, and the Blue Santa Golf Tournament. Aside from hosting these events, the real satisfaction comes from the great things these programs make possible.

Police officers are an integral part of our community and the San Antonio Police Officer’s Organization is committed to being there for them so they can be there for you. If you want to help or for more information, please call (210) 822-4428 or visit sapoa.org/bluecares.