By Dave Rogers
For The Record

All the hard work comes to fruition Saturday, Dec. 17, for all those working behind the scenes in Orange County’s Blue Santa program.
Blue Santa is a community assistance program organized by the Sheriff’s Office and numerous community volunteers. Their goal is to provided holiday gifts for underprivileged children in Orange County.
Deputy John Badeaux, Blue Santa coordinator, said their year the organization is providing for 209 families that include 443 underprivileged children.
Donations from the Cowboy Church, DuPont, Wells Fargo and others left Badeaux and his volunteers shopping for about 350 kids last Saturday at Walmarts in Bridge City and Orange.
Sheriff Keith Merritt had the list and was checking it twice as he tied up each family’s bag of new toys.
Those volunteers will meet up again Saturday morning at the VFW on Highway 87 North and begin giving parents bags filled with gifts specially chosen for their children. Next stop for the gifts is under the Christmas tree.
“The bags are sealed,” Badeaux said. “We give them wrapping paper, so they can wrap the presents.”
Santa Claus will also be on hand, and so while parents are going through the gift pickup process, children can tell Santa their Christmas wishes.
The Blue Santa group is still accepting donations, Badeaux said. He can be reached at 409-882-7917.