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Groves Police team with PNG students, volunteers to brighten Christmas for 50 families in need

The Groves Police Department is getting ready to make Christmas a bit merrier for approximately 50 local families through the Blue Santa program.

Catalina Dumesnil, left, and Kaitlyn Abshire shop for gifts for children for the Groves Police Department’s Blue Santa program. (Mary Meaux/The News)

Det. Aaron Tabor, who is heading up Blue Santa, along with students from Port Neches-Groves High School’s Key Club and National Honor Society and adult volunteers gathered Tuesday at Walmart on Twin City Highway before setting out to choose the gifts.

Armed with a shopping list and instructions, the group branched off and began their task.

Students Sai Gelivi and Elaine Yang understood the reasons behind the gift giving.

Yang said this year, especially with COVID, some families are not able to buy gifts.

Gelivi said they want to do as much as they can to make this a good Christmas for the families.

They both want to bring joy to others.

Simone and Alex Dosdall, left, Leila Tabor, center and her father, Groves Det. Aaron Tabor stop for a quick photo before shopping as part of the Santa program. (Mary Meaux/The News)

A few aisles down Catalina Dumesnil and Kaitlyn Abshire were looking at their list and picking out a bicycle while, elsewhere, Jason Adams was checking the price on a Hot Wheels race track.

Jessica Pardue, National Honor Society sponsor, said she’s proud of the students for stepping up and helping out.

Approximately 50 of the high school students took part in the shopping on Tuesday.

Tabor said the Blue Santa program is not possible without the sponsors who graciously donated toward the program, which is about $17,000.

Students from the high school will also wrap the gifts next week and a blue clad Santa will bring the festive cheer when the gifts are delivered.

Some of the families taking part in the program also asked for food baskets.

They will receive fried turkeys from Larry’s French Market and side dishes prepared by Karen Theis of The Courtyard Café. The participating family will only need to heat-up the meal on Christmas.

In previous years Grove Police worked with the Beaumont Police Department’s Blue Santa program but are now able to help more families in Groves.

Tabor said it feels great to be helping the community and called the program truly rewarding.

Jason Adams, a Port Neches-Groves High School student, checks the price of a Hot Wheels race track while shopping for gifts for the Groves Police Department’s Blue Santa program.

Port Neches-Groves High School student Sai Gelivi shops for gifts for children in need.