Deadline approaching for holiday help from TCSO’s Brown Santa Program


AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s truly an event for the community by the community.

Whether you need a helping hand this year to make your family’s Christmas wishes come true or you’re just wanting to volunteer your time or money to lend a helping hand, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office’s Brown Santa could be just what you’re looking for. 

“We help out almost 2,000 families a year,” said Deputy Louis Moncivais.

The Brown Santa program distributes gift boxes filled with toys, books, puzzles and food items to families who apply.

“Anybody that lives in the county, rural areas of the county or outside the city limits of Austin, they can apply at any of our rural community centers,” Moncivais explained. 

The presents they get to gift come through donation drives. 

Saturday morning, people dropped off toys at Austin Park n’ Pizza’s special community event. Those toys are then wrapped and packed into boxes by volunteers.

“Everybody needs help from time to time, and it’s so good to give back,” said Carol Moreno.

Moreno was volunteering at the Brown Santa program’s warehouse Saturday evening. She said volunteering with families from her church is also an important learning opportunity for kids.

“They need to learn that everyday is blessing, and we have to be thankful for it,” Moreno said.

Earlier this week, the Sheriff’s Office was worried not as many people were applying to receive these boxes this year, but they told us Saturday, the response has picked up. 

“We know the need is out there. We’re ready to help them out,” Moncivais said. “They just need to let us know they need the help.”

The deadline to apply is Monday December 3. If you want to volunteer, you can email the Brown Santa organizers. 

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