HOUSTON – Dec. 14, 2020 – The Spring Independent School District Police Department is bringing holiday cheer and giving back to 30 middle and high school students on Friday, Dec. 18 during their first Blue Santa Project.
The mission of the Blue Santa Project is to provide assistance during the Christmas season to disadvantaged students and families in the Spring ISD community. The program is funded entirely by donations from Spring ISD police officers, community sponsors and partners. District officers and Spring ISD school counselors will select and identify disadvantaged families to participate.
“This is our first initial year, so we are sponsoring a total of 30 kids, which is our goal,” said Spring ISD Police Chaplain John Goodman. “I believe we’ve done a pretty good job from August until now with raising funds. We’ve had an overwhelming amount of support from the community.”
The program is one of several new initiatives under the police department’s flagship Dream Makers Project — a districtwide student leadership and mentoring program designed to encourage and reward students for acts that increase the quality of life on their campuses and within their communities. Through the Dream Makers program, the Spring ISD Police Department believes they and others can help support the positive development of students by improving self-esteem and reducing delinquent acts.
“We are looking forward to adding more donors for next year and double the number of students we’re sponsoring,” said Goodman, who says more than $5,000 was raised for Blue Santa. “I’m still receiving phone calls from businesses and individuals who want to donate.”
Spring ISD Chief of Police Ken Culbreath was challenged by neighboring district Klein ISD Chief of Police David Kimberly after teaming up for Klein ISD’s annual Holiday Heroes program last December. Culbreath accepted the challenge for Spring ISD to host its own holiday event this year, in which he says he specifically wanted to highlight the department’s 30 years of service to the community.
“You’ll see that Blue Santa really touches our middle school and high school kids because those are the ones where the older they get, they lose Christmas,” said Culbreath. “If parents can’t afford it, they usually sacrifice for the little ones, so we want to make sure our older kids are in the right spirit as they move forward.”
Each student selected in the program will partner up with a Spring ISD police officer to receive $150 towards a shopping spree at Academy Sports + Outdoors. Once the event wraps up, the department will begin working towards additional Dream Makers programs throughout the school year, including a grant-funded Leadership Academy Program through the Texas Municipal Police Association (TMPA), S.O.A.R. Awards Program, “When I Grow-Up” partnership and Spring ISD Police Literacy Initiative.
“We really want the community to see the great things that the Spring ISD Police Department is doing,” said Spring ISD Police Public Information Officer Max Toliver. “One of the things about the Dream Makers Project that is so important is about relationship-building. If we can let our kids see that officers are human while building those relationships with our students, we hope to keep them out of [trouble] and they can trust law enforcement.”
Special thanks to the Spring ISD Blue Santa Project sponsors: Planet Ford, Gillman Subaru, Chacon Autos, MAACO Paint & Body, Next Level Auto Sales, Milstead Automotive, North Freeway Honda, Graces’ Nutrition, Nexcar, Maroney Auto Sales, Christian Brothers Automotive, The Lipton Agency, Southern Q BBQ, Bayside Printing Inc., Milstead Collision, PRN, Don Auto World, Amigo Service Auto Insurance, Kustom Kar Stereo, Tax & Bookkeeping Pros, and Philip Moore.