Cowley College criminal justice students will sponsor a drive to assist Blue Santa from now until Dec. 9.

Cowley CollegeOperation Blue Santa is a Winfield Police Department program that collects items for families in need, then uses officers and citizen volunteers to distribute them to the families prior to Christmas.

This program helps the community in two ways.

First, and most important, it helps to provide much-needed items to families in need and assists children who otherwise might not have much for Christmas.

Last year, the program was able to assist 44 area children in having a happy holiday.

Second, it helps to promote positive community relations between law enforcement and the broader community.

Criminal justice students seek unopened toys for either boys or girls, gift cards to local establishments, and monetary donations. There are two ways to contribute to Blue Santa.

First, donations can be brought to the collection point at Ireland Hall between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. any day that classes are in session. Second, donations may be given directly to any criminal justice student, who will bring it to Ireland Hall.

Donations need to be made prior to 4 p.m. Dec. 9. For questions about the program or donations, call instructor Frank Owens at (620) 441-5285.

This information was provided by Cowley College Director of Institutional Communications and Public Relations Rama Peroo.