BLYTHE - Over 80 representatives from local law enforcement, fire and medical agencies took 100 valley children on a $110 Kmart shopping spree during the 2nd Annual Civil Servants for Santa on Saturday. The 100 children, whose names were received by referrals from their schools or a county agency, started their day at Joe Wine Blythe Recreation Center, where they received their name badges and greeted Santa Claus, who arrived by helicopter.
The kids then boarded buses provided by Desert Roadrunner and caravanned to Kmart where they collected their spending vouchers and partnered with a civil servant who took them into the store to shop for the Christmas presents of their choice.
Kmart provided customer service representatives to aid in the event in addition to snacks and beverages for the shoppers after they were finished.
The buses then transported the children and their purchases back to the rec center, where the event ended.
Chuckawalla Valley State Prison and Ironwood State Prison spearheaded the event in collaboration with the California Highway Patrol-Blythe Area, the Riverside County Sheriff's Office, the Blythe Police Department, CAL Fire, the city of Blythe Fire Department, Blythe Ambulance and Palo Verde Hospital.
"It is events and times like this that make Christmas exciting," said CVSP Acting Warden A.M. Gonzalez. "It is all about giving back."