Now in its 27th year, the Gulfport Police Department’s Operation Santa is in full swing as it collects donations for local children from ages 0 to 10 years of age who qualify, said Francine Whitten, volunteer head elf. Unwrapped toy or cash donations can be made at the police department, 2401 53rd Street S., from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Friday, December 14. Members of the Gulfport Teen Council assist Whitten in purchasing age-appropriate toys, sorting donations and taking telephone calls from the Operation Santa hotline. For more information about how to apply for the program, call 727-893-1097 and leave a message. Pictured from left are, Connor Rowell, a 9th-grade Teen Council member; Police Chief Rob Vincent; Whitten; and, Katelyn Latragna, a 10th-grade Teen Council member. “So far, we have 58 families and 175 kids,” said Whitten on Friday, December 7.
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