AUSTIN -- Thousands lined the streets of downtown Austin for Chuy's annual Children Giving to Children parade.
The festivities started at the State Capitol at 11th Street and Congress Avenue and headed south to Cesar Chavez Street. During the procession, all the floats stopped and volunteers picked up donated toys from families at the parade.
"We wanted to come down with the kids and show them how important it is to give back to the community and help people going through hard times this time of year," said Trent Patteson, who attended the parade with his daughter, Tessa, and son, Tanner.
Tessa and Tanner both brought presents for children in need.
The Austin Police Department's Operation Blue Santa Program later distributes all the donated toys. Forty years ago, four APD officers helped 20 children with gifts. Now the community-wide effort serves some 3,800 families, including 15,000 children.
"I was actually a recipient when I was little, so being able to give back and help with the kids is really cool," said parade volunteer Dustin Baker.
If you want to donate to Blue Santa or volunteer, call (512) 974-BLUE or visit the group's website.