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UTSA Heroes Lend San Antonio Children

a Holiday Helping Hand

(Dec. 12, 2017) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Department of Public Safety has received a $5,000 grant from Target for its annual Heroes & Helpers event. The program brings together local law enforcement and Target representatives to help in-need youth. The event will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Target store at 11311 Bandera Road in San Antonio. This is the first time San Antonio-area law enforcement has collaborated with Target for its Heroes & Helpers program.

“We are honored to partner with Target to assist in spreading Christmas joy,” said Gerald Lewis, UTSA associate vice president of public safety and chief of police. “This project gives the men and women of the UTSA Police Department the opportunity to assist our community and strengthen the relationship between law enforcement and the citizens we serve.”

“UTSA PD has worked with Adam Mendoza, Target executive team leader—assets protection, for several years with the UTSA National Night Out (NNO) event,” said UTSA Police Department’s Corporal Maranda Tupper. “UTSA PD has received Target Public Safety grants that helped make UTSA’s NNO a success. When we learned about the Heroes and Helpers grant, we immediately wanted to participate so we can build on our work with youth and their families.”  

Target is working with May Elementary, Carnahan Elementary, Garcia Middle School, Stinson Middle School and Brandeis High School to select 50 children to participate in the program.

On Saturday, Target will give each child $100 to purchase gifts for their family members. The children will pair up with an officer, who will chaperone the child when shopping for gifts. Police officers and Target employees will volunteer to wrap the gifts. The UTSA PD invites its own police officers to participate in the event.

For more information about the program and to volunteer, contact Taniesa Williams at or 210-281-5702 or Cpl. Maranda Tupper at

Learn more about the Target & BLUE program.

Want to donate toys for children here in San Antonio? Drop off new, unwrapped toys at the Toys for Tots donation station in the lobby of the CAR Building in West Campus now through December 14. Read more.