Operation Santa is underway at Della Lamb Community Services, and donations are still being accepted. This project will serve over 1,000 low-income families, giving them all the items needed for a full Christmas. Families will receive toys, socks, sweatsuits, a filled stocking, hats, scarves, and all the food for a Christmas dinner.
Volunteers lined up to help walk the guests through the rows of toys as they shopped for their families, carried bags, set up and organized items, stuffed bags with food, and provided warm smiles to residents as they walked through the doors.
Operation Santa will run December 7th and 8th as well as December 11th and 12th. Families signed up in advance to be approved to receive gifts, and will go home with bags full of Christmas items.
Judy Akers, Executive Vice President with Della Lamb says donations are still being accepted. Financial contributions of $50 can cover a family’s entire Christmas, including toys, clothing items and food.
“When the family starts with us, they have zero,” said Akers. “When they end their shopping experience, they’ve got the elderly covered, they’ve got meat, potatoes, groceries, toys for the little ones, and new clothing, so when they leave, they’re leaving with a complete Christmas. It really is the best expense, if you had to spend $50, it’s the best way to spend it during the holiday season.
The residents were able to walk along the rows of toys and items, picking and choosing what they would like to fill their bags with. Each child is able to receive one large toy, one small toy, a storybook, a filled stocking, a sweat-suit, a pair of socks, underwear, gloves and a hat. Moms and dads are given items as well, and the family will receive all the food needed for a Christmas dinner.
“It enables the families to take the items home as if they had shopped for them themselves, and it preserves the family’s ability to enable themselves,” said Akers.
Liza Kemna with North American Savings Bank said this is her first year volunteering at Operation Santa, and is really enjoying the experience.
“We just wanted to get out in the community and see the people and help where we can during the christmas season. It’s great to see the people and help them get the necessities they need for Christmas,” she said.