Operation Santa Claus (OSC) and Senior Santa & Friends (SSF) annual gift drives are open through December 21, 2018
Orange County, Calif. (December 11, 2018) – The Operation Santa Claus and Senior Santa & Friends annual gift drives are currently collecting donations for children and seniors across the county, respectively.
Operation Santa Claus, which began as a small effort to meet the needs of a handful of children in 1962, has become a major event for the community. This program provides gifts and toys to children who are in foster care in Orange County as well as to children of disadvantaged families who are receiving services from the County of Orange. Last year, Operation Santa Claus distributed almost 42,000 toys/gifts to children in need. This would not be possible without the collaborative efforts of County of Orange employees, community-based organizations, businesses, and individuals in the community who play an important role in collecting toys.
“Operation Santa Claus and Senior Santa and Friends bring joy to our most vulnerable youth and seniors,” said First District Supervisor Andrew Do, Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “The tireless work of our volunteers and generosity of our donors help brighten the holiday season for so many Orange County families.”
The Operation Santa Claus program is coordinated by the County of Orange Social Services Agency (SSA) with support from community volunteers. Approximately 2,000 hours annually are donated by volunteers from County agencies and the community. These volunteers have been the backbone of Operation Santa Claus since its inception.
“This is my first year working with Operation Santa Claus as a volunteer, and my first time volunteering ever,” said Operation Santa Claus volunteer Fumiko Martinez. Ms. Martinez continued, “It means so much to realize I am playing a part to help children in need in my community, and it is heartwarming to see so many people coming together to help make the holidays special for them.”
In addition to Operation Santa Claus, SSA also runs Senior Santa & Friends. This program is geared toward providing gifts and special request items to low income elderly or severely disabled adults who are clients of SSA and/or the Orange County Health Care Agency.
Each year, SSA staff identifies clients who would benefit from having items such as household appliances, special medical equipment, nutritional supplements or clothing. Items received through Senior Santa & Friends help to make life easier, more comfortable and/or more independent. Last year, Senior Santa & Friends provided over 2,000 gifts and necessities to low-income seniors and adults with disabilities in Orange County. This was largely due to the efforts of volunteers and donations received from County employees, private companies, community-based organizations, and individuals who donate to Senior Santa & Friends annually.
Residents of Orange County can take part in Operation Santa Claus and Senior Santa & Friends by:
- Donating online at: ssa.ocgov.com/volunteer/donations/osc_donation and ssa.ocgov.com/volunteer/donations/sr_santa_donation
- Donating new and unwrapped toys at the collection boxes placed in many County buildings including every County Library throughout Orange County. In addition, Orange County residents may also drop off toys and other gifts at 1505 E. Warner Ave., Santa Ana, CA 92705. Please call 714-679-2438 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask about drop off times and locations.
- Displaying Angel tags on trees, bulletin boards, walls, etc. Angel Tags provide gift suggestions for a senior or child in need of a gift from “Santa.” Requests for tags may be emailed to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Operation Santa Claus, please call (714) 679-2438 or email OperationSantaClaus@ssa.ocgov.com.
And for more information about Senior Santa & Friends, please call (714) 825-3111 or e-mail Senior.Santa@ssa.ocgov.com.