For the last 10 years, Operation Christmas Spirit has been supporting veterans and active duty military personnel by bringing the spirit of Christmas to their families.
With the slogan “Spreading the spirit of Christmas to those who served, asking for nothing in return,” Operation Christmas Spirit adopts over 150 families and fulfills their Christmas wish lists by providing gift cards to the families. This way, the families can still do their own shopping and ensure they get exactly what they want.
The program is put on by Operation Help a Hero (OHH) and also sponsors gifts and crafts at holiday parties for children.
This year, OHH has adopted more than 180 military families and is working to make Christmas wishes come true all across the country. The chosen families are identified as those in most need of assistance during the holidays or simply deserve a special ‘thank you.’
In a 2012 newspaper article in Orange County Register, Cpl. Eric Williams gush about how the program helped provide his three daughters with an unforgettable Christmas.
“I’m in shock that people out there would support us like this,” said Williams, who was part of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment. “They will have such a great Christmas. We don’t get to spoil them much; it’s nice now that we can.”
Founded by Cindy Farnum, Operation Christmas Spirit began at St. John’s School in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., in 2004. Farnum was a teacher at the time and she was able to help 20 families the first year. Another 60 families were adopted by community members.
The program has since exploded and now serves families nationwide by an all-volunteer staff.
The organization has a great need for gift card donations for the following products: groceries, gas, clothing, restaurants and toys.