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Looking for the Helpers: ‘Operation Santa’ grants wishes of kids in need

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SLO County Department of Social Services
Christmas wish of a local child in need

As our area is faced with ongoing changes due to a growing pandemic, we are bringing stories of people doing good in the community during a time of uncertainty.

Help us look for the helpers!

Operation Santa Grants Christmas Wishes

Many children in San Luis Obispo County are getting a little extra help this holiday season through a major community effort called 'Operation Santa'.

The San Luis Obispo County Department of Social Services is collaborating with various organizations and businesses to put up giving trees in various locations throughout San Luis Obispo County.

Trees are located at Target, Headstrong Fit and Seabreeze Cupcakes in San Luis Obispo, and Walmart in Arroyo Grande.

A closer look at these trees reveals cards - each with a Christmas wish from a local child in need that can be granted by donations from individuals or companies.

So far this season, 1200 wishes have been granted thanks to community donations and many more are expected.

Local companies are going above and beyond with their generosity for families that could really use the help this year.

Sylvesters Burgers is offering free burgers when you donate to kids in the community this holiday season. The company is hosting a gift card drive where people can bring in a $20+ gift card for Foster Youth, and in return, receive a free burger card.

'Operation Santa' has also received donations of stockings for Foster Youth from Grace Central Coast and the Women's Honor Farm.  Additionally, the San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Department has donated refurbished bikes for children.

The local business community has played a large part in fulfilling children's wishes, with some granting dozens of them.

Organizers would like to thank Pacific Premier Bank, Lopez Lake Store and Marina, Amazon, Alpha Electrical Service, The Studio Salon, Catherine Riedstra Insurance, Foss Farms, MGE, Stars Preschool, Coastal Christian School, Ted Hamm Insurance and Cold Canyon Landfill.

Several law enforcement and nonprofit groups are also involved with this effort, including the Sheriff's Department, Paso Robles Police Department, Morro Bay Police Department, San Luis Obispo Police Department, United Methodist Church in Arroyo Grande, Rita's Rainbows, French Hospital, Cal Poly Center for Service in Action, and the Elks in San Luis Obispo.

The organizers say this would not be possible without the tremendous support from everyone in the San Luis Obispo County community.

'Operation Santa' runs until Christmas and there are many wishes still waiting to be granted.

If anyone would like to donate or get involved in 'Operation Santa', please call Marge Castle at the Department of Social Services at 805-788-2575.  

Help is also needed for Foster Youth in San Luis Obispo County. To learn more information on how to get involved, click here.

Article Topic Follows: Community
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Genelle Padilla

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