Thanksgiving is right around the corner and the Christmas season has already started to make its way into shop decorations, TV commercials, radio songs, and just about everything else. For some in our community, providing a special Christmas is not always easy or doable. That’s why Operation Christmas Hope is bringing the spirit of Christmas to these families… with your help!
Operation Christmas Hope (OCH) is dedicated to giving a special Christmas to local families and their children through donations of gifts. Founders Robert and Rebecca Fisher started the organization in 2016 with their hope to simply give Christmas to families in the community who do not have the means to provide gifts to their children. Operation Christmas Hope finds families to be “adopted” through The Child & Family Network Centers, a non-profit organization that provides free quality bi-lingual preschool and family support to those who fall below the poverty line in the Alexandria community.
In previous years, OHC organized, collected, and wrapped gifts for volunteer Santa Clauses to deliver to families on Christmas Eve and surprise the children at home. Wish lists are filled out for the whole family and about six to eight volunteers are assigned to each family. Wish list items range from toys and towels to food and bikes (one of the most popular wish list items from the children)!
In past years, OCH has hosted a gift-wrapping day where volunteers and their families can donate their time to help the organization prepare for the Christmas Eve delivery. This year, to keep social distancing and health considerations in mind, a gift card collection will be held to send to the parents of local families for them to purchase gifts for their own children before Christmas. Operation Christmas Hope has served 150 deserving families since 2016 and they plan to help 45 families this Christmas.
Interested in helping bring holiday cheer to Alexandria families? Operation Christmas Hope has organized an Amazon Wish List and Target Gift Registry that will ship gift cards directly to OCH to distribute to the 45 families. Gift card drives are encouraged to collect cards from Target, Giant Food, Amazon, and Visa for any amount to contribute to underprivileged families in Alexandria. OCH hopes to reach a goal of $15,000 worth of donations and gift cards. They have a soft deadline of the weekend after Thanksgiving to receive the cards in order to give them to parents for Christmas shopping. Next year, Operation Christmas Hope will continue their tradition of enlisting volunteers to wrap presents and participate as Santa to deliver the gifts.
This is such a great reminder that Christmas is for giving and not just getting. OCH believes in bringing the magic of Christmas to children and hopes to bring some holiday cheer to brighten up this challenging year. For more information about Operation Christmas Hope, visit their website, or follow them on Instagram and Facebook.