Christmas is a special time of year for children and that makes the Christmas season a challenge for some parents. Not every family has the opportunity to put gifts under a Christmas tree. This is why Operation Family Christmas was launched. And efforts to make everyone’s vacation happier are now underway.
The program gathers names of families who may need help from various social agencies, churches, and the community to make the holiday special. Another aspect of Operation Family Christmas this year is for organizers to ask families to share their needs.
Organizer Jes Rodne told WTIP that it should be easier and more efficient to match the needs of the gifts you buy. She said talking with family members about sizes, colors, and other preferences will ensure that the gifts under the tree have special meaning. The application deadline is November 24th.
Operation Family Christmas is still anonymous. To request this additional vacation aid and share the “wishlists” call the following organizers:
Jes Rodne 218-370-2019
Lena Santos 218-475-0113
Silvi Duclos 218-663-9255
Once the information is gathered, tags are created with general information about children hoping for a gift. People who wish to “adopt a child” can use a label with the child’s age, gender, and gift ideas.
The tags will be hung on decorated trees at the Grand Marais State Bank and Security State Bank in Grand Marais and the North Shore Federal Credit Union branch in Lutsen.
Operation Family Christmas is asking for gifts to be returned by December 14th. Gifts should be brought to the Cook County Community Center. Gifts shouldn’t be wrapped – organizers want parents to see what their child is getting and have the opportunity to wrap the gift themselves. Organizer Jes Rodne adds that wrapping paper or gift bags are also welcome as donations.
Other items such as grocery vouchers and other items that might make the family vacation more enjoyable are also accepted. Rodne also hopes to expand Operation Family Christmas to local seniors and residents of the local care center. For ideas on additional items, contact Jes Rodne at 218-370-2019 or email [email protected]
WTIP’s Rhonda Silence spoke to Jes Rodne as she began her seventh year as Santa’s Helper to learn why she’s still involved in Operation Family Christmas and how you can help make Christmas sweeter for children.