With Christmas only one week away, today’s Feel Good Friday blog is all about spreading the Christmas spirit with… Operation Christmas Spirit.
It’s starts with Operation Help a Hero, a non-profit dedicated to the well-being and care of American military members and their families. One of their signature programs is Operation Christmas Spirit (OCS).
Now in its 17th year, OCS supports military families with holiday gratitude. This can take many forms including, “family "adoptions," single service member gifts, unit Christmas party support, volunteer opportunities, and toy collections for children of service members.”
The most important piece of this program is the family adoptions. In mid-November, families are vetted through unit nominations and/or applications for Christmas assistance. Once approved, they fill out a family wish list which is shared with the donors they are paired with. Gifts can be mailed, or collected at drive through pick up events, created for these socially distant times.
The focus is on families living in Southern California, the DC Metro Area, North Carolina, San Antonio, Colorado and Tampa. A note on the website indicates that as of December 5th, all the original families for this year have been adopted and the volunteers at OCS are now working their way through the waiting list and requesting online donations and gift cards.
If you’ve got a soft spot in your heart for all the single service members, who often get called to serve on Christmas so families can be together, you can support them too. OCS delivers surprise gift packages to those on duty on and around Christmas. No wish list to follow, anything you buy will be a surprise and a delight.
Other ways to get involved include hosting a toy drive or gift card collection. While toys are great for the kids, often families prefer gift cards they can use to buy gas, groceries, clothing and household goods. You can also volunteer or make a straight up donation and let the volunteers at OCS do the shopping for you.
Help spread the word of the good work being done by the volunteers at Operation Christmas Spirit by following Operation Help a Hero on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @OHHVolunteer.