Operation Santa Claus
Copyright © 2007, Garden Ridge Lions Club, All Rights Reserved
Every Christmas Season, the Garden Ridge Lions provide Christmas meal
donations and children’s gifts to less fortunate families in the Garden Ridge area.
As is our annual tradition, the Garden Ridge Lions Club again distributed food baskets and toys this year to needy families in our local community. We start Operation Santa Claus in early November, sending out solicitation letters through our contacts in the local elementary schools, church members, social services and other sources to assist us in identifying deserving families that we may be able to serve during the holiday season. The night before delivery, Lions members, spouses, sons, daughters, and grandchildren helped sort the food baskets and toys for the recipient families. The next morning begins the delivery process to the homes of the needy. This year we selected 51 families consisting of 151 children. We spent $2,585 on food, at an average cost of a little over $50 per family; a great bang for our buck. This year our normal toy distribution company went out of business. In its place, we teamed up with Elf Louise, a local charity who provides thousands of free toys to children annually throughout the San Antonio community. Elf Louise provided us with free toys for most of the children on our list.
In addition, the Garden Ridge Women’s Club also donated toys, allowing us to provide gifts to the remaining children on our list. Between Elf Louise and the Women’s Club, we were able to provide two toys each to all 151 children. There were heartwarming stories of some of the hardships seen by our members and also heartfelt thanks they and our Club received for the food and gifts by the recipient families and children. It was well worth our time and effort; 1st Vice President John Mitzel, Operation Santa Claus Chairman.