10/24/04 — Operation Santa Claus preparations under way

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Operation Santa Claus preparations under way

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on October 24, 2004 2:08 AM

The mentally ill ...

The Mental Health Association in Wayne County is preparing for Operation Santa Claus, its annual effort to bring some holiday cheer to the mentally ill and others who might be forgotten.

The goal of Operation Santa Claus is to provide a new Christmas gift to people in nursing homes, group homes and institutions in Wayne County who have no family or friends, said Amy J. Roux, the association's executive director.

Volunteers began work on the project in September. MHAWC members and friends were contacted and asked to make a donation. The money collected will go directly, and only, to this project, Mrs. Roux said.

Organizations are being contacted and asked to list people who have no family or friends or who might be forgotten.

Community groups volunteer to shop for the gifts. An association volunteer will accompany them to the store. Purchases will be made with donations. The groups take the gifts home, wrap them and then deliver them at a designated time.

The project could not continue without both the financial and volunteer support of local residents, Mrs. Roux said. "It is through their kindness that this project can take place. ...

"This is a wonderful project that provides a great deal of happiness to those in our community who otherwise would not receive anything for Christmas."

Anyone who would like to make a donation, volunteer or participate in this project can call the Mental Health Association in Wayne County at 734-3530.