11/17/13 — Operation Santa Claus needs help

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Operation Santa Claus needs help

By From staff reports
Published in News on November 17, 2013 1:50 AM

The Mental Health Association in Wayne County is conducting its annual "Operation Santa Claus" drive to bring a brighter holiday to those living in facilities and often forgotten this time of year.

The MHA effort targets the elderly, those with mental illness and/or disability who live in local nursing homes and care facilities.

The goal is to collect basic necessities, such as clothing and personal hygiene products.

Each year, the association receives a "wish list" from the agencies, which include nursing homes and group homes, Cherry Hospital and O'Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center for those residents with no family or friends. The list includes shoes, clothing, toiletries and in some occasions, a toy, book or music. Monetary donations make it possible to shop for items requested.

This year the group hopes to serve approximately 300 residents and has set a goal of $6,000.

Volunteers are also needed -- to shop, wrap and deliver gifts.

Another effort is the blanket collection for the homeless, said Emily Peacock, Mental Health Association president.

"Goldsboro Police Department works with the Mental Health Association in Wayne County, and they say many of the homeless do not go to shelters even on the coldest nights," she said. "Through Operation Santa Claus, blankets are purchased and given to Goldsboro Police Department, for officers to distribute to the homeless."

Donations can also be made in honor or memory of another person, she said. In addition to providing for the needy, Operation Santa Claus will also send a Christmas card to the person in whose name the donation is made, she said.

Target date to receive contributions is Dec. 1.

Operation Santa Claus has been sponsored by Mental Health Association in Wayne County and other similar groups throughout North Carolina since 1960. For more information about this and other programs, visit www.mha-wc.org.

Tax deductible donations can be mailed to Operation Santa Claus, P.O. Box 1476, Goldsboro, N.C. 27533. To volunteer to shop, wrap and/or deliver gifts, contact the office at 919-734-3530 or email mhawc@att.net.