Operation Santa provides toys, necessities and food for families in need

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The holidays are just around the corner. The Prairie du Chien Jaycees elves are once again busy making preparations for their annual Operation Santa program. Last season, the Jaycees assisted over 150 Crawford County families in need.

Operation Santa provides families with toys (or Chamber bucks) for each child and a toothbrush, blanket, hat, mittens, scarf and either a coat or some new clothing. Each family also receives fresh apples and oranges, butter and free coupons for bread, milk and a ham. These items are free to families in need and help make the holidays a little brighter for them.

Operation Santa is only possible because of the generous donations the Jaycees receive from the community. This year, all non-perishable food collected will go directly to the food pantry for the families to pick up there during their monthly distribution.

How you can help
Any individuals, businesses or organizations interested in donating to Operation Santa may consider monetary donations to help with the cost of providing fresh food items, Chamber bucks and toys. Also, Operation Santa takes new, or like new, donations such as toys, dolls and clothing. Contact a member of the Jaycees or the organization directly at 326-2280 or pdcjaycees@yahoo.com to donate. Monetary contributions can be made payable to Prairie du Chien Jaycees Operation Santa and mailed to P.O. Box 341, Prairie du Chien, WI 53821.

Businesses may also participate in the program by creating and placing a donation box at their local location or contacting the Jaycees to get a pre-made box. Operation Santa labels are provided by the Jaycees as well. Donation boxes should be put out immediately and will be picked up on or before Friday, Dec. 4. If items come into businesses after that date, they should be taken to the Hoffman Hall basement on Monday, Dec. 7, between 6 and 7:30 p.m.

Families must sign up
Crawford County families in need must sign up to receive Operation Santa goods by Dec. 1 at the Couleecap Food Pantry in downtown Prairie du Chien. Pick-up times for families are Friday, Dec. 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 12, from 9 to 11 a.m. at Hoffman Hall.

The Jaycees coat, hat and mitten drive is Saturday, Nov. 21, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hoffman Hall during the Holiday Craft Fair.

For more information, contact the Jaycees at the phone or email above.

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