Wednesday, October 12, 2011
There’s no place like home for the holidays, but thousands of Wichita residents don’t have a place to call their own.
They turn to local organizations for help, and officials believe more people will be in need of a helping hand this holiday season.
“We served 12,854 people last year, of that 6,728 were children,” said David Dear, Wells Fargo Advisor and Operation Holiday spokesman. “We already know this year we will be helping 14,000 people.”
Inter-Faith Ministries’ Operation Holiday aims to help make the holidays brighter and less stressful for those in need. The organization is asking for food, clothing and cash donations. They hope to raise $350,000 and collect 100,000 non-perishable food items, 10,000 coats and 3,000 blankets over the next several weeks.
Through a partnership with U.S. Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots program, children 14 and under receive a gift.
“They gave us clothes, they gave the boys toys and food,” said Tesha Florence, Operation Holiday recipient. “It’s given me a safe environment and offered a lot of programs.”
Those looking for help will be able to apply online with Inter-Faith Ministriesstarting Nov. 7.
Donations can be dropped off at Wells Fargo and Bank of America branches through Dec. 17. Gently used coats and blankets will be accepted at any In the Bag Cleaners locations.
Monetary donations can be mailed to Inter-Faith Ministries, 829 N. Market, Wichita KS 67214.
The Operation Holiday distribution center, 800 E. 37th St. North will also take donations beginning Nov. 1. Dillons stores will collect food donations after Thanksgiving through Dec. 17.
This year marks Operation Holiday’s 51st year in Wichita.