Helping Families in Need – “Operation Santa”

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As much as we all wish for a bright and cheery holiday season, the reality of today’s financial situation means that many San Diego families are struggling to get presents under the tree and food on the table.

Students in the UCSD community service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, have created “Operation Santa,” dedicated to helping families in need all over San Diego County.

Due to the co-ed fraternity’s outreach initiatives and perhaps because of the economic crisis, “Operation Santa” received a record number of donations this year and a record number of families were nominated to receive help from.

Alpha Phi Omega’s efforts for the project include raising money for gifts and food for all families. Many of the families the fraternity helps are led by single mothers, including mothers who are victims of domestic violence, facing illness, have experienced the loss of a family member and others who are struggling to financially support their family.

Junior and co-chair of “Operation Santa” Angela Lee recalled when one mother said she couldn’t even afford to buy food for her children. “I just want to give back however I can,” Lee said.

Another volunteer, junior Tiffany Tsiou, said there’s nothing better than walking into a home and seeing all the children get excited because you’re bringing them Christmas.

“Operation Santa” was established four years ago and has benefited the San Diego community in many ways. This year, for the first time, the organization partnered with other UC San Diego groups including the Pre-Medical Association of Students for Service, Alpha Kappa Psi, Women and Children Care Initiative, Health and Medical Professions Preparation Program, American Medical Student Association and resident advisors from Eleanor Roosevelt College.

With the difficult economy “Operation Santa” is still looking for donations, both of money and of gifts, for more information and to donate, please contact

Know of another group doing wonders for the community this holiday season? Tell us about them!

Happy holidays and best wishes from the San Diego Entertainer.

Photo from LadyDragonflyCC – Turkey Time!!!! via Flickr

San Diego resident for over 10 years, I now call this beautiful city home. Originally from the Bay Area, I'm a California girl at heart. I love the outdoors, fitness, food, and a good craft beer (from San Diego of course).

1 Comment

  1. Mary Jo O'Brien

    November 4, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I recenty saw your fraternity on the San 6 Morning New Program and would like to nominnate a family. This family is comprised of a grand mother, Nancy Kern, with diagnosed HIV. Her two daughters aged 11 year old ditaugher (Briaana Perez) a 2 7 year-old daugher (Nicoloe Kern) and 4her year old grandson. (Kevin) The family brely survive on Social Security and Food Stamps and Nicole’s Navy salary.

    Nancy has completed training as an alcohol and drug counselor and has almost 4 years clean and sober.. She volunteers at Parent Care, a drug and alcohol program for women and children and The family is worthy of assistance for the Holiday Season because they live on limited income and expect to also provide for Nancy’s briother and 15 year old daughtera who will be visiting for Xmas from South Carolina

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