The stories behind Operation Santa Claus are largely what makes the program so compelling. Not just the stories of the children who need help but also the stories of the helpers. They’re an inspiration for us to do more and be better to each other.
That’s certainly the case with Arianna Jones, a senior at Coe-Brown Northwood Academy, who was able to spread a little Christmas cheer while raising money for Operation Santa Claus. Jones was looking for a charity project to undertake as part of her senior portfolio. Jones’ mom, Adina Bernier, is a Chapter 41 member and suggested Operation Santa Claus. Jones said she liked the idea of helping people in her community.
“I know that local charities need just as much support as international charities, so I chose to donate to Operation Santa Claus,” Jones said.
Jones said in talking with her mom, she came up with the idea to go caroling to raise money.
“I love singing and it’s one of my favorite hobbies, so I wanted to incorporate it into my project if possible,” Jones said.
After working out some details, she got case sheets for three children, then organized the caroling event with students in her school’s performing arts department. The group was able to raise $370 in cash, which she used for the gifts, as well as another $360 in checks for Operation Santa Claus.
“I love the feeling of knowing that more children will be able to experience the same Christmas memories of Santa that I cherish, as well as the knowledge that the children I sponsored will have a lot of the winter clothes that they might need this year,” Jones said.
Jones said the work involved in the project was well worth it, given the end result. Her mom agreed.
“It was nice to see her go around and spread Christmas cheer to our neighbors, and more importantly, to raise the money so she could make sure that the children have a wonderful Christmas,” Bernier said.