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Greenville Business Magazine

Operation Santa Workshop To Open November 15

Nov 12, 2018 12:01PM ● By Kathleen Maris
The Operation Santa Workshop is scheduled to open Thursday, November 15 at 9 a.m. at Century BMW, located at 2934 Laurens Road, Greenville, S.C. The mission of Operation Santa, SC Inc. is to provide the basic necessities to Greenville County elementary school children who otherwise may not receive any gifts during the holiday season. Approximately a dozen “elves” from Riverside High School will deliver the initial 100 gift bags to be placed under a tree in the lobby of Century BMW.

Every child’s gift bag includes the basic necessities such as pants, shirts, a sweater, pajamas, underwear, socks, and shoes plus a wish list and educational items.

Operation Santa begin in 2000 when John Sheppard, a grade school principal, and his wife, Kathy, saw the need to help students in his school that were less fortunate. Kathy and John shopped for two families and the gifts were given to the children. Over the next several years, the Sheppards partnered with the Cliffs Communities and the list grew to more than 200 students from the Upstate. In 2011, Sheppard joined forces with Cathy Tate to support students from Title I schools that have more than 95 percent of their students receiving free or reduced lunches. In 2017, Operation Santa was able to provide gifts for more than 600 children throughout Greenville County.

Operation Santa will also host a holiday party on November 29 from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. at Century BMW for all volunteers, social workers, and principals as well as the public to learn more about the organization and volunteer opportunities. Operation Santa is looking for individuals and businesses that would like to give back to the community. It’s an ideal opportunity to appreciate the true spirit of the holiday season by “adopting” children from Greenville County Schools who would otherwise not experience the joys of gifts at Christmas. Most volunteers spend or donate approximately $125.00 to $150.00 for a child’s gift package.