Posted: Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hundreds of volunteers with Operation Santa SC recently teamed together to purchase clothing, socks, coats, and other necessities for 405 children attending 16 Greenville County elementary schools as part of Operation Santa SC.

Kathy Sheppard, CEO of Operation Santa SC, Inc., explained that the organization serves GCS elementary schools with the highest poverty indexes. “Social workers gather the names of identified students and sizes for basic items such as clothing, shoes, socks, and a jacket or coat. Each child will also receive one toy and one educational item,” she said.

Sheppard said her organization has over 300 volunteers from various businesses around the Greenville area. Volunteers generally spend between $100 and $125 per child and work in teams to shop and wrap presents together. Sheppard is grateful for the sponsorship this year of Certus Bank on Augusta Road. “By allowing us to use their facilities to store the gifts, we have our own Santa’s Workshop right here in downtown Greenville,” she said.

Blair Miller, Certus Bank Regional Manager for South Carolina said they were very pleased to be involved. “This is something we feel is the right thing to do,” he said. “Having small children myself, it takes me back to what is really important. It makes me happy knowing we are going to make the holidays better for these children.”

Ken Arnold, Director of Social Work and Attendance Services for Greenville County Schools, said the families served by Operation Santa SC are low income, and they worry about how they are going to provide for their child during the Christmas season. “The efforts of Operation Santa SC are a big help to them,” he said. In addition to the support received by Operation Santa SC volunteers, the GCS Social Work Department collects canned food and school supplies throughout the year and provides baskets for families in need.

The mission of Operation Santa SC Inc. is to inspire friends and friends of friends, through their financial generosity and volunteer commitment, to partner with Greenville County Title I Schools to provide the basic necessities to children who otherwise would not experience the joy of gifts during the holiday season.

Visit their Facebook page to find out more about how you or your company can become involved in Operation Santa SC.

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