by Matt Harper from the Daily Record:
Erika loves Santa Claus, but she thinks Santa can’t come to her house anymore.
Erika (Case J-1) is a 25-year-old girl with Down Syndrome who is faithfully cared for by her mother, June. June spends every day caring for her daughter and cannot work as a result. Though she shows her daughter an immense amount of love, they get by on very little money, which makes it impossible for June to afford gifts for Christmas. She is desperate to show Erika that Santa can still visit them, but that won’t happen without help from Operation Holiday and Daily Record readers.
Since 1971, Operation Holiday, a non-profit organization sponsored by the Woman’s Club of Morristown and the Daily Record, has raised over $2.7 million, and last year donations totaled more than $132,000. As a result, with the help of local individuals, schools, and businesses, Operation Holiday last year provided more than 450 families and individuals with necessary items they cannot afford and granted some of their very special wishes.
For more than a month, each day you have learned about those referred to Operation Holiday by more than 20 social service agencies in Morris County, many of whom find themselves all alone during the holiday season. In these last few days before Christmas, the Daily Record will continue to share their stories with you and ask for your donations to do what we can to help lift each other up in the spirit of the season. Once donations are received, volunteer shoppers purchase needed items for delivery to the families in time for the holidays.
Without the help of the hundreds of generous readers who reach deep in their pockets each holiday season and donate to the campaign, we cannot continue this proud tradition.
Contributions to this year’s Operation Holiday campaign can be mailed to The Woman’s Club of Morristown, 51 South St., Morristown, N.J. 07960. Donations are tax-deductible, and every penny goes to help the needy of Morris County. All administrative costs are covered by the sponsors, and all work is done with the help of volunteers. Any inquiries regarding Operation Holiday, including interest in helping to cover a family’s needs, can be directed to OperationHolidayNJ@gmail.com.
Erika would love to receive a portable CD player and CDs of children’s music, as well colorful picture books. She could also use a warm blanket, especially one featuring any Nickelodeon characters. June would appreciate receiving turtlenecks in size large and a crockpot and gluten free cookbook to prepare gluten free meals for Erika. A gift card to Shoprite to purchase gluten free food would be especially helpful.
Jill (Case T-27) is a single mother who suffers with anxiety and mental illness. Her daughter, Autumn, 9, is dealing with depression and other difficulties despite her young age. They live together in a small apartment and do their best to get by on very little. Jill would love to make Christmas special for Autumn, but can’t do it on her own. Autumn needs tops in size 10-12, jeans in size 14 and a winter jacket in size large. She would love to receive age-appropriate books, dolls and anything related to One Direction. Jill could use sweaters and winter coat in size extra large, pants in size 20-22, sheets for a full size bed and warm blankets. They could also benefit from receiving gift cards to ShopRite and Walmart to purchase food and household supplies.