Operation: Santa Claus accepting applications, donations

Published 7:14 pm Monday, November 10, 2014

The Chilton County Fraternal Order of Police, Smith-Dale Lodge 31 is accepting donations for its 12th annual “Operation: Santa Claus.”

This program is designed to provide Christmas to less fortunate families in the community–children who would otherwise have little or nothing to open on Christmas morning. Over the past several years, Operation: Santa Claus has helped more than 2,000 children enjoy the simple pleasure of opening a gift on Christmas morning.

John Shearon, spokesman for the group, said that every year, applicants are turned away because the need is greater than the donations received.

The Smith-Dale Lodge is expecting a large number of people requesting help for Christmas, and with fewer people being able to help each year and the amount of donations going down, it is difficult to help everyone who is in need.

Over the past years, Operation: Santa Claus has been able to help several families have a better Christmas. The goal of Smith-Dale Lodge is to help every child have a better Christmas.

Several people and organizations donated toys and other items, which was a big help in providing gifts. They are also searching for churches or individuals who would be willing to adopt a family or help in any way possible.

The Chilton FOP hopes every business, church, organization and individual will do all they can to make this Christmas season joyful for these special families in Chilton County.

Anyone desiring to make a donation may send a check or money order made payable to Operation: Santa Claus. Anyone that would be interested can also adopt a family.

Donations need to be received by Dec. 1 at the following address: Operation: Santa Claus, P.O. Box 2332, Clanton, AL 35046.

Those wishing to apply for help should provide a completed application and detailed explanation of why they are requesting assistance and their situation.

Applications can be picked up at the Chilton County Jail. Include your name, address and name of any references that know of your hardship, including their phone numbers and address. Requests made without this required information will be turned down.

Also, it is imperative that organizers be able to contact the applicant and references by telephone, so a valid telephone number is mandatory.

These requests should be turned in at the Chilton County Jail no later than Nov. 15 to be considered for assistance.

For more information, contact John Shearon at 755-6261, Warren Garris at 755-4698 or Jenifer Bland at 755-4698.