ELKO — In their eighth year, Operation Santa Nevada Program hopes to fill more than 800 Christmas socks.
Lynette Vega, a sixth-grade teacher at Flag View Intermediate School, is the Nevada coordinator for Operation Santa. Vega has involved her reading students in wrapping the donation boxes that are on display at businesses around town. Those businesses in Elko are Ruby Mountain Pawn, Gold Dust West, both Al Park Petroleum locations, Honks, the Dollar Store on Mountain City Highway, Veterans Services and Albertson’s. The Spring Creek locations include Khoury’s Market and Kings.
Along with businesses helping to collect donations, local schools around the area are also involved with gathering donations for the service men and women overseas. Those schools are Flag View, Adobe Middle School, Spring Creek Middle School and Spring Creek High School.
Elko High School is sewing 350 of the Christmas socks that will be used for Operation Santa, according to Vega. Sage Elementary and Owyhee Combined Schools will construct Christmas cards to send to the military personal. Flag View students will write letters to the service men and women.
Since the program started in 2004 in Oregon, more than 100,000 candy-filled Christmas socks have been sent to all military branches. The items needed are white tube socks, individually wrapped hot chocolate, Crystal Light mix, hard candy, chap stick, beef jerky, granola bars and playing cards.
The last day for donations is Nov. 4.
On Nov. 5, the POW/MIA Elko Awareness Association will pick up the donations at the businesses mentioned. Donations will be shipped to those deployed in Afghanistan.
“Please join us in making a difference and changing lives in giving a piece of holiday cheer,” Vega said.
Questions can be directed to Vega at 397-1911. People can also contact Vega if someone wants a Christmas stocking shipped to a loved one overseas. The program is for any branch of the military.
For information on Operation Santa, visit www.marinecorpsfamily