2020 Operation Merry Christmas News

Dear Friends,

It’s almost holiday time!

Our Elves are ramping up for the Center’s annual Operation Merry Christmas event!

We will be signing up eligible Geneva families for the gift portion of our program November 2-13, Weekdays 10-3, Saturday 10-12 at the Center. Sign-up to receive holiday food will be during the month of November in the Center’s Food Pantry.

Our elves will be masked this year, and we are asking that of all the participants as well.

Our holiday store will be set up again at The Center and parents will be given an appointment to come in to “shop” for new gifts based on their application requests.  The parents really enjoy this hands-on experience. On their way out the door, parents can also select stocking stuffers and wrapping paper.

 WE NEED YOU!  We would appreciate donations of new, unwrapped gifts as well as hams and turkeys and other holidays foods to fill our food boxes. Last year more than 700 people enjoyed Operation Merry Christmas!

This has been a difficult year for everyone, but especially for children.  We would greatly appreciate your support in our effort to make the holiday a little more pleasant for your Geneva neighbors.   

There is no holiday deadline as we have many families come in to request help with gifts and food up until our last business day before Christmas.

Please feel free to call with questions (315) 789-1117.

Thank you for all you do for us all year!


Cheryl H. Toor, Director

Operation Merry Christmas 2020

Items we are in particular need of, with a focus on age 12 and up as these are the

ages we typically receive fewer donations of gifts:



Bath & Body Lotion, Wash (male and female)


Fishing Items


Head phones

I tunes card


Men’s cologne


Model cars (for building)

Perfume (girls)


Teen DVD’s (movie tickets welcome too)

Teen electronics

Wrestling Figures

We need pajamas for all ages, each child gets a new pair of pajamas.

Thank you!


Sign-up for the 2020 Operation Merry Christmas program begins on Nov. 2.  Please see full announcement on the Home Page of this website.



Operation Merry Christmas is a special program to many people, not only for those who receive food and gifts through the Program, but also for those who remember the humble beginnings of the Center of Concern.

The Christmas program officially began prior the The Center of Concern;  in 1971 the Human Development Committee of St. Stephens Church decided to provide Christmas Joy in the form of boxes of food and gifts. The first year the program provided 123 boxes to local families. When the boxes of food and gifts were delivered, the Committee came to realize the need for help in the community. After the Holidays, it was decided “to extend the activity through the entire year and, God willing, through the years to come.” People from 18 churches, local organizations and families joined together to begin The Geneva Center of Concern.

Over the years Operation Merry Christmas has grown from wrapped gifts and prepared food boxes to a North Pole Shopping Experience along with a separate date for food distribution. The North Pole Shop is set up in a way that families can choose new gifts for their children and have more of a real shopping experience.

Operation Merry Christmas has served many local families over the years. With the help of dedicated volunteers, generous donors from local churches, colleges and schools, businesses and clubs, and many individuals, this program continues to be a success. In 2019 the Center provided food boxes and gifts to 734 individuals in the Geneva community.  A majority of those benefiting from the program are families with young children.

Call or stop by the Center for more information on ways to sign up or donate to the Operation Merry Christmas program. Sign-ups for the family shopping begin in November.

 2019 Operation Merry Christmas Highlights

Volunteers of all ages assisted on food distribution day

Geneva Knights of Columbus annual drive contributes to Operation Merry Christmas

BJ’s store in Geneva generously donated merchandise for this year’s program

Girl Scout troop 661061 helped to make the program successful this year

Hobart and William Smith College Students help unload food for distribution

Center volunteers pack food boxes for distribution.

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