OPERATION MERRY CHRISTMAS
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.