Operation Santa supports more than 1,400 children in welfare system

Pensacola, Fla. (December 20, 2022) – More than 1,400 children in the child welfare system from Escambia to Walton County will experience the magic of Christmas thanks to the support of donors to Operation Santa.

Organized through FamiliesFirst Network, a LifeView Group affiliate, Operation Santa is an annual donation drive helping children who have experienced abuse, neglect or trauma enjoy the magic of Christmas. Caregivers are invited to submit wish lists so that gifts may be personalized to each child. Donors may sponsor a child and shop for their Christmas wishes or give a monetary gift so the team may shop for them. 

“We are fortunate to benefit from several area toy drives, as well as ‘angel trees’ organized by local churches and businesses. But we also use donations to help our teens, as well as young adults aging out of the foster care system,” said Mark Jones, president of FamiliesFirst Network. “Without the generosity of our donors and community partners, many of these children in our care would not receive any gifts during the holidays. I am so thankful to our area businesses, faith community and volunteer network who put countless hours into this project. They have truly spread the magic of Christmas to those who need it most.”

More than 110 donors contributed to Operation Santa this year, including 25 businesses and 91 individuals. Some of the organizations supporting Operation Santa include:

  • Destiny Worship
  • Crosspoint Church 
  • American Legion Post 75 of Crestview
  • Crestview Aerospace
  • Livin’ Right Real Estate
  • City of Fort Walton Beach Police Department
  • Okaloosa Department of Corrections
  • WEAR Ch. 3 Communities Caring at Christmas
  • First City Church
  • Olive Baptist Church
  • Liberty Church
  • Premier Island Hotels
  • Alyssa’s 
  • Martial Arts America/Flipping’Out Gymnastics
  • Innisfree Hotels 
  • Jeweler’s Trade
  • Beck Partners
  • Cokesbury United Methodist Church
  • Gulf Breeze Rotary Club
  • Holy Cross Episcopal Church
  • Victory Assembly of God
  • Mary Esther United Methodist Church
  • JD Plumbing
  • Mission Anglican Church
  • Asset Defense
  • Realty Masters of FL
  • Change Healthcare
  • Grace Under Pressure
  • ESRBA Young Lawyers Division

Learn more about Operation Santa FamiliesFirst Network.org.