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DHR’s Operation Santa Claus in full swing

Pictured are, from left to right, Jeannie Gibson, Lee Sexton, Laura Hollis and Danny Rolling, Rotary Club president.

Pictured are, from left to right, Jeannie Gibson, Lee Sexton, Laura Hollis and Danny Rolling, Rotary Club president.

The Department of Human Resources (DHR) recently paid a visit to the Luverne Rotary Club to tell Rotarians about their Christmas fundraiser, Operation Santa Claus.

“This year, the Luverne Rotary Club donated $2,000 to the Department of Human Resources for their Operation Santa Claus,” said Danny Rolling, Rotary Club president.

“Rotary is always glad to be able to help our community, and helping children and families is one of our greatest joys. Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, but for some it can be a struggle. We are glad to be a part of helping families make Christmas a wonderful time of the year.”

Operation Santa Claus has been coordinated in Crenshaw County for a little over 30 years, according to Lee Sexton with DHR.

“We’ve always had great support from the community, and we always help the families in Crenshaw County, so everything that comes in goes straight back to our community and our county,” Sexton said.

“We work to provide Christmas for our foster children, our ongoing protective service cases, adult protective service cases, as well as other families in the community who apply and meet our eligibility requirements.”

Children ages two to 14 are eligible to participate in Operation Santa Claus. Last year, DHR served 183 families with a total of 338 children along with 50 adult clients.

“When we provide and take our donations to the children, we have at least one outfit and then we give them a couple of toys,” Sexton said.

“We try to get them to fill out their wish list, too. We take toys from the parade also to give.”

During the program, DHR gave those in attendance the chance to take an “angel” from their Christmas tree, which already had shopping specifications for individual children listed on the back. With these “angels”, interested individuals can know the canadian roulette initials and gender of the child they are buying for, as well as the age range, clothing sizes and his/her specially requested toy.

According to Sexton, DHR usually starts preparing for this fundraiser in October by putting out applications for the project. After the applications are in, DHR then prepares shopping lists and begins purchasing the toys.

“I really do feel like we have the best community. We have a small community and a small county but great, big hearts,” Sexton said.