Students took a break from their studies at UC San Diego on Tuesday to wrap gifts to benefit San Diego families in need. The wrapping event is a part of “Operation Santa,” an annual relief program dedicated to providing a Christmas to families in San Diego that cannot afford gifts for their children.
Many of the families benefiting from Operation Santa’s work are single mothers, as well as those who are victims on domestic violence, facing illness, experiencing the loss of a family member or are struggling financially.
The UC San Diego co-ed community service group Alpha Phi Omega sponsors the annual service project.
According to Connie Tran, chair of Operation Santa, the experience of bringing food and gifts to families is an emotional and humbling one.
“When I meet these families, I realize that my small contribution can actually make a difference in the lives of those struggling with health issues, job displacement and financial worries during the holidays,” Tran said in an announcement. “This is what motivates Alpha Phi Omega to continue to organize this service project each year. We want to start the holiday season off right and give back to the community.”
Operation Santa is hoping to help all 180 families nominated to be recipients of the service.
To add to the holiday cheer Tuesday night, the Tritones, UC San Diego’s a capella group, entertained the student elves with song.
For more information, including how to donate to Operation Santa, visit the operation online.