Operation Christmas Cheer

Operation Christmas Cheer started from a personal Facebook post in 2011 wanting to help 1 family in need with their Christmas. My inbox was filled within a day with 6 people explaining why they were facing a hardship. I found it incredibly hard to decide which family we would help. On the original post, there were several friends who thought it was a wonderful gesture to help others. After receiving the heartbreaking messages, I posted again that I was going to need help meeting the needs because I couldn't say no to any of them, because each hardship was equally important. My friends stepped up and met the challenge. In year one, we helped 22 kids and had 41 volunteers, soon to be named "Elves". In 2012, we moved Operation Christmas Cheer to an event page and again requests were made for help and as the requests grew, so did the help. A few key critical elves stepped in to help and made the larger number doable. Tiffany Meckes, of Meckes and Associates, recognized the need for there to be a designated drop off location, as the task was now larger than I could handle myself. The help Tiffany has provided the project has made the biggest impact. Several bigger donations came in 2012, and our totals that year were 62 Darke County kids helped by 222 Elves. 2013 has been one year that will be remembered always. The Love has spread from an idea to a project that is helping 182 Darke County kids this year with over 450 Elves donating their time, gifts, and generosity. This project has had so many interventions by people and businesses to make it now have a life of its own. My family, Tiffany Meckes, Jason Marion, Nick Good, The Coffee Pot, Paul Ackley, Greenville Federal Bank, Kelli Toy and the employees of Family Health Services, Amy Schoen, The Light Foundation, Avian World Rescue Kingdom, Double M Diner, and so many more individuals have given in such an instrumental way