The city clerk’s office is once again accepting donations for Operation Christmas, a program organized by Yellow Ribbon America, that supports members of the armed services and their families.
The mission -should Newport Beach residents choose to accept it- Collect toys for military children, gift cards and cash donations for military families, and DVDs for troops.
“[The program helps] local troops, it bring Christmas to their children and their families,” said City Clerk Leilani Brown. “It’s the least we can do for our troops.”
Operation Christmas for Our Troops & Their Families is a non-partisan, statewide effort sponsored by the California State Capital for deployed National Guard, Reserve, Active Duty and at home military members and their families.
“Help bring a Merry Christmas to California’s military and their families,” the city website states. “Let’s show them how much Newport Beach appreciates them!”
The clerk’s office will accept new and unwrapped toys, new or used DVDs, and gift cards and cash donations until noon on Dec. 23.
The donated items stay local and help Orange County military families.
Although the past few years have been tough because of the economy, Newport Beach has managed to collect approximately 300 toys, DVDs and other donations in past years, Brown said. City employees get in the donated gift-giving spirit as well, she said. Some employees and members of the public have even brought in bags full of toys before, she said.
“We’re very happy and fortunate to receive anything,” Brown added.
This is the eighth year the California State Capitol has joined forces with Yellow Ribbon America for the Christmas campaign. The city of Newport Beach has participated every year but one, Brown said.
“This statewide effort has raised over 450,000 Christmas gifts for America’s local military members and their families,” in the first six years of the campaign, according to the organization’s website.
Yellow Ribbon America is a nationwide organization aimed at giving direct help and support to military members and their families by working with local residents, businesses and groups in the troops’ own communities
“Locals helping locals,” the Yellow Ribbon website states.
“Through the generous donations from America’s communities we hope to give gifts to thousands of our military members, their families and especially the children of America’s military to help them through the emotional difficulties of the holidays while there loved ones are far from home,” the organization states on its website about the Christmas gift drive.
Individuals, families, businesses, churches and community groups are all encouraged to participate. New and unwrapped toys for all age groups of children, including teenagers, new and used DVDs, and cash, checks and gift card donations can be dropped off at the city clerk’s office. Checks should be payable to Yellow Ribbon America.
Visit www.yellowribbonamerica.org for more information.