Operation Santa Claus provides for children in need

Camila Castellanos, Staff Writer

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This holiday season, the VMHS librarians joined together teachers, clubs, families, and staff members to do something truly special for foster children in our local area from Lake Elsinore to Temecula. Mrs. Bonnie and Mrs. Barney were introduced to Operation Santa Claus IE, and brought it to administration and club president meetings to get the school involved. They had originally planned to sponsor 20 foster children, but due to great interest they pushed it to 50, and then eventually ended up with a cap of 120 children sponsored by a club, family, or staff member from Vista Murrieta.

“We started off small with twenty because my biggest fear was that someone wouldn’t come through and we would end up with disappointed kids,” Barney said. “But we ended up with more than expected, and were even able to donate our leftover toiletries to Skid Row and leftover toys to the Murrieta Police Department.”

Bonnie and Barney, with the help of their TAs, worked overtime at the library to take inventory and organize all of the gifts brought in. These gifts were often the only ones they would be getting this holiday season. Every child the school sponsored was provided with a new backpack, a pillow, a pillowcase, a blanket, and general toiletries. Each sponsor was then given the child’s wishlist and clothing sizes.

“A lot of them were very basic necessities – deodorant, t-shirts, socks – things we take for granted,” said Mr. Matlock, a teacher who sponsored two children in the project.

Bonnie and Barney definitely plan on continuing with Operation Santa Claus for years to come and turning it into a Vista Murrieta tradition. They also plan on starting sooner and have even considered starting an Operation Santa Claus Club to help them with sorting and inventory. In the end, Broncos across campus came together to help the less fortunate and fulfill Christmas wishes.

“We worked hard, but it was so rewarding in the end,” Bonnie said

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Operation Santa Claus provides for children in need