Through Operation Elf, children with an incarcerated parent are able to receive holiday gifts, including toys, games, gift cards and books. Inmate Services staff identify eligible inmates whose families might benefit from Operation Elf, and then collect information, like the number of children and their ages.
Thanks to generous donors in Alexandria and beyond, Inmate Services staff received hundreds of toys, games and other gifts, as well as donations of gift cards and money. Staff organized the gifts, filled up bags, and then had families come by to pick them up the week before Christmas. In all, more than 250 children are receiving gifts this year through Operation Elf.
This charitable effort not only aids families in need but also helps families stay connected during the holidays, encouraging a smoother transition once ex-offenders return to the community.
Inmate Services Manager Gloria Wright said that initially she was concerned that this year they might not be able to help as many families because of the difficulties and financial strain a lot of community members are facing. But Operation Elf actually received more donations this year than ever before.
“We are so incredibly grateful to the many donors who made Operation Elf a success this year,” Ms. Wright said. “They definitely represent the true meaning of the holiday season.”
Because of the tremendous support, Operation Elf will be able to assist Together We Bake in providing gifts to families they work with.
Sheriff Dana Lawhorne join Ms. Wright and her colleagues in thanking the following individuals and organizations for their generous contributions:
The Weir Family
The Company of Books in Del Ray
Lynhaven Civic Association
Capital Christmas Group
Krystal Fenwick and Department of Community and Human Services
Mike and Lisa Carrigan
Priscilla Andre Colton
Chaplain Myron Contee and St. John Baptist Church
Bea Robinson and Barbara DeMerse
Mark and Sandra Parsons
Lauren and John
Arthur Lander and Del Ray Business Association
Toys for Tots
Shalayla Hicks and Intuit Foundation
Alexandria-Lincolnia Lions Club