Operation Joy

The Community Action Center is looking for help from community members with its annual holiday gift sharing event, Operation Joy. The event takes place Dec. 8. (File photo/southernminn.com)

Preparations are underway for this year’s Operation Joy which takes place Dec. 8 at the Community Action Center, 1651 Jefferson Parkway, Northfield.

With the help of our dedicated staff, the support of volunteers, the generosity of individuals and businesses alike, and through numerous grants, CAC has served our community for over fifty years. One way in which CAC supports our community is through our annual gift sharing program, Operation Joy.

Due to the impact of the pandemic, 50 more families participated in Operation Joy last year than in previous years — a nearly 20% increase in the number of families served. With the generosity of our neighbors, over 900 children in our community received gifts through Operation Joy in 2020.

CAC’s Operation Joy team, which is composed of both staff and volunteers, has been working hard on how to safely serve families at this year’s event. In 2020, in order to continue the tradition of providing a joyful holiday experience for Northfield area children despite the pandemic, some changes were made to the program. These changes included

• pivoting to a drive-through experience;

• providing each child with a Target gift card in place of toys; and

• providing each participating family with a grocery gift card, Chamber Bucks and a box of food.

“While we have hope that we will be able to have an in-person experience this year, it is important for us to prepare for whatever this season may bring. Through conversations we had with our community, we learned that last year’s participating families were excited with the flexibility of gift cards, which enabled families to make personal choices for their children. With the help of our neighbors, we are grateful to be able to give parents the ability to select the items they know their children will enjoy the most,” said Operation Joy Coordinator Lisa Percy.

CAC is thankful for the support of Content Bookstore and their donation of one free book for each participating child, and for the local volunteers who donate their time and resources to sew pajamas and quilts for all.

CAC’s goal is to provide a joyful holiday experience to all children in the Northfield area. At this time, the most impactful way to help support this goal is through monetary donations.

Anyone who would like to receive support this holiday season should contact CAC at 507-664-3550.

For questions or to learn more about how to support Northfield children through Operation Joy, contact Lisa Percy at percy.lisa@communityactioncenter.org or 507-350-2903.

To make a donation online or to learn more about Operation Joy, visit communityactioncenter.org/operation-joy.

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