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Posted 12/14/2012

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By Eileen Williamson

OMAHA, Neb. - Each year, since 1960, a group of volunteers called Operation Santa has traveled with Santa to bring gifts and music to some special Omaha area organizations.

On Dec. 13, volunteers from the Northwestern Division and Omaha District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers visited the Glenwood Resource Center in Glenwood, Iowa. The group came carrying presents for the patients and clients, sang carols and helped with a party for the participants. Volunteers, residents and the staff at Glenwood look forward to the annual get together.

Between Oct. 22 and Nov. 27, corps employees have been actively supporting the annual Combined Federal Campaign. Employees can make payroll deduction donations through the CFC as well as hold fundraising activities to support those who are less fortunate.

For more than 50 years, these activities have helped raise the funds necessary to provide the gifts the volunteers deliver. This year, Operation Santa volunteers delivered gifts to the Glenwood Resource Center and the Douglas County Health Center. Their fundraising efforts also support a variety of local agencies and activities including their participation in the annual Brush Up Nebraska Paint-A-Thon.

Operation Santa was officially formed in 1960 by Omaha District employees to serve the needs of underprivileged children, the elderly, poor and homeless at Chritsmas time. All the gifts delivered are donated by Corps employees or purchased through their CFC fundraising efforts.

This year's gifts to the Glenwood Resource Center included a large popcorn popper, corn for popping, and table tennis and pool table supplies to go with the table tennis and pool tables the volunteers delivered in 2010.

On Dec. 13, the gifts were delivered with the arrival of Santa who greeted an auditorium filled with adoring fans. Each fan had the chance to visit with Santa, shake his hand and receive a small gift bag with the help of some volunteers.

Established in 1961, the CFC has become the nation’s leading workplace giving program, raising more money for charity than any other annual employee-giving program.

For more information about the CFC visit http://www.opm.gov/cfc/.