Operation Santa | Dozens of Volunteers to Deliver Toys on Christmas Eve

Dozens of volunteers will dress up as Santa to hand-deliver toys on December 24, based off of letters to Santa that have been received from local children over the past month.

PHOTO: Pasadena Jaycees | SouthPasadenan.com News | Volunteers dressed as Santa, Mrs. Claus and elves pose for a photo before heading out for an evening of toy deliveries.

For the 86th year, the Pasadena Jaycees and dozens of volunteers will be dressing up as Santa, Mrs. Claus and elves on December 24 to deliver toys to children in the community. Children from all over Pasadena have spent the last month writing letters to Santa, and on Christmas Eve, their wishes will come true as Santa teams hand-deliver the gifts they have asked for.

PHOTO: Pasadena Jaycees | SouthPasadenan.com News | Clarence Irvin, Natalie Andres, Jennipha-Lauren Nielsen, and Nick Scott smile in front of a truck full of Toys for Tots donations.

Children with greater needs are given highest priority, and this year, special attention will be paid to emphasizing books and STEM-related toys. Additionally, while the Operation Santa project was originally rooted in the Christmas holiday, children from all backgrounds and religions are encouraged to write letters to celebrate the season.

PHOTO: Pasadena Jaycees | SouthPasadenan.com News | Volunteers sort donated toys so that customized selections can be made for each child who wrote a letter to Santa.

“Operation Santa changed my life,” says Pasadena resident and former Jaycee President, Todd Vradenburg. “I’ll always remember gathering at my aunt’s house in Northwest Pasadena on Christmas Eve and waiting for the Santa visit. Years later, when I learned of the Jaycees and discovered that they were responsible for one of the biggest highlights of my childhood, it was at that moment that I understood what giving back is about. I joined the Jaycees and became a Santa. Every time I put on that suit and take gifts to kids, I get to relive my childhood. Words cannot explain the joy that it brings me.”

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PHOTO: Pasadena Jaycees | SouthPasadenan.com News | Siblings Gabrielle Scott, Dustin Scott and Erin Scott smile after a successful evening of delivering toys to Pasadena children.

Those interested in volunteering to deliver toys as part of a Santa team are still able to sign up at opsanta.com. Santas will check in the morning of December 24 at 9am and get their toy delivery routes assigned. They will then be provided dinner at 4pm, followed by Santa training. Then, the teams of Santa get the chance to go out to spread toys and cheer to Pasadena children.

PHOTO: Pasadena Jaycees | SouthPasadenan.com News | Santa volunteers practice their “ho, ho, hos” before heading out for toy delivery.