FORT DODGE, Iowa -- Since the 1960s, Church Women United has worked on Operation Christmas to help the less fortunate at Christmas time.
Now, Operation Christmas is in its last year of serving Fort Dodge. The organization, which helps 500 families each Christmas, is concluding operations due to many of the members now being in their 70s and no new blood coming in to help.
“This is it for Operation Christmas Church Women United," said Co-Chair Ruth Reed. “It’s not easy to say we’re done.”
Although it is a bittersweet last year for the ladies who work sorting and gathering gift items, there is also some optimism.
“We’ve had a lot of people express interest in keeping something going,” said Reed. “It may not be Operation Christmas and they may not do what we have done, but some of it they will.”
“There’s people downtown that do not have Christmas without Operation Christmas,” said Gwen Anderson, Co-Chair of Operation Christmas. “Our big emphasis is on the children, we want every child to have a Christmas package under the tree.”
Operation Christmas is located in the Trolley Center in the 900 block of Central. Gifts and other donations will be taken through Monday. The applicants can pick up the gift packages on December 15th.