Thousands of Arizona families will have a better holiday season thanks to the 11th annual ABC15 Operation Santa Claus in partnership with Sanderson Ford.
The drive officially ended Friday, with the annual "human chain" of volunteers lining the stairs at the ABC15 studios all the way to the parking lot where the charity trucks were loaded with the donations.
Clear Channel Radio played music and also participated in the chain. Sanderson Ford and Lincoln owner David Kimmerle officially started the festivities which began the movement of toys.
From November 16 through December 20, food, toy, clothing and monetary donations were collected at Sanderson Ford, Sanderson Lincoln, ABC15 studios and UPS stores Valley-wide.
All donations go to benefit the Military Assistance Mission, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center and St. Mary's Food Bank.
Everyone who donated had the opportunity to enter to win either a 2013 Ford F-150 Supercrew truck or 2013 Lincoln MKZ sedan. Ashley Augustine, of Surprise, was named the winner Friday on Sonoran Living Live.
"The holidays are about friends, family and giving thanks," said David and Sue Kimmerle, of Sanderson Ford and Sanderson Lincoln. "Operation Santa Claus is all of those traditions rolled into one."
"Our viewers' generosity continues to inspire us," said Anita Helt, vice-president and general manager of ABC15. "We're humbled to be part of a project that helps make Arizona a better place to live."