Thousands of Arizona families had a better Christmas thanks to you!
ABC15’s 12th annual Operation Santa Claus drive in partnership with Sanderson Ford and Sanderson Lincoln raised a record $803,000!
Operation Santa Claus officially ended on December 21 with the annual “Human Chain” of volunteers who packed charity trucks withthis year’s donations.
The chain lined the ABC15 building and stretched all the way out to the parking lot, staffed by Operation Santa Claus partners from Clear Channel Radio, The UPS Stores and each of the four participating charities that benefit from the drive.
Everyone who donated also had the chance to win either a new Ford F-150 Super Crew EcoBoost or a new Lincoln MKZ. Fifteen finalists were chosen from the thousands of entries, and each of them received a $100 Visa gift card.
The finalists were also given a key to try and start their brand new vehicle. One by one, they tried to start the vehicle on ABC15’s Sonoran Living Live, and Ellen Geisek of Anthem was named the winner when her key turned on the ignition.
“Operation Santa Claus continues to grow every year. I get so much joy watching people come through the doors with donations for less fortunate families,” said David Kimmerle, President of Sanderson Ford and Sanderson Lincoln. “We’re so blessed to have ABC15 as our partner. Their ability to inform the public of the great work the charities do for our community really drives donations. To the thousands who donated, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
From Nov. 21 through Dec. 19, donations were raised from money, non-perishable food, new toys and children’s clothing. Donations were collected at Sanderson Ford, Sanderson Lincoln, ABC15 Studios and The UPS Stores Valley-wide. Other ways to donate included on-line and new this year - texting.
This year’s charities were St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Phoenix, Inc., Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC) and Military Assistance Mission (MAM).
“Operation Santa Claus is all about giving hope to our neighbors in need,” said Anita Helt, vice-president and general manager at ABC15. “Our viewer’s generosity is inspiring and continues to show us the meaning of the holidays.”
ABC15 and Sanderson Ford and Sanderson Lincoln were proud to partner with Clear Channel radio and The UPS Store locations for this annual drive, and look forward to continuing the tradition in 2014.