Every year, we work with VA and other veteran support groups to identify veterans in need with children who otherwise would not be able to provide Chrismas due to financial struggle. The veterans and their families attend a party at our operations center. The children get their pictures taken with Santa, do holiday crafts and games while their parents "shop" for Christmas gifts. While the children are being enteratained we wrap and stash the gifts. The parents and children are then reunited to enjoy a holiday meal and caroling. In addition to the donated gifts the veterans can choose, OTA ensures that each child receive gifts they asked Santa for on their Christmas list. We serve between 80 and 100 veteran families each year. It is a wonderful experience and provides our veterans with a way to enjoy the holiday season with their families. Removing the cost burden with purchasing gifts for their children removes stress. Many of our veterans suffer from post traumatic stress, physical injuries received in combat, and face daunting challenges towards recovery. Removing this stress turns what could otherwise be a very difficult time, into a time of happiness with their families.
Funded by Pittsburgh, PA (October 2018)