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Operation Santa Claus: Sustenance for all

| Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Each year it seems that the Christmas shopping crush comes earlier and earlier, even to the point of reducing Thanksgiving to an afterthought. How sad for those lost in this frenzy, who in the mad dash to buy, Buy, BUY lose sight of their own fulfillment as their holiday spirit fades.

For those seeking something more fulfilling, there's no more invigorating nog than the cheer they, themselves, provide through their donations to Trib Total Media's Operation Santa Claus. Since 1984, it has been a source of sustenance that feeds both the Christmas spirit of donors and more than 7,000 needy Southwestern Pennsylvania families, which will receive complete holiday dinners through this entirely volunteer effort with Shop 'n Save and the Salvation Army.

All money raised by individuals, families, community groups and businesses goes directly toward purchasing groceries, at a greatly reduced cost, for Christmas dinners that will be delivered by 33 Salvation Army units. For children, there are coloring books, crayons and new and gently used storybooks as well.

This year's fundraising goal is $120,000. Keep in mind that each individual donation buys far more food for deserving recipients than shoppers could purchase on their own. Or you can donate in the name of a recipient on your gift list. Simply fill out the coupon that appears daily in the Trib.

More than just another anonymous charity, homegrown Operation Santa Claus feeds the less fortunate — and nourishes hungry hearts.

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