As most of you know I have I have been working with people from all over the country to provide hand made Christmas ornaments to some of those who lost homes due to disasters this past year. There are several who have asked if we could post somewhere other than on Facebook. I will be updating on the blog as well as Facebook from now on. Please invite your non-Facebook friends to join us here.
For those new here is a summary of what we are up to.
What is Operation Christmas Ornaments? How Can You Help?
Just finding us and want to know how to help? Let me tell you our story.
Each year thousands suffer after surviving a natural disaster. As I have spoken to survivors they often mention missing the Christmas ornaments they lost. We understand we cannot replace the memories of those lost ornaments but hope we can help survivors begin to create new ones. We want these survivors to know they have not been forgotten and each year as they trim their tree hope they will remember people from all over the country, and the world, cared enough to make and send an ornament.
2020 was our first year serving survivors of disasters providing homemade Christmas ornaments. That year our ornaments went to survivors of the fires in Talent and Lincoln City, Oregon.
In 2021 we remembered those in Kentucky and Tennessee who had experienced devastating floods. Hundreds of homes were lost. Just as Kentucky was recovering from spring flooding that destroyed homes and the only grocery store in town, a tropical storm soaked the already waterlogged ground in August causing more damage. Tennessee suffered severe flooding causing the loss of hundreds of homes and 20 lives. Then, hurricane Ida struck and much of their support left for the Gulf States.
In 2021 5,800 homemade ornaments created by 650 individuals were gathered from 19 states. We were overwhelmed and humbled by all the amazing support. We hope to grow each year enabling us to serve more and more survivors and to bring them love and hope.
This year our goal is 10,000 ornaments from all fifty states enabling us to serve 500 families in both Colorado (survivors of the December fires) and Kentucky (after the longest tornado in history).
Please join us by creating an ornament or donating cash so we can purchase supplies for those who would like to create but have limited financial resources. We are also looking for funding to help pay for shipping cost.
Please share and invite your family, church group, crafting friends, 4H group, girls scout troop and others to join us!
It's simple: 1: Create handmade ornaments of your choice. Don't make them too fragile as they will need to be mailed. 2. Create a note or hangtag for each ornament. They should include the place they were created, city, state and if outside the United States, the country. You may also include the name of your group and a message. We would also like to know how many people helped create ornaments so please include a sticky note to us with that information. 3. Package each ornament and tag in a clear cellophane baggie. Cellophane bags can be ordered online or purchased in a craft store and are less expensive than sandwich baggies. 4. Mail package by the middle of October so we have time to divide them in to batches of 12 ornaments, one batch per family.
Get started! Making ornaments takes time. It is a fun way to get together with others to create memories while meeting a need. Serving others is such a great feeling and a great way to help children understand the joy of giving. As disasters happen talk to your friends and family about the loss survivors are feeling and explain that all the attention they are receiving now will go away very quickly. Survivors are often forgotten after a few weeks or months. We will not forget them!
Please consider sending ornaments to both of our regional volunteer
locations in Colorado and Kentucky:
Operation Christmas Ornaments
11310 Fenton St.
Westminster, CO 80020
Operation Christmas Ornaments
Winchester, KY 40391